With Great Mercy

Finding hope when you have trigeminal neuralgia and other types of pain

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August 8, 2009

Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Matthew 7:20

I am thankful to say that there have been no Facezilla episodes since my last post. Well, almost none. Yes, I've had pain, but I've been at home most of the time. I've been kind to my husband and family.

So let's tackle the almost incident right now. My husband had to go out of town to the doctor, and I rode along with him. We live in a small town, and it always (always?) good to get away with him. NOT always: when I am ill, it's much better to stay home. The day of the appointment, I could feel the pain building but hoped it would go away. When we left, the pain was bearable. I had done my hair, make-up, dressed up a little. I didn't want my effort to go to waste.

The appointment was done, and it was time to have an early dinner at one of my favorite places to eat, Longhorn Steaks. I don't like steaks because I don't like them. It's a good thing. Chewing a steak would be impossible. But there is one thing that people with orofacial pain should know: Longhorn has very tender chicken, salmon, wonderful baked sweet potatoes, and other things like cooked apples that are easy to chew. It's one of the easiest places to eat, in my opinion. By the time we arrived at Longhorn, the pain was in high gear.with great mercy

Before I could eat, I knew I would have to take some medication. That meant I had to have something to drink. I order water with light ice, but the water was colder than cold. Because every syllable sent crashing pain through my jaw and sphenopalatine area, I didn't try to explain things to our server. I took a sip and cringed from the pain. Then I took the extra ice out and put it on the table. Did that look crazy and rude? You bet it did, but this thought did not occur to me until a couple of days later.

I order coffee, saying that I need to drink something hot. I ask for fresh decaf, but say that if it is not available, please bring me the coffee that's ready right away. The server brings a mug of coffee. She forgets the creamer. Trying to keep my fat content down, I ask for milk. After all, the cream isn't there anyway. Well, by the time the milk arrives, the coffee is no longer hot. I ask for fresh. Then it takes a while longer, quite a while longer to get coffee that's hot.

The entire point of the coffee was that something hot actually helps the pain. I wanted to drive the hurt into a lower gear before my food arrived. Finally, fresh hot coffee is placed on the table for me. I'm so hungry and so delighted that the hot liquid has arrived. At this point, I would have been happy with hot water. Carefully, I drink the coffee. It's in a mug that's so heavy it causes more pain.

When the symptoms rage, I drink from plastic or styrofoam cups. Sometimes I cannot tolerate a glass or a cup because it places so much pressure on my mouth and consequently my jaw. But now I have sent the server back and forth, back and forth with no explanation. After all, what college girl is going to want to know about such a puzzling condition. Aren't these things just in someone's mind, anyway?

Life can really be complicated, and sometimes my actions don’t reflect the mercies that the Lord has bestowed on me. I’m still growing, and I am asking the Lord for a new season. I don’t want to be the nightmare that sat in booth eleven. I’d really rather be a blessing. Lord, help me bear Your fruit.

With Great Mercy

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