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About Me

When I was born I had a sub-mucus cleft palate.  Without getting into the story of my speech problems, this genetic problem also left me with incorrect jaw alignment.  As a child I went through braces, but after all the doctor could do my braces came off, along with being told jaw surgery might be needed in the future.  I thought at the time that meant my teeth might not always stay straight, and I felt little concern.

Needless to say, this was only the beginning of the story that began a journey that has affected most parts of my life: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationships, etc.  Both for the good and the bad.

Starting in high school I began noticing my teeth were shifting and not lining up like they had in the past.  Along with those changes I began finding myself having frequent headaches.

Upon moving to college, the typical stress found when moving away from home also brought on my pre-disposed jaw problems.  With the stress, my body's weak jaw quickly adapted and "took on" the stress I felt.  I found myself with unbearable jaw pain that quickly turned into chronic headaches, neck and facial pain. 

The stress of life as a new college study did not go away and was added upon with chronic pain, and many doctor's appointments to figure out why so much pain.  I at the time did not know if this was all stemming from the jaw.

Due to years of being in a state of chronic pain simple and important things were lost: types of exercise I enjoy, hobbies, social things, changing majors in school, peace, to name a few. I found myself being angry and alone. I didn't know how to find happiness when all I felt was constant pain and being limited from the things I loved.  I became good at putting on a happy face, but inside I did not find the solace I wanted.

Over the years I've gone to countless doctors; tried different therapies and holistic approaches. I had jaw surgery which restored bone structure, but the muscles have yet to relax and restore to a non-pain state, completely.  I still have chronic pain (head, jaw, face, shoulders) and it affects many facets of my life: can't eat anything harder than a cooked egg without bringing on more pain; physical activity (reading, exercise, any pose too long, etc.); my patients (so wish we were super human!); sleeping; carrying anything heavy (my kids!); oh, the list could be endless! But over the years, despite the pain, I have learned to choose happiness.  I have learned to accept my limits.  I have gained knowledge from therapist, doctors, my own trial and error approaches.  I have looked inward and instead of blaming and being unhappy with others and myself, I have gained understanding, empathy, and love- for myself and those around me. Although, I have to constantly work on this, hence the reason for my blog.  And I am not superwoman, although, I think my kids think I am! And, at times I still need my husband to hold me, my mom to talk to, and a paper to write on because not every day can I keep my status-quo.

Even though I still live with pain, my abilities have grown and I find that even though its pain that gives me the trouble, its also what shows me my weaknesses and I am able to grow and am shown how to work toward feeling alive. 

Despite my trial, one that will be a life long journey, I understand its need and accept this is the journey I need to discover the changes I need to become who I desire.  My pain is my gift.  And I will overcome.


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