Kate was in her early 40s when she was diagnosed with TMD. She had a history of head injuries as a child and knew that she also ground her teeth at night. About the same time her TMD was diagnosed a neurologist diagnosed fibromyalgia. Over the past decade she has a variety of treatments including physical therapy, massage and drugs to treat fibromyalgia.
My typical day as a TMD sufferer usually starts with a healthy breakfast. I feel that so much is wrong with my body physically that I can’t control, that I should eat healthy and control what I can. I try to exercise by taking two mile walks or doing pool aerobics. It helps the fibromyalgia. When it’s cold out, I walk the track inside the health club and use their heated pool. I try not to make excuses not to go.
My favorite part of the day is watering my garden with my dogs trailing behind me. It’s so peaceful and comforting. I forget about what is wrong with me and am grateful that I can do what I can. I do housecleaning over several days and my husband also helps with tasks I can’t physically do. I sew and do crafts for an hour at a time or stop when I feel pain. I’ve learned not to hurry projects.
I forget about my troubles also by volunteering for others. I figure someone is always having a worse day than I am. I volunteer locally for the Red Cross by being a liaison for the local Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters and being on the local Red Cross’s Disaster Action Team.
I helped start a non-profit for the local emergency responders. The non-profit responds 24/7 to help responders on the scene by providing rehab and food services. I’ve been inspired by all the time spent on helping others to help myself and go back to school at the age of 53 to be an ultrasound tech. I’m excited by the challenge. I’ve told myself that my physical limitations are not going to stop me.
I refuse to feel sorry for myself and am blessed that I can do what I can. One blessing is my wonderful husband. My other favorite time is when he walks in the door after work. I think the best coping skills are to surround yourself with your favorite people and find something you love to do with the abilities that you DO have.
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