What to do if you have food stuck in your teeth at a restaurant.

I was out last night . . .  Ooooooo, I know surprising, with my daughter and after some chips and a drink she told me I had something stuck in my teeth.  I grabbed her for companionship and went to the bathroom.  There was nothing around sturdy enough to floss with so I yanked a thread out of the bottom hem of my shirt and used that.

She was aghast and full of pride at the same time.  I don’t quite get it.  I do what I have to do.

More about TMJ and that funny fuzzy head feeling

This is a new phase in my life.  My splint is like a really sturdy retainer on the bottom that makes me lisp.  They said it would take some time to speak normally, but it’s been 2 months and I have a lisp still.  Sometimes I walk with a limp as well because of that old hip injury.  Yup, that’s me limping and lisping along.  And I thought the 40’s would be SEXY and I would have it all together.

But I do get a free massage twice a week while they’re trying to get all the muscles in my head and neck to relax.  She said this work was like peeling an onion.  While I am happy to peel that onion I think that once it’s peeled and I’m sent home I’ll just twist right up again.

I haven’t had the funny head feeling in 7 weeks.  I can think!  Someone can be looking for the still packed box of light bulbs and I can say that it’s in the right side of the garage in a brown Huggies babywipes box.  I’m back!

What I thought was perimenopause or my thyroid or some weird monster inside me was TMJ Disorder

If you look back at my post from March I was having all kinds of weird symptoms:

  • vertigo
  • feeling like the floor was squishy
  • sinus pain
  • ear buzzing/plugged for a year and a half
  • constantly feeling like an ear infection
  • teeth aching
  • neck pain
  • headaches
  • buzzing in head
  • feeling like passing out on my face
  • panic caused by above symptoms

I went to six doctors including an ENT and emergency room visits.  The ENT told me to chew gum to make my tubes open.  The ER docs looked at me like I was crazy and did an MRI which was negative and drugged me up so much that of course I FELT BETTER.

It wasn’t until my jaw ached that I thought maybe it was my JAW.  I didn’t have popping or cracking or pain for a year and a half.  So I made an appointment with the TMJ expert in Vermont who took xrays of my jaw joints.  Both sides pop completely out of the pocket every single time I open my mouth.  The little hill on that side of the pocket is really shallow for me and so the sliding was smooth, without popping or pain.

Then he showed me how the muscles in the jaw are attached all along the sides of the head up to the top of the skull.  And how there’s a small muscle in the ear that keeps the ear drum from popping at very loud noises.  And this little lever is also attached to the jaw so that it might be vibrating against the ear drum all the time.  I got a jaw splint from him.  The most helpful thing thought has been the physical therapy.  They’ve worked on all the muscles that got knotted up from my jaw popping out, down through my shoulders and into my back.  There are also knots above my left ear.  Imagine that?

TMJ disorder mostly affects women between 30 and 40.  I imagine we clench our jaws quite often.  I clench mine when it’s open!  And if I feel the spot on my sides when my jaw should move without coming out, I can feel it slide past where it should.

I wonder how many people have this problem.  Oh, and insurance covered the visit and the splint and xrays.

My Oldest Child found a cure for LICE and joined the BLUE MAN GROUP.


Did I shake my head, roll my eyes, give a tragic laugh?  I won’t say what I did because I’m still in the running for Mother of the Year.  The poor little 19 year old day care worker is accident prone and was voted most likely to be struck by lightening.  Lice was not so shocking given that some of the day care kids had been sent home with it two weeks before.  Another day in the life of Haley.

I had just gotten out of an hour long massage and was enjoying how my shoulders were not hunched up around my ears and how my jaw hung low instead of clenching.  Now was not the time to talk about lice.

I called her when I got home as I was walking next door to get the babies.  Go buy some lice treatment Girl.

I have no money MOM.

The last thing I’m going to do is give her more money.  I’ve given her money for a car after parts of hers rusted off.  I’ve given her clothesline, socks from my underwear drawers, my shoes, maternity stretchy pants, car repairs, more car repairs, a laptop.  Right now I’m poorer than she is.  I should ask her for gas money.

I had to feed two hungry babies so I told her to figure it out.  Just two days ago she told me I wasn’t her family and that she was never speaking to me again.

Next thing I know she’s on the lawn.


I always have tea tree oil and I’m pretty sure it can cure anything so I did a quick google search and poured some into a baby food jar and gave it to her along with instructions.  Seemed pretty easy.

Next thing I know she’s at the door again with what looks like a shirt wrapped around her head and blue dripping behind her ears and down her neck.  She doesn’t smell like tea tree oil.

Can I come in and use a hair dryer?  My boss called and I have to go to work.


Yes, I did. Can I dry my hair?

YOU CAN’T COME IN MY HOUSE.  I handed the hair dryer out without opening the door farther than I had to.

She went to look for an outlet outside and came back.

I didn’t realize I’d have to dry my hair in a BUSH, MOM.

I sent her around to the basement.  Lice can’t survive alone in a basement, can they?

A couple of minutes later I looked out the window to see her headed to her car.  ALL of her hair was blue.  Her skin was dyed blue down her neck and below her collar.

That’s my child.  She takes a small disaster, asks for help, ignores the instructions, and makes a bigger BLUER disaster out of it.  In a few days she’ll realize she should have just done what I told her to do in the first place.  And I will still be shaking my head in wonder, with my shoulders hunched up to my ears and my jaw clenched.

Spiders in the Woods

I took Jude for a walk in the woods today.  Our woods.  It’s hard to think like that sometimes.  But now the woods are ours.  I showed him how to use a long stick to wave in front of you while you walk to knock all the spiders down that had swung across the road and make a home between the trees and right in front of your face.  GAH.  When I think about being a kid and all the times I would run around without looking and with my mouth open, I wonder how many spiders I’ve swallowed or had in my hair.  I miss the days when I was free of spider anxiety.  The days when I would look under logs to see what was there.  The days of wandering through tall hay or weeds.

It all ended about 10 years ago when I chased a firefly into the hay field in the dark and ran into a big something fuzzy and the size of a basketball at waist level and ran back out of the field.  And never went in again.


Day 8 of The Very Low Carb Diet for GERD, hydrochloria

The Omeprazole wasn’t working so I stopped taking it today.  I bought some HCL and food enzymes.  I took one pill last night at the end of dinner and things weren’t any worse.  This morning I took one at the end of breakfast and I haven’t had any symptoms of acid reflux yet.  For the first time in a year or more I feel okay.  I don’t know if this is going to work yet.  I have hope.

I read that too little stomach acid can cause GERD, so the medication the doctor gave me would make that worse, as it gets rid of any stomach acid.  Low stomach acid can cause the esophagus sphincter to get lazy as acid is what cues it to close.  And when it is weak due to pregnancies and laziness acid and food can come up into the throat.  This low carb diet and taking HCL should kill some of the H pylori if that’s also a problem and will raise the acid level enough that after a while things should start to work okay again.

How does a person end up with little stomach acid?  Food doesn’t digest well, and I already know that I don’t digest easily so maybe this is just a continuation of the IBS.

Anyway, the doctor was trying to kill me and I am hopeful that heading in a different direction will work.  There is no reason for me to have acid reflux.  I don’t eat anything on the list of things not to eat.  I am not overweight.  I don’t smoke.  Why would a doctor give me a pill without checking to see what the underlying problem is?

The risks of being an older mother after pregnancy

I googled the title and got nothing. I wonder if they’ve even studied it.

Bad bad things happen after giving birth when you can’t recover like a 20 year old.

I don’t know if the TMJ was caused by it, but it did get worse probably due to lack and sleep and stress.  So no eating hard foods or chewy foods.

Then I came down with GERD, acid reflux burning all the way up into my sinuses.  I don’t know when it started because between pregnancies I was ill and then got pregnant again and was ill, but I finally gave up and went to a doctor who gave me omeprazole and told me I would be on it the rest of my life.  Yeah, no.  She said the muscles that keep food down had weakened due to the pressure caused by my uterus growing bigger and pushing up.

Also, after 8 months my cholesterol is high which is the oddest thing as I don’t eat anything on the don’t eat list and I am just assuming pregnancy has something to do with it as a pregnant person has more cholesterol and mine perhaps just hasn’t gone back down.

What really irritates me is that a couple of months after I had Julian I went to many different doctors at Billings Clinic, the ER at West Park Hospital and Urgent care because my ear was always plugged and hurt, then vertigo and the floor feeling spongy, and then head rushes and nausea.  They all looked at me like I was crazy, literally crazy.  Constant ear infection like symptoms without infection can be a sign of TMJ.  GAH

So I will get a splint for my jaw in another week.  Which is wonderful.  Both sides of my jaw come completely out of the socket and around a corner every single time I open my mouth.

And I’ve done some reading on GERD, as all the homeopathic solutions like apple cider vinegar don’t work for me.  I cut down my dosage of the awful omeprazole from 40 to 20 because my stomach was burning and at the same time I started a very low carb diet.  The first day my stomach was a little upset and I felt like I had to keep eating to make it feel better.  The second day wasn’t as bad and I could ignore it at times.  Today is the third day and I felt pretty good most of the day.  I now realize that every time I ate carbs I would get the cool burning in my throat.  In a couple of days I’ll stop taking the poison at all, but I’m worried about withdrawal because I’ve been on it for 3 1/2 weeks.  It did give my throat some time to heal, but I really need stomach acid.  Everyone needs stomach acid.

I was really healthy until I got pregnant at 40 and had two babies.  Now I’m falling apart.