Chronic Illness = Constant Choices

I’m having a nasty TMJ flare. The sort of flare were I can’t open my mouth completely because of the swelling around my mandibular joint.

I know a cortisone shot will solve the pain, stiffness, swelling, severe headaches, and tinnitus. However, a cortisone shot will also make it look as though someone has punched me in the jaw. Plus, the rheumatology appointment and shot will cost nearly $100 after insurance which is money that I don’t have this month.  So… a cortisone shot is not in my future unless my mandibular joint swells so severely I can no longer open my mouth (which has happened before).

Right now, my TMJ game plan is to keep taking meds (now that I finally have meds) and eat soft foods or foods that do not require chewing to rest my jaw. Hopefully, this strategy will work, the swelling will decrease, and I’ll be able to eat and speak normally again without getting a cortisone shot. Fingers crossed.

One more week until I can buy guaifenesin to start guaifenesin protocol for fibromyalgia. Since guaifenesin is over the counter, I’m hoping it helps significantly since the pharmacy has a penchant for screwing up my meds regularly. That’s how I got into this TMJ predicament in the first place.

This is what it’s like to have a chronic illness without being independently wealthy. I must constantly choose between getting a treatment I need, but could probably survive without, and having enough money to support myself and 3 other people. I don’t know how people without health insurance do it.