That is a current snapshot of Milo. I'm upstairs in my sparse writing room, checking e-mail and whatnot, holding a heating pad on my jaw, switching sides, and set it down to type. Milo walked in, hopped on top of my desk, and took over my heating pad. I actually need the heating pad, but I don't have the heart to take it back. It is rather cute because he slept on an identical heating pad (wrapped in a washcloth) in a cage when he was tiny enough for us to wonder if he could freeze to death in Houston, TX.

So, my jaw has not fully recovered which is frustrating. I am not as resistant to doctors as usual. I will see a specialist next week if I need to, but TMJ is an odd bird. My jaw will feel better for a long stretch, especially in the morning after I've slept well with a nighttime mouth guard. But at some point mid-morning, my jaw will start to feel tense and throb; not so much pain, but serious tightness. I'll put the mouth guard back in which feels better, but I hate how it looks. Johnny says he can't tell nor does he care (he honestly always thinks I look good, thank God), but my bottom lip protrudes and I talk with a funny lisp. I've also noticed my jaw feels much better after 1-2 glasses of wine which tells me that TMJ is partially stress-related, but I also think it is due to seating posture and well, I'm not exactly sure, so I guess a specialist would be a good idea. I promise to call my dentist for a recommendation on Monday if there is not significant improvement.

I sorely miss eating Granny Smith apples, chicken, baby carrots, almonds, and pizza. Thankfully, I honestly do enjoy oatmeal with honey, smoothies, yogurt, lentils, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and soup; and dark chocolate squares melt in my mouth. And though I crave quiet like draughts of ale, I realize how much I enjoy talking, laughing, and acting silly with our friends. After a mini-concert by Frank, Jonathan, Trip, and Johnny (on drums, of course), and chit-chatting with everyone afterwards, my jaw was fatigued and my smile turned upside down. I never gave my jaw credit for smiling or conversation; God created us quite intricately.

I once thought suffering sucked because of pain. That is no picnic, but for me, as of late anyway, the bigger obstacle is my mindset. Do I allow mental wanderings to veer towards the absolute worst case scenario - like a story a friend told last night about her pastor's sister-in-law with extreme TMJ requiring jaw replacement surgery every three years? Or do I nestle under the feathers of God and remember several times when my worst fears did not occur? How He carried me through and away from previous suffering 'til it was no more than a wisp of memory? And will I shake off the tunnel vision and look around to see all that is good - the relief? I've also learned that there is always relief from suffering (I'm trying to recall the Biblical reference of a verse similar to, "sorrow may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" - love it).

A beautiful house on a peaceful street, lined with trees and singing birds. Bamboo floors and paint colors that mimic the bungalow effect we love in the Woodland Heights (where our Church lives). Curbside trash and recycling pick-up. Purring cats sharing my pillow or resting by Johnny's feet at night during a thunderstorm. Cream stirred into a mug of Orange Dulce tea. Wendy Reed's orange blossom lip balm (from the farmers' market). Hugo Cedarwood, Sage, and Basil bar soap. A second-story view of another rainstorm. A husband who took me out to a local Indian restaurant after the concert, ordered a carafe of the house merlot, and soft foods like saag paneer (creamed spinach and homemade cheese) and dal basanti (spiced yellow lentils) because he knew I needed something other than microwave soup. Packages in the mail: a perfect housewarming gift from a friend (looking for thank you cards in our boxes now...) and my first set of a pretty bamboo To-Go Ware Utensil Set (w/brown cloth). Hanging the weathered wind chime (playing a scale from Bach's repertoire) outside our back door making this house feel even more like home. A good TV night ahead: Get Fresh With Sara Snow, Grey's Anatomy, and ER. We recorded LOST to watch tonight or tomorrow, too.

I think I'll meditate on the good. There sure is a lot of it to ponder. And, I am able to take vitamins which I wrote about over at The Sustainable Scoop today!


Beckye said...

Psalm 30:5

Christine said...

I'm sure you look adorable with the mouth guard. And our sattelite went out with the terrible storm this week and we missed Sara Snow :( you'll have to let me know how it is!