Editor’s Note: John Lucas, the creator of The Face Caddy, has been such an incredible supporter of all of us who struggle with jaw pain. In this blog post, he shares the story of how Face Caddy was invented.
Welcome to the first Jaw Bone Connection.
In this column, I’m not going to just talk about TMJ and what the latest “fix” is or what new drug is out there. I’m a people person, not a big medical conglomerate person. So the Jaw Bone is going to be personal, more about the human side of TMJ.
That said, I think it’s important for you to know a little about me. First, I do not have TMJ. So why am I writing a TMJ column? Good question!
The answer is, I invented the Face Caddy, a hot and cold wrap that is used for TMJ. Now I’m not here to sell you the Face Caddy. In fact I didn’t even invent the wrap for TMJ. I invented it for a friend who was recovering from facial surgery. When I picked her up after the procedure, the doctor told me to be sure she applied ice or cold therapy about 6 times a day for the next two weeks.
I asked the doctor, “OK, how does she do that?”
He said, “Just put frozen peas on her face.”
Once I got my friend to her apartment (this was in Manhattan) and got her comfortable, I ran to the store and got bags of frozen peas. This is where the story gets ugly.
They were freezing cold and hurt her hands. They started to sweat and drip. Holding her arms up for 20 minutes at a time was exhausting and made her hurt even more. She couldn’t rest. Over the next 48 hours, we tried plastic bags, ace bandages, towels, super-size rubber bands and duct tape (anyone identify?). This was not a pretty picture.
So at the end of day two, I said, “You just spent $15,000 and that doctor is telling you to put frozen peas on your face?” I was furious. So I went home and made some sketches, cut some fabric and stitched some pockets. The Face Caddy was born.
How did it become a TMJ wrap? I showed it to my chiropractor and he said he wanted it for his TMJ and migraine patients. Once I understood why it helped TMJ, I was sold. And now, the emails I get from TMJ sufferers have deepened my commitment to helping, and at times broken my heart. You all get that, I know.
I thought it was important in this first post for us to meet and let you hear my story. I look forward to any comments you may have and hearing your story.
John Lucas is a writer who lives in Manhattan and Winston-Salem, NC. He is the inventor of the Face Caddy, Hot and Cold Therapy Wrap. His monthly column is about TMJ and the stories around it. Contact him at: email@example.com.