I have Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) or what most people call TMJ. I grind and clench my teeth at night, which my dentist says is very common in my profession. I work in Washington, D.C. and am a licensed attorney. My dentist said approximately 80% of the attorneys he sees in this area are diagnosed with TMJ. What’s the main culprit of this? Stress!
So when I’m busy at night grinding my teeth, I wake up the next morning with my jaws hurting like heck! I’m supposed to wear this at night to help prevent me from grinding:
If I wear it, it helps tremendously with the pain. But the key word is “if”. And considering I spent a fortune on it, and that’s after insurance coverage, you would think I would wear it every night. I can’t even tell you why I don’t wear it. It sits right next to my toothbrush and stares at me every night when I brush my teeth before bed.
Well today I’m kicking myself in the butt for not wearing it. I woke up with the worst jaw pain. It feels like a nonstop ear ache! I knew I had some stress but didn’t think I had this much. Funny how your body sure let’s you know when you’ve had enough. And my mandibles are telling me I’ve had enough! I will be certain to wear my guard tonight!
I knew I was sort of stressed because I’ve been having a lot of weird dreams lately. The kind that when you wake up you’re like: “what was that all about?” I don’t remember all of them but here are the two that I remember…
Yesterday I woke up angry. I had a dream about a “friend” that I had in middle school. I put friend in quotes because she was what today we would call a frenemy. I haven’t thought about this girl in ages so I don’t know what made me dream about her. This girl copied every single thing I did, down to buying every outfit I had. She even went to the point of having her mom befriend my mom so she could go shopping with her and know exactly where to buy the outfits from. It was so creepy and weird. (Sounds like the making of the movie “Single White Female”). She lived up the block from me and when she came outside and saw what I was wearing, she would go back into her house and change into the exact same outfit I had on — down to the socks! She would also get mad if I decided I didn’t want to hang out with her that day and hung out with my other friends. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but this was just weird and would piss me off and when I had enough of it I ended my relationship with her. If we had the internet back then and memes were popular, I would’ve sent her this before ending our “friendship”:
So back to my dream… I dreamt that we were friends again and I told her about my desire to get pregnant and my plans for IUI. She then rushed to the fertility clinic and got inseminated and pregnant on the first try. And to top it off, she wound up giving birth and I was still trying to get pregnant. Needless to say I was mad at letting her back into my life.
So that dream made me start looking at IUI success rates yesterday. The numbers aren’t great (I’ll do a post on that later). And with the statistics on my mind, last night I had a dream that I had multiple rounds of IUI and each one ended with a BFN (that’s a Big Fat Negative on a pregnancy test for those of you reading that’s not consumed with fertility talk). At the end of my dream I dreamt that I left the fertility clinic and wound up on a mountain. I was trying to climb to the top, but it just seemed never-ending. Each time I got near the top and saw the end in sight, the part of the mountain I was on would scroll down and there would be more mountain I would have to climb. The mountain just went on and on and I had to continue to climb. I woke up frustrated, exhausted, and with my jaws in pain!
These two dreams just tell me that I’m thinking about this journey too much. The mountain certainly signifies my feelings that I’m doing this uphill climb with so many obstacles and it just seems insurmountable at times. I need to relax and go with the flow, knowing that things will happen when it’s time. Logically I know this, but emotionally is another story. I have to tell myself to just pace myself and keep on climbing, knowing that eventually I will reach the top!