Over the past few days, I have concentrated on meditating and working on exercises that improve balance. A new thing that I am focusing on is chewing on both sides. I have a habit of chewing on my right side since I was young which got even worse after having braces because my orthodontist made me wear an elastic band only on my left side for over a year which made it very difficult for me to chew on that side. Looking back, the most logical explanation of my unendurable TMD is probably due to the fact that my orthodontist did not properly consider the position of my TMJ and his only goal was to make my teeth align. After 3 years of agony, I was finally free from the train track but my face eventually became more and more asymmetrical to the point where I became very self-conscious. Then, when I started work, I did not even have the mental strength to reflect on my looks because of the constant pain and depression that I had to cope with. It makes me quite emotional and perhaps angry when I think about my wasted youth, something that was completely out of my control but what can I do? At least I know what it is now and being caught up by what has already happened will not make anything better.
Anyway, I was aware of my habit of chewing on one side but I did not think much of it until now. However, I was told that chewing on one side does affect the balance of TMJ so I am making a conscious effort to chew on both sides – I can certainly feel my jaw muscles on the left side are much weaker. Something else I am trying to improve on is having equal muscle strength left and right side of my arms and hands. I am right handed and I do everything on my right hand. When I clench the fists I can really feel the difference between strength I have on my left and right side – so I have decided to do a few simple exercises and activities that improve the use of left hand, such as wrist exercises and practicing writing with my left hand. Hopefully I can become ambidextrous; this pushes me to work even harder!
Yesterday was quite strange. My body must have gone through a bit of change and my mood was uncontrollable for a good 2 hours. For example, I really craved some pastry with chocolate inside so I went to the bakery but by the time I reached the shop pastry became the last thing I wanted. So then, I walked round for a bit and came across a restaurant serving noodles which I suddenly fancied having. By the time the food came out I didn’t feel like eating at all; I ended up not even touching the noodles (I loved the food from this restaurant before so it certainly was not the food). I was so confused and could not explain why I was so temperamental. It carried on when I came back to the flat and every 5 minutes I would switch from watching TV to listening to music to going on my laptop and so on. After a while, I got so annoyed that I just went to bed. I’m so thankful it had stopped after I took a nap otherwise I would have literally gone crazy.
Then today, I made some very good progress which has made me feel very proud of myself (doesn’t happen often). I finally managed to have a CBA fitted without looking at the mirror. Dr Lee would instruct me to shift my jaw to the right but for some reason my jaw always moved to the left. Like I mentioned before, my body was doing exactly the opposite of what my brain was instructing to do. When I realize that my jaw is tilting to the left when it should be moving to the right I start feeling nervous and completely lose control over my muscles causing my jaw to tremble. So until today, I had to hold a mirror in front of me and keep a watch on my unstable jaw whilst having a CBA fitted. I hope today’s progress is a sign of significant improvement and hopefully I can pull this off again tomorrow.