A little back story:
I have TMJ, have since I was a kid. The reason for this TMJ is the fact that my jaw joints are not symmetrical, I know this too. I went and saw specialists when I was around 12, they told me the only way they could fix it is if I got surgery. Since at the time, the only problems were that it'd lock a lot if I wasn't careful, the thought of major jaw surgery to fix something minor wasn't that great, so I decided against it and they agreed, because it wasn't that bad. I've lived my life being careful, I don't eat apples, I don't chew gum, etc.
Beginning of August, my 3 year old son and I were playing around and I got a swift headbutt (accidentally, he's a sweetheart) to the side of my jaw.
And thus starts a solid 2.5 months of bad service.
When it happened, I went to the minor trauma centre at the hospital. They did Xrays and a CT scan, then told me that it had gone back into the joint, and it was still looking dislocated because the muscles had tensed and were holding it in place there, but that it wasn't out of the joint any longer.
I got a copy of the CT scan results, and the doctor had written that my jaw had anteriorly dislocated, the joints were asymmetrical (I knew this before), the condyle was flattened and he recommended an MRI to further evaluate. The nurse instead, told me to call the oral surgeon in a week, gave me the number, and sent me on my way.
I called the oral surgeon, they told me they had never gotten the referral, so they spent the day tracking down people at the hospital. They said it was stupid of them to let me go because the oral surgeon doesn't have MRI capabilities and they'd have to send me back to the hospital for that anyways. I set up an appt with the oral surgeon, told them everything, they had copies of the Xrays and CT results, they'd do the MRI later because it takes a while to get in.
So I head off to the surgeon, I sit down in the chair, he comes in and feels around my jaw and says "It's not dislocated any more". I tell him I knew that, but they recommended looking into the damage further, I tried to explain that I was told when I was younger that I'd need surgery to correct my jaw joints, etc. He didn't listen to a damn word I said. I could have been talking to the wall. The only time he acknowledged me is when I asked about the MRI and he muttered "Yeah, yeah okay, eat soup, rest your jaw, you're fine it's not dislocated any more, no MRI, good bye." and walked out.
So I shrug it off. My jaw starts to heal, I take it easy, I spend a few weeks eating just mashed potatos and yogurt.
Until beginning of September, when it dislocates again. Now at this point, there was no trauma that caused it, it just slipped out again. Probably, because the damn ball joint that holds it in it's socket, is FLATTENED and hasn't been looked at.
This time I head into the medicentre, get some more anti inflammatories, and ask for a referral to someone. The doctor I see tells me he doesn't know who to make the referral to, so he puts "TMJ Specialist" at the top of the ref sheet and tells me he'll fill it in later, set up the appt and the office will call me with when it is.
I go back in 2 weeks later because I still haven't gotten a call. Another doctor tells me it's because the ref sheet still only says "TMJ Specialist" at the top. So she fills in an actual doctors name, tells me she'll make the referral and the office will call me when it's done.
A week later I head back in because my son was sick, and they pull my file and give me the referral sheet, saying to do it myself (erm, what?).
I shrug it off, I don't know what to do. Until a week later when my jaw DISLOCATES. AGAIN. Now I'm just pissed. I've been taking it as easy as I can, I've been eating mush, I've lost 10 pounds in a month because I can't chew a damn thing (and I started out at 5'8 and a size 00, for real, I can't afford to lose much). I'm in pain and it's not getting better, and it won't get better until someone deals with why it's doing this.
So I go to a new walk in centre, which is part walk in part emergency. So I go there, and the new doctor looks at the Xrays and the CT and asks if I've had the MRI yet, I say no, people keep telling me they're setting it up and they don't. He tells me he's referring me to the Oral Surgeon from the beginning. I tell him I've already SEEN that one, and he didn't listen to a damn thing I said, he just ushered me out the door without any help at all, that I've been trying to get an appointment for someone else but everyone I've seen has been incompetent and can't even make a simple referral, I've been trying for 2 months.
So he tells me he'll refer me to another oral surgeon, set up the MRI, and his office will call me. (At this point, I'm already innerly rolling my eyes, because I've heard that one before), but I say thank you and head out hoping for the best. Finally, I hope anyways, a hint of good service. Though the bad service of that part, is I'm pretty sure the reason why I got such good service, is because the doc was a little into me, kept staring at my chest and touching my knees. But whatever, I'm used to it, and I just want my freaking jaw looked at.
This was last Thursday, I got a call on Friday telling me they've switched around peoples appointments and they can take me in this afternoon at 2:00. This is the place that I had to wait 8 months for to get my wisdom teeth out, to get in 2 days after the referral is just. amazing.
So finally, I get someone to look at this. It dislocated about 10 days ago, and it's still causing a lot of pain. It feels like there's bone damage now, I can hear crunching in my jaw joints, I cannot open my mouth, half my head is swollen if I don't take the anti inflammatories and I can't keep taking anti inflammatories, they're not meant to be used for 2 months straight and I already have a huge ulcer because of it, I can't eat, and it's sending shooting pains up to the top of my head. For real, I can't function, yet I've been functioning like this since Aug 1 because it took me that long to find a competant doctor who will actually do what they say they're going to do.
So wish me luck, I'm hoping this afternoon is bad service free, and I can get this taken care of before it dislocates again and causes even more damage. I'm 99% positive that it's going to need surgery to correct not only the asymmetry that's contributing to it, but all the damage my jaw has incurred from multiple dislocations while I waited for a doctor who didn't have his head in his arse.
(PS - I sound cranky in this post, and I know that, but I promise you that I've always been 100% polite and cheerful to all the above even at the height of their jerkiness. I've worked in CS before, and I try my hardest not to ever be the sucky customer even in the face of people who don't know what they're doing, or just don't do it.)