So, being a chronic pain sufferer sucks. No two ways about it. No matter what kind of illness/disease/condition you are dealing with, there is a shit ton of other stuff you have to worry about.
For me, my TMJD is triggered mostly by talking, laughing, smiling; all good things in life. So this in turn means I have to be careful about where I go and what I do, as most social encounters leave me in hella pain. If I want to go out somewhere with friends/family, I usually have to spend the day before in bed, resting, so my face muscles are as pain free as possible. I’ll usually have to spend the day after in bed too.
I also have to be careful about my energy levels and where best to spend my spoons.
If I am going out anywhere, I have to be careful about spending too much energy walking around, as I need that energy to focus on not talking or enunciating too much, as this in itself is exhausting. Also, I have to be constantly aware of what I eat – hard or chewy food will trigger a flare up.
My pain meds are pretty strong and they kick my ass, so when I have to take them super regularly for a flare up, I can mostly be found sleeping and drinking Lucozade, cos I have zero appetite and need to have something in my system.
I get pains down my neck, shoulders, upper back, and hips. I believe this is a result of everything being connected, and if I’m in pain in my jaw and face then I will automatically change the way I hold my head up, which affects my neck and shoulders….. you get the idea. Voltarol is a massive help for this. As are warm baths.