Can you believe it is 6 months since I had my TMJ surgery? I certainly can’t – it has simply zoomed past me. Time for a quick update!
Pain wise – it’s great! Before surgery, holding a conversation was impossible, eating was a challenge, to say the least, and I was in constant pain. Now, I still have the odd twinge or reduced opening occasionally – mainly when I’m a little lax on my physio – but on the whole, the improvement in pain has been just amazing! Eating, speaking and even – to the horror of onlookers – singing!
The main question – can I open my mouth? Yes, yes I can. I’m not chewing on a sirloin steak or munching on a whole apple just yet, but I can eat mostly all my favourite foods, provided I am a good little patient and do my physio.
One thing that is completely gone is the constant clicking. I have had clicking jaw joints since I can remember, and now silence. On the left at least. The right-hand side is still clicking away, but the left is completely silent. It’s almost odd, I find myself randomly opening my mouth to “check” if it is actually gone.
Downsides? Well, I had a cracker of an ear infection post-op. Two rounds of antibiotics and drops helped the infection and the initial pain is gone. to this day I still have reduced hearing on that side bordering on deafness as well as a healthy dose of tinnitus – or “can you hear that noise?” I’m being referred to ENT to see whats going on, but in all honesty, I’ll take it over not being able to speak or eat.
Lastly, the right-hand side is starting to be a nuisance, much like the left was around 2 years ago. Locking closed randomly and aching when I eat and the ever-present clicking. At my 6 months post op check up in December hopefully my surgeon and I can discuss preventative measures. I don’t want to find myself in the situation I was in earlier this year.