In the stories entitled, The Next Big Thing and Pursuing the Next Big Thing, I described the rationale and planning for a new treatment of the serious illness that I have endured for six years. Steve and I are making our travel plans to see a Dental Practitioner out of State whom we are confidant can help me get well. There is much to do!
Dr. Ralph Garcia uses state-of-the-art dental appliances, some that he has invented, to improve cranial-temporal-mandibular dynamics of the head and jaw. Dr. Garcia’s extensive assessment includes radiology imaging, electromyographic testing, clinical history, and a detailed assessment of the musculature of the face, jaw, neck, back, posture, and dental structures. Interventions can include manual therapies, medications, TENS unit treatments, and most importantly custom designed upper and lower dental appliances. The goals may be to extend the underbite of the jaw or increase the height of the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) to take pressure off of displaced or perforated discs in the joint. Adjustments in the device are often needed within the first week and at approximately 6-week intervals thereafter, up to 8 times this year. Just today I discovered that an orthodontic surgeon fairly skilled in this area of practice and residing in a major city 3 1/2 hours away may be available to make some of these subsequent adjustments. This is good news!
Over time the benefits of these specialty dental appliances can include relief from sleep apnea, pain, tinnitus, headaches, sensory changes, clicking or popping sounds, movement disorders (e.g. tics, seizures, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, etc.), and more. The former have plagued me since an auto accident in 1996; the convulsive episodes began on a daily basis in April of 2012. Every night, sometimes overnight, and most mornings I wake up with seizure attack episodes of varying duration and intensity. This makes trying to get restorative sleep a frightful experience for me, knowing what awaits me when my head hits the pillow. Or in the evening when my body is tired and posture is slumped from the burdens of the day. Last night it was right here sitting at this computer that my body produced a gutteral utterance and repetitive head thrashing. When I re-gained voluntary control of my hands, I placed my fingers in my mouth to attempt to reposition my jaw, make it protrude forward. The episode petered out shortly thereafter. The same thing happened in a chiropractic adjustment today. This time I was able to mumble to the chiropractor to protract my jaw when some earlier neck stretches had triggered an episode. His hands pushing on my face hurt. He removed his hands and the neurologic event ended within 30 seconds. That just doesn’t happen! Wow! How cool is that?
We believe that we are finally onto something good and trust that the Lord has gone before us in leading us to this specialty treatment for a Temporal Mandibular Disorder (TMD). I am grateful to have a skilled chiropractor locally to address the related orthopedic issues, the dysfunctional dynamics of my TMJ. However, we have come to understand that the TMJ/TMD assessment and treatment are extremely expensive and will require out-of-State travel for almost 3 weeks. I have started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $10,500 needed for my care as indicated below. Don’t freak out about the consultation and appliance fees! This figure is typical and even more for the top specialists in the USA treating persons in this manner with complex illnesses such as movement disorders. The research and science is established. The TMJ splint and later anti-snoring appliance that my local dentist made for me about 7 and 4 years ago, respectively, hurt my teeth or caused me to choke. Imagine waking up from a sound sleep whilst choking on an acrylic appliance in your mouth with your head-banging violently in an involuntary seizure attack. (Go here for videos.) Frightful indeed!
Budget for Julie’s Neuro Treatment:
$4440 initial consultation, testing, and fabrication of dental appliances.
$215 follow-up adjustment after wearing them 1 week and before we return home.
$2,000 for gas towing trailer (as I cannot stay in hotels without triggering seizures) and campground reservations.
$745 x 4 = $2980 For airfare, 2 nights hotel, and 2 days rental car x 4 estimated follow-up visits.
$215 x 4 = $860 For dental appliance adjustment consultations with Dr. Ralph Garcia; no monies budgeted for Dr. Richard Crowe in Chicago if appropriate for interim adjustments.
$10,495 Estimated Total for 2018
Here is the link to my Go Fund Me Campaign to support my neurological treatment with a donation of any amount.
Please join us in prayer and donate if you can for this promising development in my treatment plan. Steve and I are very optimistic, feeling the Lord’s hand guiding us with your prayers covering us in love. Lord willing, I am going to get well! Thank you for being here online with me these past 6 years. Yous da best!