Some people are grinders; I’m a clencher. A nocturnal clencher. I clench my jaws when I sleep. HARD. So much so that my tongue clings to the roof of my mouth, sucking every drop of saliva, and my jaws (and head!) ache the next day. I bare down hard like a tenacious dog with a bone. Oh, I’ve tried those expensive night guards (a fancy word for mouth guards that football players wear but they mark ‘em up 2,000% and sell em to suckers/clenchers/grinders like me). Alas, I have not found them effective. The last one fell out of my mouth in the middle of my sleep and my dog, who sleeps with us of course, thought it was a new chew toy. $129 down the drain.
Doctors and dentists alike have told me that my “clenching syndrome” is due to stress. How the heck do they know? They don’t know my stressors, or how much or little stress I have in my life. Eliminate the stress and it will stop, they say. Right. This has been going on for about seven years. And it ain't gettin' better -- the stress OR the developing clusomuscular and occlusodentition problems. (Don’t be impressed with my vocabulary. I googled it. Yes, I’m a chronic googler.)
So, last week, my doctor tells me to journal. Puh-leeze. I have a degree in journalism and have, for the most part, been writing professionally since I was 16. That means I can write for those who pay me. But it's always been difficult to write for my own enjoyment. I’ve never kept a diary or blogged or journaled. (Hmmm, spell check tells me there’s no such word as journaled. Or texted, or googled, for that matter. They need to get with the 21st century and update their action verbs.) But Doc advises me to. He claims journaling will help reduce stress, and that writing about what bothers me might just keep the TMJ at bay.
Sooo … here I am, with a prescription to blog. If you happen to stumble upon this, bear with me and be kind. I can’t guarantee that anything I write will be interesting, let alone enlightening, inspirational, or witty (like my friends Joyce and Donna). But, I’ll give it a try.
Welcome to Susan’s Sea of Dreams!