I suffer from a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ). And it’s been a problem for me as long as I can remember.
When I was in my late teens I went to see an oral surgeon. He recommended surgery, but with the support of my mom, I opted out. Mostly because he said I wouldn’t be able to eat solid foods for more than a week and at the time I was deeply involved in a relationship with the Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack-In-The-Box. That’s also the time in my life I believed calorie counts started over at midnight. I’m not even joking. I either heard it or read it or made it up…but I thought that when you went to bed at night you woke up with the calorie counter pointed at zero. It’s a new day people! Let’s eat ALL THE FOOD!
Talk about delusional.
Anyway, over the years I’ve had to deal with a lot of jaw pain, headaches, and championship winning caliber teeth grinding. I wear an appliance at night to keep the grinding and clenching to a minimum. Basically it’s the sexiest condition you can have. Ask anyone who has ever slept in the same bed as me.
I gotta tell you though, this whole TMJ thing is getting old.
So recently I visited another specialist to discuss any possible options. Can’t you people in the medical profession fix this problem already?
I sat down with the handsome doctor/dentist person and talked in great length about the headaches and the jaw popping and my issues with the huge plastic appliance I’m being forced to shove in my face every night.
He listened intently, nodding his head as if he’d heard all these same complaints before, and then offered this feedback.
“I want you to stop opening your mouth so wide. And don’t bite into anything that is too tough, chewy, etc. For instance, no bagels, no club sandwiches…they’re too tall. You get what I’m saying.”
The words I want you to stop opening your mouth so wide stuck with me. And my mind immediately went past food to something else we as women are subjected to doing with our mouths. You know what I’m talking about.
“So what you’re saying is I really really really shouldn’t open my mouth wider than say…a popsicle?”
“Precisely. The more you can keep those joints in your jaw from popping, the better. Take small bites of food.”
“Yeah, yeah, got it. Can I get you to write me a doctor’s note, excusing me from certain activities?”
He cocked his head to the side and made a face. He obviously had no idea what I was referring to. But why would he? He was a man after all. His brain and my brain were not going to end up in the same place where blow jobs were concerned. Also, he reminded me of my cocker spaniel, Morrissey, the way he was looking at me.
“I’m sorry, I’m not following you.”
See? He had no idea.
“You know. Women. Men. That whole thing…”
It must have clicked then because he immediately turned away from me and pretty much didn’t make eye contact with me the rest of the consultation.
Before sending me on my way though, he asked, “So who am I making the note out to?”
I’m making two predictions here:
1. TMJ is about become the largest global epidemic among women since polio.
2. This will be the only time a man will ever say the phrase “It’s not that big.”