“You’re A Masterpiece That All Creation Quietly Applauds”

April 10, 2013 at 11:13 am (Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Me??  Right now I am a mess.  I am making no more promises about blogging because I’ve broken every one of my previous promises.  I can’t imagine why people want to read about me right now.  I am not doing anything spectacular.  But… I also realize that many women and men are on my journey, not my exact journey, but a painful one nonetheless.  So… I will blog about it.

I have multiple sclerosis, which, surprisingly, is under control right now!!  I take a Tysabri infusion every month.  I am very sick for three days afterwards, but I have not needed my cane for three months and I don’t have that “drop-dead” fatigue that I have suffered with for years.  If I could only get my TN (trigeminal neuralgia) under control.  Those of you who follow my blog know that I had MVD surgery in 2010, which eliminated the pain for one year, but ultimately was unsuccessful.

My face is alive and on fire nearly every minute of every hour of every day.  I take strong meds for it, but they only cut the pain down by about 20-30%, no more.  As a result of the spasms from the TN pain, I have developed TMJ (Temporomandibular disorder).  I have worn a splint for 6 years, but it isn’t helping right now.  My jaw feels out of line and I cannot chew anything hard without excruciating pain.  I am right now using ice and heat along with the pain meds.  I get a massage once a month and it provides temporary relief, i.e. a night of uninterrupted sleep.

We have had an endless winter here in western PA.  I am probably a little bit depressed.  However, I am happy to report that I haven’t spent one day totally in bed (except for the one day after my Tysabri treatment each month).

I’d like to encourage those of you who “feel my pain” and give you some helpful steps to follow as you “behave” your way through the day.

  • Get out of bed.  Yes, I mean purposefully put your feet on the floor, not just to go to the bathroom to pee.
  • Change out of your pajamas.  In January, I realized I was wearing my PJ’s every day I stayed home so I bought some pretty yoga clothes (on clearance at Kohls) to wear every day.
  • Brush your teeth, wash your face and comb your hair.  I shower at night because it helps me to relax before my usually fitful night of sleep.  I moisturize like mad — hey, I’m 53 and I need to keep this fabulous face in good condition :-).  I also groom my eyebrows ; it drives me crazy if I’ve got a stray hair.  However, that is my OCD madness so I’m not including that as a step for you!! I also weigh myself every morning — that keeps my weight under control in this sedentary period of my life.
  • Make coffee, tea, whatever you like.  Take your pain meds and eat breakfast.  For me, breakfast is either Special K or Kelloggs Corn Pops.  After I eat breakfast, I can assess my pain level and plan my day.
  • Spend time in the Word and prayer — this is my peaceful communion with my Lord.  I truly cannot go one day without even just a time of prayer.
  • Consult your calendar.  I use Google Calendar and absolutely love it!!  I love lists and calendars.  Depending on my pain level, I will include some rigorous household chores or exercising on my list.  If it is a bad morning and I’ve had zero sleep, I plan just a few simple things, like washing clothes (simple in this day and age), dusting, making jewelry, painting or sewing.  I decide in the morning if I am going to cook dinner (for my darling DannyO and my parents).  If the recipe calls for chopping preparation, I get that done in the morning because usually by 3:00 my pain is at its worst… ’nuff said.
  • Use a timer.  If I am having a painful day but must complete tasks, I set my timer… 45 minutes of work, 15 minutes of rest.  Just knowing there is an end to the work period encourages me to complete the task.
  • Turn the TV off!!  TV is a wonderful thing, but when one is in the house all day, it can be a mindless waste of time.  I’ve got my Ipod deck in the kitchen and my CD player in my art room.

Today I am making apricot rolls for my niece’s wedding this weekend.  I chopped the dried apricots a few days ago in anticipation of this day.  I reconstituted them and they are in the refrigerator cooling.  I have my dough in the bread machine and in about 1 hour I will be rolling out four pieces of dough and my house will be filled with the glorious smell of baking apricot rolls.

I do a lot of self-affirmation.  I have an on-going (sometimes out loud) conversation with myself and my Lord.  I pray for people through the day.  I pray blessing on my children and hubby.  I pray that the Lord will give me grace to make it through the day.  I tell myself I am proud that I made it to noon time and didn’t crawl back into bed with an ice pack.  I watch the birds and listen to their songs.

Today, my Ipod is programmed to playing songs alphabetically.  “Fingerprints of God” is a song I’ve sung, even wrote parts to, but only today did it speak to me.

I can see the tears filling your eyes
And I know where they’re coming from
They’re coming from a heart that’s broken in two
By what you don’t see
The person in the mirror
Doesn’t look like a magazine
Oh but when I look at you
It’s clear to me

That I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece that all creation
Quietly applauds
And you’re covered with
The fingerprints of God

Never has there been and never again
Will there be another you
Fashioned by God’s hand and perfectly planned
To be just who you are
And what He’s been creating
Since the first beat of your heart
Is a living, breathing
Priceless work of art

Just look at you
You’re a wonder in the making
And God’s not through
In fact, He’s just getting started!

I’m not sure what His plan for me is.  If I am honest, I will say that I don’t like His plan sometimes.  But I will move through today with this song as my mantra… “you’re a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds.”


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