In fact, do you remember that scene from The Wrath of Kahn? You know, the one where Kahn puts that little worm into Chekov’s ear and it burrows its way into his brain?
Yeah, you could say that it felt something like that.
I took three ibuprofens and decided that I would be fine—after all, I was a teacher. I wasn’t just any teacher either; I was to be the hero…the one who never missed school because of being ill or anything like that. I guess you could say that I pictured myself as something like this as I traversed the tortuous distance from home to work:
I rolled down the windows and breathed in the cool morning air, hoping to alleviate some of the pain throbbing in the confines of my skull, but it did little to nothing to lighten the agony. But, being the teacher that I am, I put on my ‘game face’ and went into the classroom. I smiled, I tried to be excited, and I even tried to joke around with my class as we reviewed for year-end tests, but it felt like I’d had a double-kryptonite power shake for breakfast.
A little over an hour into the day I came to a stark realization…
I was not Superman.
And you know what? I realized that nobody expected me to be either.
As the pain kept increasing, it became progressively harder and harder to stay. Light hurt. Sound hurt. Thinking started to hurt. My students seemed to make the pain far worse than it was before, and I wanted to do nothing more than pass out as my head pulsed with every scream of my muted soul.
It was at 9:35 that I finally admitted to myself that this migraine just wasn’t going to go away—even after numerous trips to the restroom to splash cold water on my face, drinks from the fountain, a dose of Excedrin, and a Dr. Pepper to wash it down.
My principal saw me as I stepped into the hallway and realized that something was wrong.
A few minutes later I was scrawling out a haphazard lesson plan for the day, packing up my computer, and heading out the door. My class, watching a Bill Nye video as a quick review for our science testing, had no idea what was going on, and I’m sure must have been pretty surprised fifteen minutes later when they all looked up and saw a woman standing where their teacher had once been.
About ten minutes later I was home and in for another eight hours of excruciating pain, vomiting, and wanting to crack my head open and letting the insides out. At one point I entertained the idea of driving to Instacare and have them give me a shot of pep-sisma, cortisone, or whatever it is that would take away the pain, only I knew that I shouldn’t be driving. Also, the thought of having to sit in a waiting room was too painful to even think about, I would want to rush up the counter and demand to be seen right now...to have the secretary whip out a magic vial of migrane-be-gone and take care of it Harry Potter style.
But instead I was lying on the floor with a bag of frozen steak fries on my forehead groaning. Clearly, my insides still wanted out, and standing would only make the fall down to the floor far more dangerous.
I didn't want to go anywhere.
So there I lay, my steak fries and I.
It was at about six tonight that the torment finally ended. The pain subsided and I felt great—invigorated with the beauty of life itself. The sky never looked so blue. The air never smelled so clean. The pile of dirty dishes in my sink was so beautiful that I couldn’t wait to wash them.
Today I realized that I was human…
But tomorrow, I will be Superman.
Oh, and just if you were interested, tomorrow night, my class and I will be performing in the Hope of America presentation. It should prove to be awesome.
After all…we’ve been practicing.
BYU Marriott Center
7:30 with a preshow starting beforehand
(Come early, it gets crazy busy…but it’s SO worth it).
If you wanted to see the photos and video last year or the year before, feel free to click the corresponding links.
The dandy photo at the top of this post was drawn and put on my classroom door during teacher appreciation week a couple of years ago by a parent while I was at Sunset View...just if you were wondering where it came from.