Nearly three years ago, I was in Ukraine, in the back of a van that didn't have seats.
We thought it would be a really bright idea to stand up and "surf", making a competition over who would be the last to be standing without touching the walls. So we surfed, the entire time we were there.
I think something gets in our brain flow during mission trips to make stupid things happen. Like bus surfing.
Anyway, on this day, I was not surfing. I was sitting in the back, right on the front lines of the surfing. As we were riding along, the van moved a little too fast and someone came down on the right side of my face, really hard. I hard a "pop" and it hurt a bit but my only real thought was "How big will this bruise be?"
As the morning progressed, so did my face. My left cheek gave me an attractive chipmunk look, and I began to realize that my teeth no longer touched in the back. Problem.
Later that day, it popped back into place, after having people try to pop it back in and trying to eat bread to make it work. Since then, my jaw makes super loud popping noises when chewing and has occasional pain. Nothing horrible, just reminders of the "incident".
After our honeymoon in June, I got an ear infection due to sand in my ear (from violent waves that kept throwing me to the ground. I am a wimp.). My jaw began to ache on the side where my infection was, and I thought it was related. A dull ache that brought headaches (that are maybe migraines? I'm not sure... again, I'm a wimp). And the occasional lock of the jaw. Not so normal. So we shopped around for doctors that do that kind of thing.
At the beginning of March, we realized that the ear and the jaw weren't related, so I went to an orthodontist who diagnosed it as TMJ, which is a jaw-joint thing. A slipped disk, like in your back (but not that bad) in my jaw. Not a big thing now, but it could be.
So he referred me to a specialist to get a nightguard. I had the impressions made for it this week and will get it in a couple weeks. It's supposed to help and I'm hoping it will!
So $400 later, I'm regretting that whole bus surfing thing. It was fun while it lasted but it looks like I'll be constantly reminded of it for a long, long time!