Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Time to Lose

One-hundred and eighty-three pounds. That's what I weigh. As a sixty-two year old woman, who has dedicated three and a half years of my life to diet and exercise, this must be the end of the world. I have gained twenty-three pounds. And I must admit that it did get me down for awhile. However, I have brought my diabetes under control. I am gardening, and I am back on the treadmill stronger than ever.

You see, along with my other medical problems, I suffer from cluster headaches. Often considered a man's disease, cluster headaches can bring a tough man to his knees. This tough woman was brought to near screams. Cluster headaches involve the main nerve in the face, called the trigeminial nerve (sometimes called the trigeminal migraine). From there liquid fire can travel to every nerve in the face, closing off the sinus on one side, and in my case included the head, the nose, the eye, and inner ear. The strangest thing about these migraines is the fact that they come on time, every day. You can set your watch. So, no matter how good you feel, when 8:40 p.m. comes around, watch out. It's like a little dirty trick. It is no mystery to me why this headache is often called the suicide headache. Sadly, there are those who have committed suicide. Not me. I got help.

Anything can trigger these headaches: smells, brushing your teeth, mouthwash, dust, and the list goes on. In my case, exercise also brought them on. I could not use my treadmill for six months. I had reached the point, where I could not wash a glass, wipe a counter, or wash my hair or face, without triggering pain so horrendous, it made me scream. It took about six months of medication, slowly increasing, for my headaches to come under control. I am now pain free.

My medicine has one unpleasant side effect, however. It has nearly shut down my metabolism. Hence the twenty-three pounds. However, stepping out of the pain corridor and into a normal life is a blessing, beyond compare. So, here I am in the middle of a conundrum - dreaded weight gain versus dreaded pain. I hate both. So, here is my strategy. No big deal. Exercise. Back onto the treadmill. One mile a day, at the very least. Every day, all over again.

Beginning again. It's not what I expected to have to do. Starting over. Back to the starting gate. Why me, Lord? The answer He gave me? Well, Jaye, you're so good at it. Who says the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor? So, I'm starting over. That's what God expects me to do. That's His plan, because I'm good at it And maybe there's someone out there who needs to know that starting over is a good thing.

Yesterday was a good day. In fact, it was a great day! Doing the gardening I love: hauling hoses, soaking trees, planting plants, a little nap in the afternoon, then back to the yard. Just plain getting dirty. That's my favorite thing in the whole world. I haven't been able to do this in over five years. Now I can. Thank you, God! You see, I'm starting over there, too.

So, here I go, doing what God says I do best. Rethinking my diet. Sticking to the treadmill. And praising the God who holds each breath in His hand for just one more day outdoors. You see, I realize now, that we can't often make the life that we planned; but we can, joyfully, love the life He has given us. And that's the best day anyone can have.

With love,


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