KENSINGTON, P.E.I. - Trudy McKibbon may soon be able to smooch her young children with ease.
She learned this week that the province has approved treatments for her jaw pain.
“I’m a little sore from smiling.”
The mom of four was living with chronic pain, unable to eat a normal diet because of temporomandibular disorder (TMD). A specialist in Nova Scotia assessed McKibbon and recommended Botox injections to relax the muscles.
Prior to this week, the P.E.I. Health department said it would not cover the costs.
A summertime conversation with Arlene Powers, the out-of-province physician referral co-ordinator was disappointing.
“They would approve it if it was urinary, and otherwise, good luck she said,” said McKibbon.
It was the day after a Journal Pioneer article appeared describing her plight, that she received a phone call from Powers to say the province would provide the treatments.
“I was in Subway getting my kids’ supper and I cried right there,” she said.
McKibbon has her first appointment Dec. 11 in Nova Scotia.
“I already feel better, just the thought of it being in my mind. This time it’s going to happen for sure. So much weight has been lifted off (my shoulders).”
- Trudy McKibbon
“I already feel better, just the thought of it being in my mind. This time it’s going to happen for sure,” she said. “So much weight has been lifted off (my shoulders).”
She is grateful for all the support she has received from the community.
“I didn’t think it was going to be this big a deal, but my inbox was overflowing with people reaching out.”
A Go Fund Me page has been started in support of McKibbon. The money will go to travel costs. In addition, a local massage therapist has offered complimentary treatments until her Botox treatments start, and, had the province not come through, a local businessman offered to pay for treatments.
“I’m going to have to figure out how to get a hold of that man and let him know the good news.”
The province’s change of heart was just due process, according to the department.
A spokesperson for the province said McKibbon’s request for the one-of-a-kind treatment would have to be approved by its medical affairs division and their decision would never be influenced by media coverage.
McKibbon’s story rang true with the many Islanders dealing with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.
“There’s a lot more people on the Island that suffer from this similar TMD and TMJ issues that I realized,” she said.
“I will help whoever needs help in this situation because it is a painful way to live and no one deserves it. It’s not even living.”