Hi, I'm new here. I've been a musician most of my life. I played piano in grade school, switched to clarinet, and kept going from there. However, I have also had TMJ since I was 3 years old. For those of you unfamiliar with it, TMJ is a jaw problem caused by (usually) the dialignment of the joint. This causes plenty of rather annoying symptoms like headaches (sometimes migraines), jaw popping, the inability to open your jaw all the way, etc.
My doctors have determined that my TMJ was hereditary, but when I was a toddler I fell on concrete and hurried it along. It was bearable for the first 12 years, however, this year really got bad. Now, I cannot play the clarinet for more than 15 minutes at a time without my jaw locking or finding my muscles too weak to keep my embochure, even though last summer I was in a tour group which practiced about 9 hours a day and I was fine then. To make matters worse, I can't even get a mouthguard until my braces come off (I've had these on for 5 years, I really hope that's soon).
Right now, I'm taking clarinet lessons from a really great teacher, but he's saying he's going to drop me if I don't start practicing around 2 hours a day. Balancing this and job where I've been working 30-40 hours a week is really no easy time. I would really like to be able to continue playing, but things really aren't looking good for me.
I was wondering if anyone here had any advice.