(Above is a pic of these little blooms growing on a street post. I saw them on one of my walks. They have nothing to do with TMJ, but then TMJ is not very photogenic.)
Hello my friends. I haven’t written anything of late because my TMJ has become quite severe. I honestly never thought TMJ could get this painful and boy was I wrong!
The stiffness has spread to my head behind my ear, to my neck, and down to my shoulder. I have an extremely tight muscle in my shoulder, and my GP gave me some exercises so I can avoid frozen shoulder. I am on a new muscle relaxer, and in about two weeks I’ll hopefully get a botox treatment that is meant for migraines and TMJ, and is supposed to be very successful. If that doesn’t work (arg….), then I’ll be referred to a “facial pain clinic.” I feel so naive—I’d never heard of such a thing, but yes, they do exist. Hopefully it won’t go this far, and the combination of medication, botox, massage, acupuncture, and craniosacral therapy will work.
I am still on a “soft diet”—i.e. smoothies, vegan yogurt and creamy soups. Every time I try to chew something, even something literally soft—like freaking (vegan) refried beans—I have to stop after about three bites.
On the bright side, I’ve lost a few pounds. So I may be in pain and feel absolutely shitty, but I look fabulous! (One very eerie thing about this whole episode is that it’s strangely reminiscent of when I was going through radiation 2 years ago and had the same thing happen: I was starving, but looked great.) Of course, radiation on my face—and my jaw—is what lead me to this predicament in the first place: the radiation made my jaw bones very sensitive, so those four dental sessions I had back-to-back appointments for my veneers in December and January really screwed me up. Pro-tip: do not do this, leave some time in between.
So, no food for me. And that’s really depressing when you are a cook and write a blog about local vegan food. I mean…fuck. Added to the stress and pain of the TMJ is the sadness I’ve had over the closing of the iconic Samuel French Theater and Film Bookshop in Los Angeles. Why is this particular incident making me so despondent? I mean, I’m not an actor, nor do I work in film. The answer is, I worked there, for a combined nine years (1990 - 1997, then again in 2004 -2006). I made many friends there; several I still talk to. I gained a free education in film, screenwriting, as well as a who’s who in the world of playwrights. My god I even met my first husband there. It’s like part of my past, my story is being shuttered.
I was hoping to (despite this fucking pain) make a trip to LA to see some old friends and visit the shop one last time. But news came in Wednesday that, for various reasons, the shop closed permanently as of this Tuesday. So there will be no last visit, and for some reason, that really hurts.
So friends, please excuse my rather sporadic postings in the next few weeks. There is a local vegan ice cream shop I need to visit—because at least I can still eat fucking ice cream. And I do have a recipe for cream of broccoli soup I’m working on, along with a line of vegan bags I want to cover; so I don’t have to look too far for material honestly. There is just so much I want to write about and share, and it’s disheartening that the one thing I love doing after cancer I can not do—but it’s only temporary, and I have to keep remembering that. And I try to be grateful for all the things that I do have in life. Like you, dear readers. Thank you.❤️🐰