Taking a trismus test


Not very long ago, I found that I could not open my mouth — literally!

My oral cavity had gone on a strike without any prior notice. My jaws seemed to be stapled at the back and laid resolute rules that made me squirm with pain when I teased it beyond the restricted level. Eating and speaking with painful constraints made me develop chubby cheeks, making me seek medical help.

My doctor peeked and peered into the crevice, pinched and prodded my cheeks, let her gloved finger freely run riot through my mouth, and had one long look at me and said that it must be trismus.

I must confess that her revelation bothered me. I was not so concerned about the nature of my ailment as much as I was bothered about the meaning of that word. My pride took a beating. I thought that I commanded a decently large vocabulary. The interval between the time she went to wash her hands and then materialise in front of me had me guessing about the meaning of that mysterious word.

A millennium that flit past me during the break had me ruminating on several thoughts. I mentally commended the makers of crossword puzzles who dutifully gave the meanings of words as clues. Here I was with the answer, with no clue about the clue.

Once it was clear that I had to wait for my medico to enlighten me, I started jogging my grey cells for words which rhymed with trismus. To my utter chagrin, I found that I could not progress beyond Christmas. Even if I had to compose only a limerick using the rhyming words, it would turn out be an oxymoron. For, the limitation of trismus would be an obstacle to gorge on Xmas goodies.

In the meanwhile, the doc came along and told me that trismus was a condition in which a person cannot open the mouth freely, and reasons could be varied. Simple or sinister, only time could tell! Then the saga of investigations began, giving me nightmares till my wisdom teeth were identified as the culprits. I spent the formidable period with grit and determination simply because my wisdom (teeth) prompted me to grit my teeth.

My jaws were clenched for several weeks even after the prescribed extraction, as they were still drenched with wisdom. Once the wisdom evaporated completely, my trismus resolved!

It is no wonder that I am none the wiser on taking the literary prospects of trismus any further.

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