With Great Mercy

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

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March 21, 2011

The Leapthe leap

This past week I purchased an Xbox Kinect in hopes of taking off a few pounds off via the Biggest Loser game. Why an Xbox and not the gym?

The closest gym (well, a clean and well lighted place) is approximately 30 miles from me. I've done the trek before, but the cost of gas and the time factors are more than I can afford at this time. So I decided to work out at home. For the past week, I've lunged, kicked, and squatted with Bob the Trainer. It's been no fun at all, but I could tell I was getting a good workout.

If you follow my blog, then you may know that I recently lost my aunt, Julia Mae Patterson. (She liked to be called Judy. When I was a child, she told me it took me all day to say Julia Mae. Our family's first language is Southernese.) Since Judy's death, I have felt almost immobilized at times, paralyzed in grief's thick fog. I want to call her so I can tell her I miss her, that I don't know what I'm going to do without her, and to laugh with her about something humorous that happened in her ICU room the day before she died.

I've asked myself how I could blog about facial pain or help anyone when I was drowning in my own sorrow. Unable to move through my sadness, I was determined to exercise. But why couldn't Bob the trainer cut me a little slack? Maybe I really can't get my form better right now. He was downright annoying at times, and I gained a new respect for the contestants on the show. They are not whining, after all.

After a week with the Biggest Loser, I opened the adventure game that was included with the XBox. The moment it cued, I transformed. Adventure was what I had been craving. I slapped rally balls against the wall with my hands, my knees, my feet, and my body. And when the game was over, it flashed pictures it had taken of me as I played. There I was, leaping into the air, smiling. And it gave me the incentive to hop into the games river raft, the underwater aquarium, and through an obstacle course.

What shut me down? Perhaps I haven't fully recovered from the last time I reached for the gold. I didn't get a prize, but I got injured. Landing was painful, and healing has been slow.

So often in life, we take steps of faith. We reach out to someone, donate time or money, or help a friend with a project. But how often do we jump into the middle of the action? I've learned to be careful.

Caution has been holding me back, and I wonder about my friends with facial pain and other issues. Can you say the same? We protect ourselves, accepting stringent limits and finding more and more things to be out of our grasp.

It's time for me to risk again, to leap into action. I'm not sure what will end up in my hand, but the exercise will benefit me. And someone else, I hope.

Thank you for your emails, your posts on Facebook, your calls and cards.You remain in my prayers, and I thank God for you.

With Great Mercy

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