Awareness,  Life Experiences,  Short Story

Stress and TMJ : An Unpleasant Episode

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My Story with TMJ

That week was very hectic for me. I had to complete my writings, there was a wedding of my classmate out of the district, and my bestie’s engagement in the weekend; so the week was fully packed. Yes, I was stressed out of all these things happening all at once without any break. Still I relaxed my mind, and consoled myself that may be that week’s outing would help me to refresh my body (Till that time I had never heard of TMJ).

So, on Sunday I wrote an article and uploaded it on my blog. Then in the evening I packed my bags for the wedding function of my classmates that was arranged out of the station. The next day I woke up very early and boarded a bus to the destination. There I met one of my best friends.  We talked so much as we had met after so long and simultaneously got ready, then moved to the main marriage spot. I was delighted to meet my college friends, actually everyone was joyous. There were two reasons for that; first, almost all of our classmates were present there, so it was a get-together; and second, two of our classmates finally ventured a successful love story and tied a knot that day. We chatted and laughed, had a good food and danced.

TMJ is one of the most common disorders especially encountered by women in the age group of 20-40. The main cause for the joint dysfunction is definitely stress or injury or poor posture in some cases.

Until lunch I started getting worried, I was already late to get back to home. Everybody else was still enjoying, nobody cared about anybody else. I was hungry and stressed. Quickly I convinced everyone to have food first. We sat down on a mat on the floor for having ‘dhaam’ our traditional food.

The serving men filled our leaf plates with rice and lavish traditional dishes. As I picked the food to my mouth, the right side of my jaw cracked and was unable to open my mouth. Both of my eyes became wide open as I encountered with a weird and unknown problem.

I was starving and wanted to eat that delicacy, but my body was in a different mood. I tried endlessly; still the whole right side of my face was burning with pain. Everybody else was enjoying their meals and nobody noticed that I was in grief neither I wanted anybody to notice. I tried once again, this time I picked very less amount of food and threw it inside through the narrow mouth opening. However, I was not able to chew it.

Also read about Depression and unknown facts linked to it. 

Stress – A precursor of TMJ

I knew something was wrong, that needed to be fixed immediately but at that instance all I could see and think about the food in front of me and my groaning stomach. Somehow I managed to feed my tummy with some food. I wanted to return back home immediately after finishing the food; but the travelling distance between my home and the place was too much and the thought of travelling added up to my stress level.

As I started bidding goodbye to my friends, they captured me and forced me to stay for the following day too. I gave up on them and thought of enjoying my time. In the evening I got a few moments to Google up my symptoms and know about the thing that I was facing. All my symptoms suggested that I was having TMJ (Temporo-mandibular-joint dysfunction or disorder). I stumbled upon many articles upon it; at the end of one, they advised to consult a doctor or dentist.

I was relieved as I had a saviour; one of my bestie, who was going to get engaged in the weekend, was a dentist. I immediately called her, but she didn’t pick the phone. I knew and understood that she might be busy with her preparations for her engagement which was only two days ahead. I didn’t want to disturb her, so I didn’t call her again and instead dropped a message on her whatsapp about my situation and googled results.

After half an hour, she called up. In concerned tone, she asked all my symptoms once again and confirmed that I was having a TMJ. She asked me whether I was stressed out and I hesitatingly accepted. She advised me to stay relaxed and gave me a few tips on how to handle the problem.

The moment she hung the call, I googled back about TMJ to research about its causes. I wanted to know why I got the disorder that time only, as I had many instances in my life when I was more stressed; and even had seen many people who were more depressed, but never had I heard about this weird disorder.

What Statistics tell about TMJ :

Surprisingly, I came to know that TMJ was one of the most common disorders especially encountered by women in the age group of 20-40. The main cause for the joint dysfunction is definitely stress or injury or poor posture in some cases. My dentist friend advised me to have liquid food until I could properly move my jaw, and a few light exercises with steamed towel fomenting on the infected parts to reduce pain and swelling.

What to -do :

I felt uneasy and painful for more than a week and then finally I went to a mouth and ear specialist, he gave me few antibiotics and pain relievers, he too advised me to foment with steamed towel. It took around a month for me to completely recover back. Still now, I pay attention to stay stress free and calm. I prefer to do pranayam and meditation in the morning hours that had definitely helped me to de-clutter my mind and feel lighter for the whole day.

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