This just in: Maybe no jaw surgery?!? But not surgery-free.

No holding of breath, but we’re trying some STUFF…involving chiropractics (though no CRACKING or POPPING of my jaw, just muscle work), this horrible bite wedge thing, and me massaging the HECK out of every single muscle I can get ahold of in my head.
At the end of October we will re-assess. The 3-D scan looked interesting and when I get the motivation, I’ll put it up here. For now I’m just sighing in relief that I’m not going under the knife anytime soon. One bad thing though…In the exploration of tissue in my head…I have come across some RATHER painful points that I just could NOT figure out. Went to see the great Dr. Li…what is it????

We had a fight.

It went something like this:

Me: It hurts here (pointing to side of jaw)
Dr. Li: That’s probably a screw. (Presses on said point on side of jaw)
Me: Ow.
Dr. Li: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a screw
Me: If you put your finger in my mouth you can feel it right along the gum line back there. Feels like a shard of bone.
Dr. Li: It’s not a bone shard. It’s probably a screw.
Me: Put your finger in my mouth!
Dr. Li (putting on gloves and looking at X-rays): The bone is so thin back there, the screw heads aren’t flush.
Me: Come on, I won’t bite.
Dr. Li (looks at me)
Me: Hard?
Dr. Li (sticks finger in mouth and immediately finds point I was talking about)
Me: Ow.
Dr. Li. It’s a screw. It’s this one (points to X-ray). Shelby, I do not want to do surgery on you again!
Me: Sorry.
Dr. Li: I thought you said it was the jaw JOINT that was hurting.
Me: Yes! It is! But in addition to that, trying to get the muscles to relax, I have uncovered this problem.
Dr. Li (pointing at my x-rays at the chin where the last hardware removal event occurred): Why didn’t you tell me THEN that these were bothering you?!?
Me: I didn’t KNOW they were bothering me! Plus! Why didn’t you just take them out while you were in there?
Dr. Li (purses lips and looks at me with evil glare)
Me: Is it because you were too busy removing my tonsils?
Dr. Li: Well, I am not doing anything until your jaw joint is under control. So just tell me when I have to take the hardware out.
Me: Just this one?
Dr. Li: OOOOH NOOOO. I’m taking it ALL out. We’re not going to do this again!
Me: Ok cool. I’ll let you know.
Dr. Li: Yeah, you let me know.
Me: Oh, hey look what I can do! (wiggle my jaw side to side)
Dr. Li: That’s great! I don’t want to do another jaw surgery on you.
Me: Well, you may not have to…except the hardware.
Dr. Li: (silence and pursed lips). Well, at least you look good. Have you been losing more weight? (He’s allowed to say these things since it is already established that extra weight on me = sleep apnea again)
Me: Yes, it’s amazing what not being able to chew can do for weight loss!
Dr. Li: Go away.

He loves me.

And now you know why he schedules me at the end of the day when no other patients will hear us bickering.

5 Responses to “This just in: Maybe no jaw surgery?!? But not surgery-free.”

  1. Meggan says:

    Shelby – I’ve been seeing a chiro for my tmj and have all kinds of fun exercises too. but none of mine involve screws poking through. no fun

  2. John says:

    Dr Li is awesome! It’s easy to see that he loves you (in his own special way)! :-)
    So, what’s the word with Dr. I?

  3. Shelby says:

    Dr. I rocks. Except for the front office part (on again off again) he is really conscientious and thorough.

  4. Sara Rouse says:

    Hi Shelby,

    We have followed a very similar path (including back to ballet days but that’s another story!) but mostly I meant w/sleep surgery. Wanted to let you know I had ALL the hardware out last week at Stanford and it’s a piece of cake after the MMA & the tonsil special! (I thought tonsils were more painful but MMA was more of a pain, if you know what I mean!)
    I have really appreciated your blog all along, so thanks!

  5. Shelby says:

    Hi! You just had your hardware removed? I’m very interested to hear your recovery length and amount of discomfort. They don’t have to cut nerves, right? So it doesn’t make you any more numb than you were prior?
    Thanks for writing! Look forward to your reply…and future ballet stories. :)

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