May 6, 2011
Making Mother's Day Special
Celebrating Mother's Day with a mom who has trigeminal neuralgia or neuropathic facial pain can be complicated. But I remember a wonderful Mother's Day that occurred when I was ill. It was fabulous in spite of the pain, my inability to chew, and the fact that I was experiencing extreme social isolation.
My daughter and her husband came to my home. I didn't have to concern myself with facing the world, about applying cosmetics, or accomplishing oral hygiene. Dan, my son-in-law, brought food with him and prepared a meal for me. At the time I had not developed an allergy to eggs, and he brought "Pour a Quiche," which he baked in my oven. No chewing was necessary because I avoided the crust. I cannot remember the side dishes or the dessert, but I recall the meal was delicious.
After brunch, the family and I settled into the living room and watched a movie. I fell asleep while they were here, comforted by their presence. Comfort may be the best gift someone can give a mother who is experiencing unrelenting pain. It might mean letting go of a traditional Mother's Day and designing one to suit a mother's needs.
Simple things can be most important to someone who has lost much. If you would like to prepare a meal for a special lady you can find some "no-chew" recipes if you go up to the Google search bar at the top of this page.
Giving Mom a reprieve from social isolation is another way to bring comfort to her life. Although she may not be able to talk much, she can listen. You might want to read to her, a favorite poem, a passage from the Bible, or a written memory of a special moment you've shared.
Because people who have trigeminal neuralgia often depend greatly on their computers and the Internet, you may want to ask Mom if hers is in good working order. If not, taking care of maintenance is an excellent gift.
Most of all, don't underrate the power of touch. She'll like it if you gently squeeze her hand. If she has a side of her face that doesn't have pain, you can place your cheek next to hers. Many people who have trigeminal neuralgia crave touch, but they fear being touched in a manner that evokes pain. Quiet comfort is best. Too much noise, whether it's loud conversation, music, or television can create further neurological distress.
Invest time into finding the best card you can. It will linger long after your visit, giving Mom a reminder of your visit.
I'll always remember the tough years and how my family made the day special, tailored to my needs. My mother made the day about me, forfeiting her own desires. I love you, Mama.
Love is stronger than pain.
Have you read With Great Mercy?