Bragging Rights

I have so much pride in my heart right now I just have to share.

As I have mentioned in past posts, I am involved in the Drama club at my elementary school. They have been working on a show called “Joust” for the better part of two months now. I was brought in as a teacher for choreography for both dancing in the songs and sword play. At this point, I was awaiting surgery, already not moving well, and relying on a knee brace for support. However, I felt like this was a really important play and cause, and I wanted to help out. I translated the choreography already written for the show, as well as rewrite and rework the places that needed it.

I walked into my first day of rehearsal nervous as all get out. I had taught before of course, but always with an older age group with high school kids or my college peers. However, I was optimistic. How different could it be? Well… I learned it could be very different. It was harder to get the attention of the whole group, it was slower to teach, and those kids could not stop talking to save their lives! At the end of that rehearsal, I had little to show for it, and I was very discouraged.

I feel the need to point out that at this time in my life, I was already feeling really discouraged just in general. I couldn’t move very well. I missed bike riding and being able to walk places with Green Lantern and not having to stop and rest. I missed my family who I was now far away from. I was trying to adjust to my new job in the elementary school just in general, which was very different from any job I had done up to this point. But above everything else I missed dancing. I had danced with the best partner a girl could ask for. We had drunk in every style we could learn for 5 years. This included various styles of ballroom, latin, and, our favorite, swing. Best of all, we were good. Like really, really good. Dancing with him was just like an extension of myself. He understood and anticipated my movements before I made them. In fact, dancing was so much a part of my life, it had become like breathing. It was something that I truly thought I couldn’t  live without. Then I got hurt, and I had to stop. In fact my wedding, which was in August, was the last last time I really danced. This was just another layer of frustration to me. How could I get through to these kids? And how could I do it quickly?

Two rehearsals later I had a turning point. I met four very special kids in the show: the court jesters. All of a sudden, something clicked. Those kids listened and responded well. They asked questions when they didn’t understand. They worked hard. They knew their cues and their words. By the end of the rehearsal, they had learned all of the choreography. What’s more, I saw something that I was missing: I saw the joy they had while they were doing it. All of a sudden, I felt good. I felt like I was actually making a difference  in their lives, and in the show. It made me happy that this joy was because of something that I could do. I felt inspired, and refreshed.

After that, rehearsals started passing quickly. I was working hard. I songs were getting learned faster. I was to keep a large portion of my choreography, and they learned it all. Not only that, but they mastered somethings I anticipated would be difficult. There were rough days, of course, but I was more than willing to find the positives.

I left for my knee surgery a week and one day before the show opened. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous. Choreography was still being learned; the stage was only partially set, my husband was building a castle, and I came home with a armful of costumes to repair. After a few days, I began to really began to miss those kids, and watching them work.

After my week of recoup, I was excited to see the show. Last night, I was sitting in the first row, with little butterflies in my stomach, wanting to see what we had been working for so long. I think I was actually holding my breath when the curtain opened. And you know what? It was magical. It was as if it were my own children were up there. They were loud enough to be heard all the way to the back of the gym, they remembered all of their dance steps, the set was perfect, the costumes looked great, and (my favorite part) they all looked so happy.

Kids and adults alike were coming up to me after the show, asking me if I was better now, and when I was coming back, and complimenting me on how wonderful the show was. I was so proud, I felt like I was glowing. I can’t take credit for what happened up there; that is all on my wonderful students. However, I am grateful that I got to spend this time with them, and teach them these things. It gave my own life some direction and some purpose again. When my time comes, and this knee is finally back to giving me that full range of motion, I’m not gonna let my fear stop me. I’m going to get back on that bike. I’m gonna get back to making those walking trips. And finally, after  much too long a hiatus, I’m going to find that joy again that dance always brought me. Thanks to those kids who performed, those teachers who taught them, and those parents who brought them here to do it. They never cease to amaze me, and I don’t think that my life is going to be the same again.



A Note About Green Lantern

What do you know about Green Lantern? Hal Jordan (The most famous Lantern from the Series, though of course there were many others) is a reckless pilot, a smart-ass, and says a lot of things he probably shouldn’t. He is also smart and confident with seemingly endless strength and willpower. He is brutally honest, and lives without fear. He would never back down from a fight. And we can’t forget that he is pretty  much responsible for the fate of the galaxy over and over again.

This in a nutshell, minus the fate of the galaxy thing, is my husband.

After this week, I feel like I owe this to my husband. Green Lantern has been more than good to me this week. He has come to my every need. He has left work multiple times, shuffling me back and forth from the doctor’s office, picking me up if I fall, or letting me rest when I get a little overzealous trying to jump ahead of my healing. What’s more, he actually took his one day off this weekend and built me a set for the Drama Club at the school when we were afraid we wouldn’t have anything in time. He did all of this, in spite of the fact that his deployment is coming on fast, and he is having to solve crisis after crisis at work.

I sometimes have to sit back and look at him in awe. I have never been one to doubt my own powers; my parents were always amazing in reminding me that anything I EVER set my mind to could be accomplished. In many ways, I feel like I have accomplished more than most people thought I could, and in a shorter amount of time. I take someone telling me I can’t do it as a personal challenge to prove them wrong. I feel the need to be the best at everything I try. I feel every emotion I have so strongly that it’s almost violent, and I don’t do anything halfway. I’m intense and struggle with letting things go.

Green Lantern seems to be all of these things I value: smart, powerful, strong, and calming. He can bring my hysteria down and remind me of all of the strengths I have when I start to doubt. He can be anything, and everything at the same time. He is not perfect, but he is cut perfectly to match me.

I have been thinking a lot about him, and him going to war. In this case, I am finding myself feeling powerless. I don’t feel like Batgirl; I feel more like Penelope, weaving and waiting for my Odysseus to come home.

I guess I really just want to say this: Green Lantern is my hero. He has stolen my heart, and just continues to prove to me, like he has done this week, that he is the Prince I imagined when I was a little girl. I could never thank him enough for everything he has done, especially this week when I couldn’t do it myself. I am so proud to be his wife. And even though he can’t turn that sarcastic mouth off, and his lack of fear scares me to death, and his confidence is so huge it can come off as cocky to everyone else, I wouldn’t change a single thing about him, or give him up. He is a master of his willpower, just like the Green Lantern everyone else is familiar with, and that is one of the things I really love about him. Honestly, he inspires me to be better, to try harder, and to never give up.  And that is something I think everyone needs in their life.


Surgery and Recovery

It may be too early to tell, but I think I am well on my way to beating knee surgery.

I went into the surgery yesterday feeling ok, and not even nervous. This is one of the qualities that I struggle with more than anything. If there is one thing that I have always wanted to be, it is fearless like my Batman. So I was feeling pretty good… until they sent Green Lantern home. Not even wait in the waiting room in I’m done, they sent him HOME. Well I got changed and they put the thing for my IV in my arm and I waited. It seemed like forever. I struggled, trying not to let my nerves get the best of me. Luckily I didn’t have to wait to long.

My anesthesiologist, the self-proclaimed “Dream Doctor” came and got me and took me into the operation theatre like he was escorting a princess to the ball. Not exactly my ideal situation, but appreciated the “Alfred” kind of nature to him. He was comfortable. I laid down on the table and had a little bit of Bruce Banner kind of moment as they strapped my arms down. All I could think was “Really? You expect me to get up and start punching you or what?” The anesthesia worked quick; I told the doctor I wanted to dream about being a beach.

In actuality, I didn’t dream anything. I woke up very sore, staring at a clock that was almost at noon, and the only thing I could think was “I want my husband.” After asking for Green Lantern over and over, one of the nurses finally said he was on his way. He came in, and instantly I felt some comfort. I got released around 2:30. Mind you… a couple of interesting things happened before that. First, I discovered that every time I sat up, I got horribly nauseous and tried to pass out. The fun of high doses of medicine and no food. Second, I had a long tube connected to a plastic container coming out of knee. And it was slowly filling up with blood. This tube was to be connected to me for a full day. I immediately felt gross.

So Green Lantern slowly took me home, with me fighting with my crutches and trying not to create any more pain then I already had. He put some food in my stomach quickly (beef jerky and a brownie) so I wouldn’t get to light-headed, since he had to go back to work and attempt to save the day. I was ok; still running with a decent amount of medicine in my system so I slept it off until he came home. Then things started to get interesting. My pain levels got really high, the light-headedness came back with a vengeance. Green Lantern gave me some meds, and I ate about half my body weight in white rice because I was so hungry. This cured the nausea, but the pain was getting worse. By the time I went to bed (on the couch, because I couldn’t actually get on the bed) I was just trying to manage it enough to sleep. Needless to say, between my connected jug of blood and pain, I was very restless. I kept dreaming about Harley Quinn (our dog) getting wrapped up in the cord or Nora (like Victor Freeze’s wife), our cat, would try to play with it and then would pop it open and get blood everywhere.

At 6:45 this morning, I actually got up, by myself, for the first time. Poor Green Lantern; Up to this point, he had to get up (or wake up for the bought at 2 in the morning) to help me move around. For some reason, this felt like a major accomplishment. I was in a lot of pain, and very stiff. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t WAIT to go to the doctor for something. Green Lantern went to work to get the day’s proceeding started, then came home to take me to my appointment.

Tube removal was… painful to say the least. Luckily Green Lantern was in a mood to be a smart ass this morning, and gave the doctor an opportunity to pull it out while was paying attention to him. I can say though that I immediately felt better once I didn’t have a container of blood hanging off of my body. We also found out two things that were very important: One, that Green Lantern was only giving me about a 1/5 of my dosage for pain meds because they were drops, and we weren’t sure how many to put in my drinks. Second, he also gets to give me shots in my abdomen once a day for next week. Yay.

So the problem in my knee was (Drumroll please) folded soft tissue. Now there was some inflammation in my meniscus, which was a little problem. But most of it can be explained by Plica Syndrome. Here’s a link, if your interested:

Today, once we got the dosage corrected for my meds, I feel much better. I got the hang of my crutches, can put a little weight on it, and pain isn’t nearly as bad. Granted, I am still spending the majority of my day laying or sitting down, but it means that I can get up and go to the bathroom or get myself food without help. Let’s hope my super strength is going to come back in full capacity now that I got through this.


How to NOT be Invincible

I wish I was invincible. Actually, scratch that. I wish that I had a little more Wolverine in me, with that quick healing mutant power.

To understand, you need some back story. I have fought many enemies… school deadlines, malfunctioning computers, falling exacto knives. However, it seems this BG met her match with a flight of concerte stairs in a parking garage. These stairs (wet with rain) got the best of me, and I fell down them and onto my knee.

Now, this happened in April of last year, but I, naturally thinking I was pretty bad ass and fairly invincible, just decided to ignore the problem. That is until about November of last year, when I had put up with months of pain and a general weakening in my ability to do everyday things. This sent me through a blur of doctors: From general practice to x-ray to cat scan to general practice again to physical therapist and finally to orthopedic surgeon. Hooray for Me. So next week I will be taking on my newest enemy: Knee Surgery. Not that it is that unusual in my family: Both Batman and my brother (Ironman to you, for his wicked computer skills) have had it done.

In the midst of Green Lantern packing everything up and ready to go for deployment, and me taking on work, I struggle with this sorely needed surgery that will hopefully be the cure-all for all of the pain I have endured for almost a year, and missing a long stretch of work, which is difficult for me. Working with special education kids, I hate the fact that I have to disrupt their schedule, which can make them edgy anyway, and leaving them as a burden on someone else. Also the after-school activity I work, the Drama club, is getting ready to do their show, and this keeps me out of almost all of the remaining rehearsals. More than enough reason to make me nervous.

So this explaination brings me full circle back to the wishing for a little more Wolverine, without the Adamantium skeleton of course. By my logic, I wouldn’t need the surgery to fix it, because my body would have naturally healed itself long ago, taking care of the whole situation. *Sigh* Too bad all of that stuff we read in comics can’t be real.


The Family of Heroes

Since this is my first post, I thought that I should give a little introduction into my “Bat Cave.” The first thing you need to know is that super heroes are real. Well, sort of. We are here, all around you, but it may not be in the way you necessarily expected.

Batman is in my blood. My father, my Batman, has been a hero in the armed forces for almost 30 years. He is still active, and still fighting. This made me, from the point when I was very young, his little Batgirl. I have adopted this persona so much that I even have the emblem on my skin to prove it. While my dad is trying to save the world in true military fashion, I took a different approach, learning all I can and eventually finding myself at this point in my life, trying to make a difference as a teacher in an elementary school.

As I got older, I found that the real heroes never left me. I recently married a Hero of my own. I found myself a Hal Jordan (Really! He’s a pilot and everything!), more commonly known as the Green Lantern. He is also serving in the armed forces, trying to keep us all safe. This blog was really inspired by him. Green Lantern is heading out on deployment in practically no time at all, and I wanted to have this as a record of our life through this, and hopefully after too. This is the life of a hero; it sometimes means giving up and being separated from the thing you love most for the greater good of everyone else.

So you may be wondering… Why is this so important to me? Because superheroes aren’t just about awesome powers or defeating villains. It’s about being brave and not letting fear rule your life. It’s about overcoming obstacles and making the hard choices. It’s about believing in yourself. It’s about trying to put others first. It’s about getting up and pushing forward, even when all you want to is go back to bed. It’s about doing good, even if you have to do it in small ways.