I opted out of surgery when I was 15 because I was horrified at the prospect of it all, particularly when they told me half of my face could possibly go numb. My jaw is slightly too far back and off to the left (pushing on the joint, you can feel the bone protruding and push it in and out of where it should be). I obviously regret my decision. A few years after being told that, I started getting the pain. Then came waking up with my jaw locked. Most days, I could push on the joint and unlock it myself, at least for a moment to get food into my mouth. Other days, it didn't unlock the entire day. The locking hasn't been a huge issue in the past 6 months or so, but the pain has been worse.
Initially, the pain was on the left side of my face. A few months ago, I believe I had a trapped nerve on the right side of my face. Since then, the pain has shifted to the right, and now I wake up and deal with it until I lay down to go to sleep. I have no health insurance and am living, currently, in Canada as an American citizen, working towards my permanent residency.
I've been to several specialists, one of which said surgery was my only option since nothing else has worked. That scared me, not because I'm afraid (I've gotten over that), but because of the price. I don't have that type of money and I am horrified that this condition could keep me from staying in this country because I do aim to have it done eventually. Fingers crossed it just simply doesn't come up in my exam.
The pain is intense. The best way to describe it is a sharp pain in the actual jaw/joint, and all the way up to my forehead feels like my muscles cannot relax. Like they've been held tense for days and recently released.
A few days ago, I noticed my face starting to tingle slightly.
I knew things would get worse as I got older based on what every doctor has told me, but this is honestly getting to be too much. There are days I don't even want to wake up, because it just hurts so incredibly bad. I can't do the things I want to do, I often limit myself to the point of seclusion. I'm scared I'm doing myself physical damage because the only thing I have to help with the pain is crappy Tylenol or Aspirin, both with caffeine and codeine.
I am working on scraping the money together to go see a real doctor but I'm worried they are going to bleed me dry on money. A walk-in clinic will not help me at all, and I've been turned away from them more than once.
If anyone can offer me any advice, or even just some words of encouragement from people who have or are going through this, it'd help a lot. I've just turned 22 and the past 4 years have been absolute HELL. I don't want to keep living like this.