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Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

From Functional Pains to Central Sensitivity Syndromes

The following article in Medscape refers to TMD and some of its overlapping pain conditions as functional pains and proposes to change that description. Medscape is the leading online resource for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide, offeri

Are TMD Patients More Pain Sensitive? Maybe. But It's Complicated

TMD patients come in many different varieties. Some experience pain and dysfunction confined only to the jaw and/or the associated chewing muscles. Other TMD patients have jaw pain plus one or more other painful conditions elsewhere in the body. Scientis

TMJA's 8th Scientific Meeting

TMJA celebrated its 8th biennial scientific meeting this fall provocatively challenging scientists to answer, "How Can Precision Medicine Be Applied to Temporomandibular Disorders and its Comorbidities?" For three days scientists from fields

Introducing our TMD Nutrition Guide

The pain and jaw dysfunction associated with Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) can impact your ability to chew and swallow food. How and what you are able to eat can seriously compromise your nutritional and health status - an aspect of TMD that is often

Lori

  • Nov 2, 2016

Hi, my name is Lori and I am 55 years old. I've suffered from implant failures since the Vitek implant in the '80s. Since that time, I have gone through five complete implant reconstructions and at least 25 minor surgeries to replace screws, remove foreign body giant cell tumors and on and on and on. I finally was able to maintain a life when the Christensen implant was installed although life was still all about dealing with the chronic pain that drummed through my head daily. I was kept on a Fentanyl Patch for around 13 years just to get through each and every day.

On April 23, 2013, I went back into the operating room to have yet another screw replaced and came out with NO implant system at all and was told that the causes of my unrelenting pain were (1) the bone had regrown through the Christensen implant and into my skull and (2) another foreign cell tumor had grown into the masseter muscle, so a custom implant system was placed on June 11. I had 3-D MRI's, CT Scans and X-ray's taken; however, nothing was ever found like a bone growing through the implant into my skull. It absolutely makes me wonder just how much of that implant material has moved throughout my entire body.

I have been through so many pain clinics and emergency rooms because you can only tread water for so long before you start to bob in the water and reach out for a lifeline just to catch your breath for a few seconds of relief. Our emergency rooms are worthless because they think I am 'drug seeking'... rather than just take an x-ray of my face and you will see it's mostly metal.  I also believe they are gun-shy on giving meds because of the Drug Enforcement Administration. I'm not asking for a prescription for 50 Dilaudids; I'm asking to help me with my pain.  It is very real and VERY PAINFUL!!  I've had some doctors tell me that the first rule of medicine is "Do NO harm," to which I respond, "Doing nothing at all is doing more harm!"  I started going to dentists because my teeth needed cleaning. However since I've had so many surgeries, I wasn't able to open wide enough for them to get their instruments in so I was sent to several child dentists because they had smaller instruments. I've never been so embarrassed in my entire life and we won't even talk about being 'shamed' for having the teeth I had.  I've had dentists come right out and tell me that my dental habits were horrible and deplorable. In August of 2015, I finally had what few teeth I had left pulled and dentures fitted for $20,000!

There has to be a way to be able to sit down with dentists/physicians so they see a TMD patient as a real person and so they can be educated to see the problems of this disease. I don't believe any TMD sufferers want to be on meds every day for the rest of their lives. I despise more than anything that I am tied to my meds like a witch to a stake.

This is my photo...I don't smile much because half of my face doesn't work due to nerve damage. I get very SWOLLEN when my pain spikes, hence the rounded look. I am no different than so many others who suffer from this. I am tired of feeling like a monster and looking at myself in the mirror and hear my internal chatter say, "Who the heck is that I'm looking at?" It is what it is and it won't change for me.  My hope and prayer is that the work you are doing will educate physicians as well as educate and empower patients so they DON'T end up with 30+ surgeries and be deemed a drug seeker. I felt more like a science project than a person, and when things came out poorly, I was dropped like a bad habit.