Thursday, April 14, 2011

I had a dream the other night about a friend of mine's ex-boyfriend.  Nothing scandalous happened, it's not like I stole her man or anything, the two of us were just hanging out.  It was weird, because I was never really friends with the guy and have no actual conception of what hanging out with him would be like.  It was also weird because I woke up with the feeling that either dream him or dream me had said something really important, but awake me couldn't remember what it was.

Dreams are important markers for me, because they mean that I'm having complete sleep cycles, which doesn't really happen all that much.  However, things have begun to improve drastically.  The main reason for this is because I now sleep with a mouth guard.  Not a retainer.  A mouth guard.  It makes me feel a little like an idiot, but it's bumped up my life quality about ten or so points, so I'm dealing with it.

When I got my wisdom teeth removed last summer, the X-rays they did showed that my jaw bone was thinning out.  The doctor explained that this was happening because I grind my teeth in my sleep, hard enough to completely destroy my own jaw.  There's already some permanent damage.  My jaw pops when I take big bites or food or yawn too wide, and it starts to hurt or even lock up if I sing along with the radio too long (I'm sure it would lock up if I talked too long, as well, but that's never even sort of started to happen).  Nothing can ever be done to fix those things, but I can slow down any further degeneration of the bone by using a mouth guard while I sleep to cut down on the pressure and friction of my grinding teeth.

I've had the thing a few months, but I've only just now started using it seriously because I need to sleep better so I can act like a proper human being at work.  Even after a few weeks, though, I've already scraped up the guard and left a few pretty deep dents from my lower incisors.  I think it's only a matter of time before I chomp right through it.  It scares me that I exact that much force on myself, self-destructively and subconsciously.  This jaw thing, I think, is like a microcosm of my larger life patterns.

I've figured that there will come a day when I destroy my jaw bone entirely.  Maybe by then they'll have some sort of bionic jaw they can replace it with, but then again having a bionic jaw might only make things worse.  I could grind right up into my own skull or something.  Either way, for now I am able to sleep and dream, and wake up feeling like I am actually awake.

I'm pretty sure I felt like I was going somewhere with the above ramble when I started it late last night, which is why I saved the draft in the first place, but coming back to it this afternoon I have no clue what that might have been.  My apologies.  Even so I'm still going to post it, because I think there's some telling stuff in there.

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