Person with ME


You know, my health downturn actually started with TMJ.  It gets attributed to teeth grinding and stress, but in my case it was a sports accident - it happened when I was skiing.  We had gone up to Vermont as usual, but we weren't at our usual spots (Stowe and Killington), and this place was not run very well.  Bob and I went all the way to the top of the mountain first run, and it was shrouded in fog - when we got there it was a sheet of ice!

They shouldn't have been running the top lift (and they did shut it down about an hour later) - so the two of us basically fell and slid our way halfway down the mountain - in the process I really banged my head badly against the ice.

Then on the same ski trip, they refused to slow the lift down while I put my six-year-old daughter on (she was a really good skier, but a LITTLE short to get on the ski lift on her own) - Killington and Stowe always slowed the lift down for us but these idiots refused - so I rushed to get Carol on the lift, and I got banged in the same side of the jaw with the ski lift!
After that, I thought I had an earache, and then it got worse and worse until I was having muscle spasms and dropping books.  My GP totally misdiagnosed it - my ex-brother-in-law, an ENT doc in North Carolina, got it right.  It was really a sports accident - the cartilage had squirted out of my jaw, and I was hitting bone on bone, VERY painful.  Ron told me to cuisinart EVERYTHING, and I went to a dental surgeon in Philly who decided not to do surgery because he said I would end up with arthritis (he was right) - instead he had me wear a bite block 24/7, except I took it out when I lectured (because it made me lisp) - and it really worked.  I never had an operation, and I am in the habit of keeping my mouth slightly open or even sticking a pencil or my tongue in between my teeth to make sure it doesn't clamp down all the way.

But I thought about this when Byron (Hyde) said the best way to get M.E. is to get your head banged and then go into the hospital.  Which is precisely what happened.  The accident was in February - then in July I tripped in a McDonald's parking lot and fell while holding a giveaway glass bottle of salad dressing - I severed two arteries and a tendon, and had to have reconstructive surgery on my hand.

The next year I had to go into the hospital again because I had a gallstone the size of a golf ball, and I had an endoscopy with equipment that the hospital had to confess later wasn't getting cleaned right.  Bingo - HHV-6A.
That was September 1989.  Then spring 1990 I got what we thought was giardia (another ski trip), then fall 1990 I got EBV (third out of four times documented) - and I had to drive an hour up to Villanova and back on the days I taught, which was hell - and then I had four years of chronic bronchitis, followed by the total collapse on October 24, 1994.
Just one disaster on top of another!  But it all started with the stupid TMJ.


Another link for TMJ see -