Bye-bye Bubblemint

9 Apr

I have a race on Saturday, and it’s supposed to rain. While I don’t mind rain in general, and I know that April showers bring May flowers, I’m not too excited about the fact that April showers might also bring me a slower race time and maybe even a slippery surface-induced face plant. While (knock on wood) I have avoided athletic-related injuries thus far, it seems that I have incurred my first diet-related injury. Yeah, bet you didn’t even know that was possible.

Monday morning I woke up with what I thought was an earache. It hurt by my ear but also down into my jaw. It hurt to chew and was making me a little miserable. So, when I got to work yesterday morning with the “earache” still there, I called the doctor and made an appointment for late in the afternoon. In the meantime, I avoided chewing as much as possible (although a girl still has to eat lunch!) and contemplated the possible reasons for my pain. Ear infection? Maybe, I’m really prone to them, but this didn’t feel like any ear infection I’ve ever had. iPod ear bud-related injury? I don’t really listen to my music that loud when I’m running, but you never know. Sinus problems? Dental problems? I wasn’t sure, I just knew it was driving me crazy and I wanted it to go away.

And as it turns out, it was none of that. It’s an issue with my temporomandibular joint. I’m saying that first so it sounds fancy and I feel less like a goober. Because essentially what it translates to is pain in my jaw. And this pain in my jaw is due to chewing too much gum.

I’m not joking. And I have to be honest, I didn’t really know this was possible. I have been chewing A LOT of gum lately; it’s my #1 defense against snack attacks. I never imagined that I was doing myself harm and inducing an injury. Now that I know this, I’m pretty sure gum should come with a warning label: “Dieters beware! Chewing in excess may cause temporary temporomandibular joint pain and unnecessary doctors visits.”

To top it off, gum is now haunting me. Right after the doctor I went to the drugstore to get Aleve. While ringing up my items (I swear, I couldn’t even make this up) the woman looked at me and said “Can I interest you in some new flavors of gum?”. Since when did the people at Walgreens recommend you anything?! I think this was some kind of cosmic joke, which continued at
WW when the girl next to me turned to me and said “Want a piece of gum?” and when I got home and a friend texted me and said “I’m watching The Biggest Loser and it’s making crave Extra gum and Cheerios.” I had to laugh every time.

Then of course, since I had to leave work early yesterday and many of my co-workers knew about my “ear” pain, I had to explain a few times today that it was not my ear, and that I am indeed the biggest weirdo on the planet because I incurred my injury from a piece of Orbit Bubblemint. Or actually, a few too many pieces of Orbit Bubblemint.

And now, I have to be gum-free for the next 7-10 days and chew sparingly in the future. I am sad about the temporary loss of my boredom-busting, snack-stopping, perfectly-flavored friend. Bubblemint, the pain was worth it. And I will miss you dearly.

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One Response to “Bye-bye Bubblemint”

  1. RunningLaur April 9, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    So funny! Sorry for the pain, and hope you get better – but this is a great story!

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