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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Jaws Wide Shut

My jaw has been in a "locked" position for the last couple of days. I can only open my mouth about 3/4 of a inch, which means eating large morcels of food has become a painful and frustrating experience. My strategy for eating anything thicker than my thumb is to open my mouth to maximum aperture while stuffing the food into it with a good deal of force. This is making me a rather unpopular dining companion, I would imagine...sorry Jonny.

Yesterday I decided to get a diagnosis from the local doctor. I live in an area with something like 4 hospitals -- possibly the most concentrated hospital area in Canada -- but I can only go to this one walk-in clinic for U of T students. I went in at 11 in the morning and saw around 30 students sitting in the waiting area. Two hours later, they called my "check me in." Two more hours later -- at around 3:00 -- I finally saw my doctor. Her diagnosis: I have a problem with my jaw. You think? Look doc, I didn't wait for 4 hours to hear you state the obvious...I need medication, preferably a panacea of some sort. Thankfully, the doctor understood the Chinese philosophy that not getting medicine after seeing a doctor is tentamount to having been ripped off, and prescribed some anti-inflammatory meds to help with the jaw situation.

It seems my jaw problems stem from a teeth grinding habit I have while I sleep. I attribute this to pent up anger that I store up during the day because society and its laws don't allow me to vent in public. There is only one solution for this: random, sporadic acts of anger directed at people I come in contact with during the day...or I could get a mouthguard to prevent my teeth from grinding (my doctor seems to favor the second approach...rats).

So far, the meds haven't really been helping but the pharmacist told me they wouldn't kick in for a couple days. But in the mean time, I'm supposed to watch for symptoms of "rare but serious" side effects such as intestinal bleeding. So for now, I'll have to play the waiting game...and the "Check Your Stools for Blood" game, both of which I don't enjoy.

The timing of this locked jaw isn't great since I was really looking forward to the Thanksgiving dinner this long weekend at the Chestnut. Oh well. I'll look at it as a blessing in disguise since my locked jaw will likely prevent me from gorging.

Your Favorite Jerk


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