We recently received the following comment from Victoria in response to Erin’s blog “Growing up with a TMJD Mom.” We wanted to highlight Victoria’s response as it reflects an international perspective of TMJ Disorders.
Hi, I am emailing from United Kingdom. May I first sympathize and congratulate your Mum and family in coping with TMJ and related problems for so many years.
My own TMJ problems started a few years ago after an appliance was fitted to correct a small problem in opening my mouth. Since then I have seen maxillofacial specialists, oral surgery specialists, neurological specialists, body movement specialists, rheumatology specialists, MRI's lumbar punctures, complex blood and urine tests etc. I have also been hospitalized twice for 4-5 weeks for extensive investigation. I was later informed that the appliance should never have been fitted in the first place and strongly advised to have it removed immediately; this was after I had been wearing the appliance for 1 year. As well as my TMJ problems, I have muscle and joint problems, generalized all over body pain and balance and co-ordination problems.
I was interested in your description of your Mum having problems not only with TMJ but also with lifting and carrying weights, running and having to lie down as these are similar to some of my problems. Does she have any other muscular problems e.g. dressing, washing, writing, even just sitting in a chair for any length of time....
I am hoping you can perhaps give me some more idea of your Mum's experience of this, indeed I would be delighted for anyone in similar circumstances to respond to this email.
Like so many TMJ sufferers I am blessed with the unconditional understanding and strong support from a loving family and friends. No one should be left to deal with this condition on their own! Financially I am also fortunate that a lot of my care is conducted through the National Health Service, however we have at times had to see and pay costly fees for private specialist care and consultations.
As my health problems manifested within days/weeks of having the appliance fitted by my dentist I have been so disabled that I have not been able to return to work since the procedure started May I also say that I am really impressed by the efforts of your TMJ association and the inroads they are making in their acknowledgement, research and active awareness promotion of this devastating condition.
They certainly appear to be very successful with their pro-active approach and I hope the United Kingdom follows their lead. There seems to be great ignorance in the United Kingdom with regards to the problem of TMJD within the Medical profession. I speak from very sad and frustrated personal experience with some very eminent and noted medical specialists and consultants.
Special wishes for a better life and pain free future for your Mum and family and all other TMJ sufferers.
Victoria (not my real name) from the United Kingdom