Saturday, May 25, 2013

Answer to my Prayers

I decided that I wasn't going to see the oral surgeon anymore because it just wasn't working out with my schedule. There were a few other people that I was referred to, so I decided to call them all to see what they could do for me.

I called all of the oral surgeons offices and they all told me that they couldn't work with me and that I would only come in their if I needed surgery. They referred me to a couple of TMJ specialist in Utah. I did some research of both of the specialists online and decided to give them a call.

I called them just to ask a couple of questions before I set up an appointment. I wanted to make sure that they were the right person to see because I was sick of "trying" ever doctor. Both of the offices told me that it was going to be $130 for a consultation. What?!? I was also told that it would be more money if they did x-rays. If they did all of that plus the treatment that they wanted to do the first day, then it would've costed $1,100. They estimated that it would take 6 months to a year. If it took a year, then I could being paying up to $8,000. That's a mission, a car, or school. Why would I pay $8,000 for my jaw?

At this point I was just beyond confused. I didn't know who to see. I didn't want it to take me a year before I could even put my papers in. There was a lot of prayer involved. I talked with my parents and none of us even knew what to do.

I talked to my friend who works for a chiropractor. She had referred me to him when I first started having problems, and I decided I might give him a try. She told me that with all of the treatments it would be about $800. That's way more affordable than $8,000. It was way more convenient as well because the office is right by where I live.

I had a couple of appointments with him. They helped a little. I wasn't expecting change right away. I knew that it was a process, but I just wanted it to work. It's the most frustrating thing not knowing if something it going to work. It's annoying not knowing if my jaw is ever going to find relief.

I got a text from my bishop one day. It said "Hey, I have some good news for you. Come by my office tonight if you have time." I love exciting news, so I went to his office that night.

He told me that he went to his dentist appointment that day and asked his dentist if he knew anybody that treated TMJ that could sit down with me and talk about my options without me having to pay $130 for just a consultation. His doctor said that he treated TMJ and that he could talk to me about it. My bishop asked him to estimate how much it would cost to treat it, and the dentist said that he would do it for free.

When my bishop told me that I just wanted to cry. It was definitely an answer to my prayers. I had been so worried about money. This news was such a relief. I am also glad that he is a dentist because he will be able to finish my dental. It gives me so much comfort to know that he will know what's going on with my jaw when he's finishing my dental so that we won't cause anymore problems.

I'm so thankful for answers to my prayers. I know that He listens and that He answers my prayers. He knows what's best for me. Sometimes it's easy to get frustrated and to lose sight of the bigger picture, but I know that the Lord loves me and knows what's best for me. I know that if I have faith that everything is going to work out. I know that this isn't the end of my trials, and that I'm still going to need to have faith and patience. I've become so much stronger through all of these trials, and I'm thankful for them.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Faith and Patience

I went with what the oral surgeon told me, and I tried the no chew diet. I was about a week into it and I wasn't getting any relief at all. That one week was terrible enough. I was starving. I was supposed to be on it for four weeks, but I just knew that something else needed to be done. It wasn't the muscles that were tensing up, it's the disc that's out of place. I called the office to see if we could just get another appointment to talk and see what our other options were and to see if I needed to get an MRI. They agreed so I scheduled the appointment

I got the days requested off from work everything was good to go. Usually I can't get mutual days off work from both jobs, so this was great. I was anticipating the day of my appointment for a week or so because I just finally wanted to get a confirmation of what we were going to do to fix it.

I was on my way to Spanish Fork when I decided to stop at the Provo Town Centre because I wanted to look at a couple of things. I was pretty early, so I figured it would just do that before my appointment. When I parked in the parking lot I checked my phone. I had a missed call from about ten minutes before I got there. The number was an 801 number, so I called them back. It was the oral surgeons office.

They told me that they were going to have to cancel my appointment because the doctor threw out his back the day before and wouldn't be in. I was upset. Why didn't they call me that morning? They knew I lived in Logan and that I worked two jobs. Not only did I lose money by taking days off of work, I wasted a lot of gas money driving down to Provo for nothing.

I wasn't only mad that I wasted money, I was mad that I was going to have to wait to figure out my TMJ issue. We were trying to figure out my schedule and their schedule to see when they could get me in. Nothing was working out. Either I was working or they were closed. The earliest convenient time they could get me in was at least a month away. My mouth can't wait that long!

I called my mom and just started bawling and yelling because I just didn't know what to do. I love my mom so much. She is so patient and she always listens. Her advice has always been to pray and to have faith. She has the most faith of anybody I know. She has been through so much. I had to take a step back and think. My mom has had to deal with these kind of doctor problems for years. She never lets it get to her. My mom is such an example.

When I got all of those blessings saying that I needed to have faith and patience in the Lord's timing and will, I didn't imagine anything like this. I just need to keep telling myself that the Lord is preparing people for me that just aren't ready yet, and that I'm going to have the most amazing experience ever. I know that everything will be okay. I have faith. (:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Priesthood Blessings

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE priesthood blessings? I know that they are real and that they come from God. Even though I have had so many trials and obstacles with filling out my mission papers, I know that everything will be okay because of the blessings that I have received.

I have had quite a few blessings since I've decided to go on a mission. All of the blessings have told me to have faith and patience. They have all told me that Heavenly Father loves me and is proud of the decisions that I have been making. The blessings have all said that if I read my scriptures and study that I will be blessed. All of them have also said specifically that I need to have faith in the Lord's timing and will.

I once heard a talk that said, "faith and fear cannot coexist". It's so true. If I just have faith everything will work out. I won't have to worry and stress myself out so much. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6. It reads, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not into thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

How true and comforting is that? Even though I want to go now, and want things to be done now, that's not what God has planned for me. If I have faith he will direct me. He will lead to me to where I need to go. That  scripture has not only applied to my situation now but my whole life. A lot of the time I want things to go my way in my own time, but that's not always how it is. It may seem hard at first to have faith in Him, but everything WILL work out. It always does. (:

More Obstacles

Ever since I went to my dental exam, my jaw has been worse. I don't know if it's because she kept yanking the bite wings out of my mouth, but it has been a lot worse ever since. My jaw has been locking, popping, and hurting a lot more than it ever has. I don't know if you read my last post, but I have TMJ.

About a week before I needed to get my dental work done, my mouth locked to where I could only open it enough to fit one finger in there. I was really worried. If I couldn't open my mouth how would they be able to work on my teeth? So many things ran through my mind. Would they have to break my jaw? I work as a receptionist and a cashier at Walmart, so that would be terrible. Would they have to cancel my appointments delay my progress even farther?

I called the dentist office to let them know what was going on, and to ask them what we were going to need to do. The doctor wasn't in at the time so she said she would talk to him and call me back. When she called me back she said that she had talked to the other doctor (not my doctor) who was there. He said to use moist heat, to chew gum, take ibuprofen, and that it was too soon after my wisdom teeth extraction to tell if there was a problem.

I didn't know that I had TMJ at the time. A few months before I go my wisdom teeth out, I noticed that my jaw was locking and my gums were swelling up, so we thought that I had an infection. I got my wisdom teeth out in December. My jaw has been doing the same thing ever since.

I was doing all of the things that they were telling me to do and nothing seemed to work. I called my dad and told him that I was really worried. I told him to talk to my dentist directly, not the receptionst, because my dad knows me and what I've been going through better, and that way it wouldn't be communicated through like ten people. I told him that I knew that they said it was too soon, but that I just wanted to know what I would need to do if I couldn't open my mouth for my dentist appointment.

My dad called me as soon as he talked to the doctor. My doctor said that they hadn't realized how long it had been since my wisdom teeth got taken out, and that it was a problem. He told me that I had TMJ and referred me to a couple of specialists. The only problem is  that the specialists are in the Provo area, and it's hard for me to drive that far that often. He advised me that I should go see a specialist before I come to my appointments. I didn't have any days off until the days of my appointments, so I would have to cancel my appointments and reschedule, which would mean at least another three weeks.

I did some research and also found out that most insurance companies don't cover TMJ. That really worried me. I'm working two jobs right now just so that I can pay for my mission, so I there's no way that I have money to cover it. I called my insurance company and found out that it wasn't covered. At this point I was so stressed and starting to almost lose hope.

I talked to my parents, we prayed, and we decided that I should just come to my dentist appointments and see what they could do. My first appointment was fine. It was just a cleaning I was actually able to open my mouth, which was amazing. It was still painful, but I was just grateful that my mouth was able to open. They prescribed a muscle relaxer medication to me that night before my next appointment. I was to take it that night and some in the morning before I went to my appointment.

The only thing that the medication did for me was make me tired. My mouth was not opening at all. I went to the dentist appointment anyway, because I would have already had to pay a fee. I got there and told them that my mouth wasn't opening. They asked me if I still wanted to see if they could do anything, or if I wanted to wait. I said that I wanted to do as much as I could do that day because I didn't want to wait any longer.

He had me open my mouth as far as I could and he just made sure that he could fit all the tools in my mouth. He could, but barely. He got out a block, that's the size for toddlers, to put in my mouth to keep it open. We had to shove it in there basically. It was very painful, but I didn't want to wait any longer. Would it be any better if I had to reschedule? Who knows.

After about two hours, we were finally done with the appointment. All I had to do was suffer through one more day and I would be done. I asked him if he wanted me to take the medication for my appointment the next day, and he told me that I shouldn't come. He said that I needed to see a specialist and get things worked out. He didn't want to make it worse. I understand, but it made me so upset. I didn't want to wait at least another month to put my papers in.

I went to a chiropractor that day to see if he could do anything. I heard that chiropractors treated TMJ. My dad does a lot of computer work for him, so we normally don't have to pay a lot of money for the visits. He adjusted everything that needed to be adjusted. He put a tens unit on my jaw and my back, and also put ice on my jaw. It felt good, but it didn't really help.

He then told me to lay on my back. While his assistant was holding my head, he put his finger in my mouth on the side of my teeth and pushed hard back on my jaw. He twisted his finger and kept pushing hard. I want you to imagine this. Put your finger in your mouth on the side of your teeth, and try to reach as far as your jaw. It hardly fits, right? Now, Imagine a man's big fingers going back there and putting pressure on your jaw. It's painful! Now imagine BOTH sides at the same time. I honestly didn't think that my lips could stretch out that far. It was one of the most painful things that I have ever experienced.  I knew it was supposed to be painful, but I don't really think that it was supposed to hurt my jaw that much. It didn't even really help.

I talked with my bishop from home that night because that will be the ward that my records will be in while I'm on my mission. I was telling him how worried I was and that nothing was working out. He told me that if I ever needed help with money, paying for my mission or my doctors appointments, that they would do it. I felt so blessed. That relieved so much stress off of me. I usually have a hard time letting people help me, but I felt so good about this. He told me that if I let people help, then they would be able  to receive so many blessings from it.

I arranged an appointment with a oral surgeon for the next day instead of my dental appointment. I was surprised that they could see me that soon, but it was on my way back to Logan, and it was an answer to my prayers. They also said that they would just charge me for a dental check up, since I've only had one this year and you get two a year. That was so great to hear!

They did an x-ray of my jaw. He saw that my jaw was very flat, instead of round like most people's. That what is causing the clicking and popping. He explained a lot to me, but it's hard to explain on here. I'm not very brilliant. He essentially told me that I had a 40 year old person's jaw. That's comforting?

He told me about all of the options and treatments that are available. He said that he didn't want to do surgery because what they have found is that surgery is most of the time less effective or just as effective as other treatments. I was very glad to hear that. He also said that others wire your mouth shut, but he didn't agree with that either.

He chose a different treatment  to start with. He told me not to eat anything that I could chew for 3-4 weeks. WHAT?! I could barely handle that for just a couple of days after my wisdom teeth. He also told me to stop talking as much. That's a little hard considering I'm a receptionist and I'm required to be on the phone the majority of the time. I work at Walmart as a cashier, so that requires quite a bit of talking, too. He said that I should take ibuprofen to help with the inflammation, and to use moist heat on my jaw.

If this treatment doesn't work, then he will inject a steroid in my jaw. If that doesn't work then we will start considering other treatments like surgery. I really hope this treatment works because I don't want to deprive myself of such deliciousness for nothing.

Patience and faith. Patience and faith. That is definitely something that I need to keep remind myself of. Everything will work out.


Remember when I said that my plans never work out? You thought I was kidding or exaggerating, right?  I wasn't.

Ever since I decided to go on a mission, nothing has really gone as planned. My plan was to get my papers done quickly and leave as soon as possible. It started off great. I talked to my bishop, we got things set up for me to start my papers online. I set up my doctor's appointment, and my dentist appointment. After that all  I needed to do was meet with the stake president. I was so excited.

I went home for my medical appointments about a week after I started my papers. When I got home I found out that my dad had the stomach flu and he wasn't doing so great, and my mom was in the hospital. GREAT... That's not how I wanted my visit home to be.

 My doctor's appointment went great. I was healthy, and I got out of there quickly. The only problem is that they didn't have the TB test  there, so I either had to go to the health department, or I could wait until they ordered it. I couldn't wait for that because it's hard for me to drive four hours away for a TB test. I decided to go to the health department.  They got the TB test done, and told me to come back in two days to have it checked.

The day after my doctor's appointment, I had my dental appointment. That was not fun at all! We had to do the bite-wing x-rays to see what needed to be done. The assistant didn't know that I had TMJ (, and that my mouth kept locking every time I bit down on the right side. She read the left side just fine. When she did the right side, she forced  the bite wing out of my mouth, and it popped really loud. I told her that it hurt and what was going on. Apparently it didn't read correctly so she had to do it again. I thought that she would be more gentle that time, but again she forced it out of my mouth without me being able to fully open it first. Again, it didn't read correctly. I didn't count the times that she had to do it because I was in so much pain, but she had to do it at least five times. I don't really blame her because you don't really know how bad it hurts or how it is unless it's happened to you, but it was just rough.

After the x-rays, I thought that would be the worst of it. Turns out, I needed more work than I thought. That was definitely a disappointment. On the papers, it asks what still needs to be done and the date that it's scheduled to be done. As long as they fill out out then they can send the papers to the bishop. The assistant said that they have had people schedule the appointments and never show up for them, and they've gotten in trouble for it. They said that they weren't going to send my papers to my bishop until all the work was done.

I was very disappointed. I live four hours away from the dentist, and I work two jobs. It's not easy for me to get mutual days off. I have to schedule days off at Walmart at least three weeks in advance. I wanted to get my call as soon as possible, so this was forcing me to get work off right away, and it's not that easy. If they were to send my papers in to the bishop, we could move on to submitting my papers and getting my call. If I got my call it would be a lot easier for me to plan when I was moving home, and when I could go down for my dentist appointments.

I scheduled all of my appointments all in one trip so that I didn't have to come back down more than once.  I requested the days off from work, and everything was good to go.

The next day I was super sick. I got the stomach flu from my Dad. I had been puking since two o'clock in the morning. This was the day that I was supposed to go get my TB test checked, and I was also supposed to go back to Logan. There was no way that I could not get my TB test checked. The only way that they could send the papers to my bishop was if I got that done. I spent the money on it, and I didn't want to spend more money to take another one.

At about four in the evening, I got a tiny bit of strength to go to Price (30 minutes away) to get my TB test checked. It was really hard to drive there because I was so nauseous, but I had to do it. I got to the health department and the door had a sign on it. The sign said that they were closed that day and the next. WHY did they not tell me this, and why did they tell me to come back if they weren't going to be there?! I drove over to the doctors office to see if they could check it. By the time I got there it was about five minutes to five. They close at five, so the doctors were gone because their appointments were done. I told the nurse what was going on. She didn't know what needed to be done, so she just checked it and left a note for the doctor saying that I was good, hoping that I wouldn't have to do another one.

I didn't end up having to do another one which was a good thing. It was still hard for me to drive all around panicking when I was so sick. I had to stay another day in Castle Dale because I couldn't drive back to Logan. I had to call in sick for work the next day. It just wasn't a fun experience.

I received a priesthood blessing from my father and our home teacher. In the blessing it said that my Heavenly Father was proud of me and the decisions that I'm making. He also said in the blessing that I needed to have patience and faith. Scripture study was reiterated in the blessing as well. If I were to read my scriptures and study them, then I would be less stressed.

I'm so thankful for priesthood blessings. I know that the priesthood is real. I'm thankful for my dad's example and that he has lived worthy to hold the priesthood. I know that if we have faith, that God will direct us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it is there for our benefit to guide and direct us. I know that by praying and reading our scriptures, that we will have peace and we will be blessed. I'm so grateful to be a part of this gospel and to know of the truth. I'm so excited to be able to go on a mission and to share of that joy and that truth with the people that are ready to hear it. (: