Turned out the toothache was caused by exactly what I suspected. I had a piece of food jammed so far down in my gums I wasn't able to remove it myself. It was down by the roots of my teeth. The dentist removed it for me. He also looked at my X-Rays, and then he did the jaw test. The X-Rays showed I have cavities in every tooth, and all cavities are filled so no issues with that. He also saw several teeth had broken and been repaired. Some several times. So he then put his fingers where my jaw connects to my skull and had me open and close mouth several times. By pressing on it OMG IT HURT. I knew it would because I've had this done several times by neurologists I've had over the years as well as dentists.
My jaw is severely misaligned. When I open and close my mouth my teeth grind like hell, and when I eat I can only eat little pieces at a time because chewing hurts my jaw. Folks, I've been dealing with this my entire life. I'm 34 years old, so nothing new with this. He told me the same thing a few doctors and dentists have said: surgery. The only way to repair/fix my jaw is by surgery. The joint is getting worn down and damaged, and I could eventually develop arthritis. So why not get surgery? First of all, it's surgery. I'm not a fan of it. I have several surgeries in the past for different things (broken IUD, tubal ligation, endometrial ablation, ligament repair) and recovery is never fun. Second, I've spoken to doctors, all of them telling me recovery will be between two and six weeks depending on what needs to be done. Three, my jaw will be wired shut while recovering. I will be on a liquid diet. Sure, my jaw will be fixed. Yeah, I'll lose weight. Thing is, I'll be fucking miserable.
I'll be talking to my doctor about seeing a specialist for the surgery just to see what can be done. Surgery has advanced greatly over the years. Not even ten years ago the ligament repair I had done on my wrist would have been more extensive with lots more cutting, a longer recovery period, and things might not have gone so well. There was only two tiny holes and the surgery was done mostly by machine. My tubal ligation would have been way more invasive as well. I had that done in 2010. When my mom had it done in 1989 it was VERY invasive, and she has a big scar from it. For me it was done through my belly button and another small incision just above the line where my pubic hair begins. You can't even see the scars now, but my belly button is a little deeper and feels weird. Jaw surgery might not be too invasive, which is why I'll talk to them. Who knows, I might not even have my jaw wired shut. I'm not a surgeon nor a surgeon so I really can't say for sure.
As for grinding my teeth, it's severe. So bad my teeth are almost completely flat. Grinding has resulted in broken teeth, swollen gums, and a couple teeth are a little loose but not too bad. My bite is all wrong as well, which makes it even worse. I need what's called a night-guard. I had one in high school but it somehow got lost during a move (military family, lots of moving). I've since tried over-the-counter ones, but they're worthless. Nearly all of them are WAY too big for my tiny mouth (my mouth is child-size) and result in me gagging or obstructing my ability to breathe. The dentist's office charges $540 USD, and Medicaid won't cover it. Medicaid is my only dental insurance, and this is the only dentist I can see under this insurance. I've been checking on night-guard options online and found one here
that makes them for dental offices, but I purchase directly through the manufacturer. I'll save money, but it'll cost me a small fortune I don't have. I need the heavy night-guard, which is $189 USD. I'm currently speaking to the customer service regarding purchasing directly from the manufacturer because I don't have the funds to pay it all at once.
Selling just one quilt will solve the financial issue of paying for it directly from the manufacturer, selling two will help pay for it from the dentist's office, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
At least it wasn't something more severe like a nightmare known as a root canal.
If you fancy donating the money I need may I offer just purchasing my work? I really need the space my quilts are taking up.