Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jaw Pain

There's never a dull moment when you have SLE - Lupus. It's all about putting out brush fires.
My UTI incident has taken leave, thank God, but now I'm experiencing some pain in my jaws. I have TMJ, anyway, and my dentist has a terrible time with me not being able to hold my mouth open long enough for him to do some work in my mouth. We've worked out a code that when I need to close my jaws, I will hold up my hand and he'll stop drilling/poking/scraping/whatever in my mouth long enough for me to close my mouth and let my jaws relax. Just for a minute or so, and then back we go.
Right now, though, this is not regular TMJ pain. It's more like -- oh, I dunno -- arthritis pain, with a bit of tingle thrown in for good measure. It's kind of near my ear, and feels a bit swollen, so I've taken some Sudaphed to release my sinus congestion, and that seems to help for a while.
Then, it's back. It's not bad enough to require heavy-duty pain meds; heck, Aleve is strong enough for me to require a nice little nap after I take one, and the pain is certainly lessened for a good while.
But I want the pain to stop.
To go away. Forever. I don't want to have to treat this new symptom just after finishing with another. Can't a gal get a break? Evidently not.
I'd go whine to my doctor, but I'd rather not. It's not that bad, and I think it will go away on its own in a day or two, after another bout with Aleve.
And it might not be related to Lupus, after all. Other folks get pains in their jaws without blaming it on a medical condition such as lupus. I realize Sjogren's syndrome could be the culprit, but the remedy for that is rather non-specific and not really that serious right now. If it gets worse, of course, I'll do some Google searching on Sjogren's and the salivary glands near the ear, and take it from there. And of course, if it suddenly gets too painful to manage, I'll go to the ER.
They know me well at the ER.
I've labeled myself, if the ER personnel hasn't, a "Frequent Flyer."


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