I have an important medical dilemma

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by joyfully, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Hi. Well, I normally give advice, but now I'm on the other side of the fence. I'm not quite sure what to do and am interested in your thoughts.

    Sorry this is long and complicated. After my fall off of my mobility scooter onto the street, I've been having alot of medical issues. This has to do with the damage to my two tempromandibular joints (jaw). First I went to my rheumy, who sent me to an oral surgeon, who has now sent me to a dentist who does TMJ syndrome patients.

    A TMJ specialist who really knows what they are doing is very difficult to find.

    I went for my second appointment last week at her office, and I am on a totally different planet than this doctor. She got upset with me for asking two important questions. I do mean she got defensive, huffy, and totally twisted what I was saying. Then I tried to explain why I was asking the two questions and she picked up on ONE sentence in my explanation ----and twisted it all around.

    My two questions were:
    Will I be standing or sitting when we make the orthotic splint impression? I can't lay down in the dentist chair when this procedure is done because it will change my bite.

    After getting all huffy with me and defensive, I finally get an answer which is YES. So why didn't she just say YES in the first place instead of getting mad at me for asking!

    My second question to her was, 'when the splint is made, is there some room to allow my jaw to move some side to side so the muscles won't go into spasms? Again, she was really miffed. How dare I ask her or question her. I just felt as if we were on two different planets.


    I got very nervous and try to explain; the harder I tried, the more irate she got. She twisted what I was trying to tell her. I left the office, drove a couple blocks and began crying. I had to pull over into a parking lot because I was so upset.

    This device that has to be built (orthotic splint) will cost $5,000 out of MY pocket.

    I didn't sleep very well that night and I started crying yesterday and again today. I don't know how to handle this.

    I really need this splint and I need it built correctly. There are few doctors/dentists who can do this. I am going to be stressed out if I have to walk on egg shells every time I have to go there. I have to get the impressions the next visit plus all kinds of additional tests. If I'm stressed out and don't dare ask her anything---I'm not going to be able to follow her verbal instructions and I'm not going to be able to relax. I can't have this splint be made with the wrong relationship between the top and lower teeth. I need a doctor who works WITH me. I have this in my rheumatologist, my neurologist, my gastroenterologist, and my surgeon who did the cancer surgery.

    It gets more complicated. I would like to ask the oral surgeon who sent me to this dentist if he has someone else he can send me to. Here is the kicker---his FIANCE WORKS at the dentist's office! SHE is the person who cleaned my teeth and was in the room when the doctor was challenging and chastizing me.

    I can't be under stress, I have RA and I will have flare-ups. I FINALLY got rid of the money hungry endocrinologist. I am so happy with the new endo. I thought things were going fine even though I have all these issues with my face since the fall onto the street.

    Now, I am facing (no pun intended) going back into the lion's den with this new specialized dentist with an attitude. it is as if she is miffed because I dare ask a question. Hello, if you were spending $5,000 on a splint, wouldn't you ask some questions too!

    I don't know if there is too much estrogen floating around in that office or what. You know that feeling you get that you are going to be the easy target for a bunch of cattiness???? I am getting that feeling. Not from the fiance, but definitely from the doctor and the front desk as I was leaving. There are no doors on the exam rooms so I'm sure everyone in the place heard every word she was yelling at me. I don't deliberately walk into a lion's den. I am going to be totally at their mercy if i go back there. I don't like feeling as if I have no control. BUT, if I don't get someone to address the damage done to the Tempromandibular joints, I'm in trouble because both joints are already involved in the rheumatic process. I need that bottom jaw to work so I can eat and talk!!!!!!

    I really don't know what to do.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2008]
  2. springwater

    springwater Active Member

    needs a kick in the rear...probably doesnt know her job and nervous as hell.

    Suggestion? You MUST find another doctor; I cant imagine such a jerk being allowed to attend to patients when the cost is like a small fortune that too.

    Joyfully, sorry to hear of this and i hope you are strong enough not to let horrible people get to you.

    Can you read Sylvia Browne? She is a psychic who teaches some methods of protecting oneself against toxic and negative people by surrounding oneself with a light...she is a firm believer in God.

    Im reading her book Visits from the Afterlife which is about spirits and The Other Side ..Im finding it fascinating.

    Sending warm thoughts your way and remember that doc is suffering in a nasty world of her own if she can be so mean to a total stranger

    God Bless
  3. jole

    jole Member

    get a referral to another doc. Surely if the fiance heard the conversation she couldn't be unhappy about it either. As you said, it is your money, which means they are working for you and should answer as many questions as you want to ask.

    Sounds as though she is set in her ways of doing things and does not want to compromise, even for your wellbeing, which to me is a warning sign of things to come.

    You do not need the stress and worry of things going wrong, and having faith in your doctor is very important. You may have to drive a little to find a good one, but it will be well worth your time!

    Best wishes for a great outcome.

    BTW, I don't have a scooter but did rent one on vacation a few years ago, and I ended up tipping mine over too! I have no coordination when walking, but wouldn't you think we could at least RIDE??? LOL
  4. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    I know some medical offices can be dysfunctional, but you seem to have visited one that has an acute need for therapy.

    As a patient, it's really difficult to find out what's really going on with personnel, or competency, without being friends (or fiance) with someone "inside" office.

    There is a chance that dentist is mainly just nervous and worried about getting it right.

    Anyhow, I put in "Texas graduate dental schools low cost clinics" and got some good responses. I don't know Texas, but UC San Francisco had a very good graduate program. And some very skilled dentists getting advanced training with latest techniques.

    Not sure if the dentist works alone, but generally I prefer going to medical practices that have several Docs working together. They can share info and look over each others shoulders so to speak, and can play well with others:)
    I wish you luck, and a very good result. You deserve it of course. Your Mr Bill.

    Oh, if you are really lucky the school may be looking for the rare situation you have, and get excited. hope, hope.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2008]
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    [This Message was Edited on 03/07/2008]
  5. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    I would run from ever going back there. As patients we have the RIGHT to ask questions about our care, and all procedures. The medical community is an ego trip waiting to happen IMO, but there are truly some great dr/dentist out there that are willing to come down off their high horses and talk/ and treat you like a real person.

    I know this is a difficult decision, but please reconsider seeing someone else.....
  6. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Every vibe you got was negative.

    I had a similar situation happen with an eye doctor. I never went back, and I was never sorry.

    The situation you've described is just ripe for another bad experience. What happens if something goes wrong? You would have absolutely no support.

    I would also pass along your experiences to the person who recommended her.
  7. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I cannot believe how badly you were treated! I kept reading..saying 'oh no'...then 'oh no'...then..well by then I was sick.
    You either need to get the heck out of there or need to have someone with you who can explain the situation in great detail with you.
    I'm hoping there is someone else in your area who can perform the necessary work. I would be quite hesistant as you are to trust this person. You already have great instincts telling you otherwise.

    IF there is not - can you talk to your referring physician and maybe get his fiance on your side? They (the dentist's office) needs to be fully aware of the seriousness of the situation- including your apprehension.
    If you continue to feel the way you do - you do need to find someplace else. IF something happened that was not good, you would never forgive yourself for not trusting your gut.
    Do you have someone who can help you with all of this? Although you sound quite capable!!!!

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this crap. Some people are just amazing aren't they? I cannot believe she copped an attitude over such simple questions you asked! What the heck is her problem????????
    IF you end up finding someone else, I hope you'll get the satisfaction of telling her why you didn't choose her -diplomatically of course :)

    That's what I would do....
    TRUST your instincts - they are very strong.
  8. caffey

    caffey New Member

    for what it is worth. You are entitled to the best care you can get no matter how much money you are spending. You don't deserve to be treated like that and from what you are saying this is not going to work. No matter what you do you are in a no win. I would be looking around for someone else. You need someone with compassion and understanding and that office isn't it. When I found my new dentist ( I know that is different) she couldn't do enough to try and help me and help me find comfortable positions in the chair and told me to tell them when I needed a break and they would do it. She even works with my gp to make sure I am ok medically before she does anything. That is what you need. You have enough to deal with without her nonsense.
    Wishing you all the best.
  9. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    I believe you should go back to your rheumy and start all over again. Get another referral to another oral surgeon, and in turn to another TMJ specialist.

    I say this because I think the TMJ specialist you saw might feel threatened by a patient who is very knowledgeable and assertive. Some doctors don't like educated, intelligent patients. They prefer those who just shut up and let them do their work. Of course, that leaves you in a position where you have to just hope for the best. That's not good. You and I, as well as many others, know that. So, don't be a victim in her presence. Move on.

    Also, to start over with another referral would leave the oral surgeon's fiance out of it. I wonder if he sends business to this particular TMJ specialist because that's where his future wife works. hmmm... Not the best reason, IMHO.

    There has to be a good TMJ specialist out there who is not so threatened by intelligence on the part of their patients. I think you can find one. Even if you have to drive further. It's worth it to feel secure. Don't you agree?

    Good luck with this. I'm eager to find out how it all turns out.

    Hugs. doloresf1
  10. monica33flowers

    monica33flowers New Member

    OMG -- that is horrible and I wouldn't go back to that office.

    Do you have friends, neighbors, family you could ask where they go and if they like their dentist? Also, call around in your area and see if you can just "meet" with a dentist to discuss you possibly becoming a patient. Please, don't go back to that office, obviously they are having some "issues" in that office and you don't need that kind of environment.

    Finding a good dentist is harder than finding a spouse! I truly am blessed with my dentist and all of his associates. They even helped me find a way to help with my son's braces....the cost out of my pocket will be very minimal.

    BTW, you're questions were very valid questions and something is obviously going on at that office and I wouldn't return to see that dentist. Your gut feeling is always right!
  11. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I came here first thing this morning to see if anyone had any ideas. I also keep thinking I should ask the oral surgeon if he has a second doctor that he also recommends. I know he is going to want a reason.

    I'm driving a long way to just get to this TMJ specialist. There aren't a whole bunch of them. Some dentists SAY that they do TMJ, but this lady has actually done the training and has the equipment to do all the testing correctly.

    I'm driving a long way to get there. She isn't in my town OR the next town. She is two towns away from me. A true TMJ specialist is hard to find.

    I really appreciate your responses. I'm just caught between a rock and a hard place. I hope to be able to get a chance to talk to my hubby this weekend. he is all involved with church business right now and his calendar is so full.

    The town is very small that this TMJ specialist lives in. I'll bet the gossip-mill is so efficient that any new topic would be spread through that town in 1 day. I don't want trouble, but I also need a very skilled dentist to make this splint correctly.

    I was so happy to get rid of the endo dr. that was a cold, calculated, gestapo attitude, impatient, and $ hungry person. It was as if someone took a 300 pound weight off of my shoulders.

    I really appreciate your responses. Since the thyroid removal, I have a hard time comprehending stuff if I'm under pressure. I would have never believed how a little thyroid could affect so many other organs. The thyroid is like the conductor of the orchestra. Thyroid replacement RX just isn't the same.

    I'm wandering off on too many topics so I'll just zip my lip for now. Soft hugs. joyfully

    Hi. I just came back here now. I typed in TMJ neuromuscular dentist and came up with a few possiblities. I'm thinking about going back to the oral surgeon and see if he uses any of these doctors too. Unfortunately, I think there is only one who has some kind of credentials in Austin, one in San Antonio, a couple Waaaaaaaaay up in Dallas, and a couple waaaaaaaaay down in Houston.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/07/2008]
  12. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Just stopping in to let you know i'm thinking of you and hope that the right TMJ Doctor happenes along for you!,,,,,,,,,Goodluck!!,,,,,,,Sis
  13. Jana1

    Jana1 New Member

    If you think it might help I can ask my husband what he thinks. He is NOT a tmj specialist but he does work with it and splints.

  14. breathofair

    breathofair New Member


    what an experience to go thru just for the privilege of spending $5000 to get a little essential help! i am sorry that happened to you. my guess is that the whole office sided with you on some level since they all heard her lose her temper. no one likes a bully. if you find as you move forward, that this dentist is your only choice, it might help to chip away at the problem by building rapport with some of the other office staff. You have an automatic connection with the surgeon's fiance, since he referred you there. see if you can talk to her a bit when you're there next...

    the more you know and connect with the dentist's staff, the less the dentist will be able to mistreat you.

    i, too, need exactly what you need, a good doctor/dentist/someone to put my jaw back in place and then to fit me with a device that will keep me from clenching. my neck has a million bone spurs and my cervical vertebrae are constantly out and causing pain...

    Does anyone know who I could go to in the Boulder/Denver Colorado area for these things??? HELLLLLLLLPPPP

  15. laceymae

    laceymae New Member

    OMG... I didn't realize you were hurt that bad. You were walking the dog weren't you?

    I don't think I could trust her to work on me.,.,bedside manor is about half of what I look for in a Doctor. There was no call for that kind of treatment.

    If you go back to her, is biting her out of the question?

    I'll keep you in my prayers
  16. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    I love your coment, is biting her out of the question? LOL

  17. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I would be interested in what your hubby thinks. I have one condyle that is miss-shapenon the rt. side. The condyle is hooked shaped and elongated. Crepidus, muscle spasms, sometimes tingling and numbness on cheek , headaches, and electrical zaps that originate above the eye (where I had the most damage from landing on my face on the street) and shoot down my neck, rt. shoulder, and rt. arm.

    The left side --the condyle comes too far out of the socket when I open and close my mouth. The jaw deviates to the right when I open my mouth.

  18. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    OMG! You are too funny. I can't bite her because that would be too much pain in the jaw joint (TMJ). HOWEVER, I could take Rudy, the culprit who pulled me off of my electric mobility scooter in the first place, along and let HIM bite her in the rump! He is current with his rabies shots!
  19. Jana1

    Jana1 New Member

    He said he would be glad to read the thread and see if there is anything he could add that might help you.

    I am sure he will do it on Sunday.


  20. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    First, thank you Jana. I will take all the suggestions that I can get. I'm just not sure what to do. I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face. I hate situations like this. I go out of my way to avoid conflict. Stress is something I try to avoid at all costs. My RA goes into a flare-up if I am stressed.

    My hubby caught me in the master bathroom crying yesterday. I was all upset just thinking about the TMJ stuff.

    He told me to contact the oral surgeon and see if there is an alternative Dr. in Austin. This is a mess because the paperwork has already gone into the Care Coordinator person at my insurance co. My medical usually doesn't go anything with dental stuff UNLESS it is accident related AND the rigid guidelines are met in terms of lenght of time since the accident. They are pretty tough guidelines to follow.

    So I drafted a letter to my oral surgeon and asked my hubby to read it tonight. I don't want to fax it because I don't want anyone else reading the letter. My objective is to resolve this uncomfortable relationship with this TMJ specialist. I'm not interested in causing a big controversy and having everyone talk about it. I avoid gossip mills and certainly don't want to be the cause of gossip spreading.

    When I think about it, I believe it is the dentist's unwillingness to see this issue as one puzzle piece in a larger puzzle. She is compartmentalizing her treatment.

    I've had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 59 years and adult RA for 31 years. She just has this bullheaded and determined attitude that anything I ask her is questioning her competence. Stress causes RA to have flare-ups. I don't want to be stressed and fretting about every appointment with this dentist.

    FORCING my lower jaw into one postition that forces me to not have any side to side motion at all is going to cause my jaw muscles to go into spasms. I know this for a fact. According to her, I already have advanced RA in the rt. side. How can she only look at the TMJ syndrome and not include the effects upon the RA in the same joints? I just don't get it! She is INFLEXIBLE and has an overly defensive attitude.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2008]