Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Waiting for Superman

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This morning I awoke—not to my alarm, but nearly an hour earlier—to the throbbing pain in my skull. My head was pounding, and it felt like someone had been using my brain as a punching bag.

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.

Light hurt.

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.


Kristina P. said...

That sounds so miserable! I am so glad I don't get migraines.

Rachel said...

I am soooo feeling your pain and am sooo relieved it is over.

Cheeseboy said...

I thank my lucky stars I have not once had a headache of that magnitude, not even close. I feel really bad for you. Your description makes it sound just awful.

People don't get about us teachers - it's often so much more work to get those lesson plans ready than actually calling in sick!

Gerb said...

Sorry about the migraine. That's no fun. But you know what IS fun? Someone you know is interpreting for Hope of America tomorrow! Down on the main floor near Portal L. It's a party!

Pumpkin Delight said...

Isn't that the truth! It's way easier to be there, even sick, than not be there. I got really sick in March and had to be out for almost an entire week. It was torture, but my sick self thanked me later.
Feel better!

Lydia said...

Glad your head didn't explode.

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

P.S. Love Super Z!

P.S.S. Break a leg!

cari said...

I'm glad to hear you are feeling better. And FYI, your kids seemed to do great during the test. They took their time, etc. :)

Linn said...

I am SO sorry! Migraines are honestly the worst and reading about it made me sick to my stomach. Yeah for being human. After all, even Superman took a break now and then.

mintifresh said...

I can't imagine trying to teach with a migraine! Good thing you got out of there and had a bag of steak fries to keep you company!

Good luck at your event!

Roberta said...

Ah yes, the mega-migraine. The one where you feel like you're walking into the light...the near death experience! Yes, I, the school bus driver have suffered them. Come to find out it literally WAS the light (driving into the sunlight) causing them. A fancy schmancy pair of super-sunglasses cured the migraines. Thank goodness super-bus-driver can now safely get the students to superman! Ugg! Here's hoping there are no more in the future!

Richard & Natalie said...

I know where you're coming from with one of those headaches and I'm so sorry. I'm glad you're feeling good enough now even to do dishes! I never feel good enough for that- headache or no headache. So maybe I'm not Supergirl afterall...

Nice to see your car in the appointed stall this morning. :)

Oilfield Trash said...

A headache that bad is horrible.

tammy said...

I've head bad headaches before, but nothing like that. I'm glad you gave in and went home and that it finally went away.

Connor dreads having substitutes because they always seem to be mean. Why is that?

Danielle said...

This makes me want to cry just reading it. I hate hate hate migraines!! I'm glad you realized you don't have to be Superman, and you could go home and be miserable. I know you've gone to the Dr. for them, have you tried any of the prescriptions for migraines? Imitrex didn't do well for me, but Maxalt worked pretty good. It kind of fast-forwards everything very quickly, and I feel better, but still have a slight "migraine hangover" the next day (but not as bad as when I don't take anything).
The prescriptions seriously help way more than over the counter stuff though.

M said...

I have had one HONEST TO GOODNESS TRUE migraine once in my life and I was convinced I was stroking out. The pain was like nothing I have ever experienced, and I am a headache kind of girl.

Next time, while you lay writhing on the floor in pain, find your phone, text me and I will be right there with meds to make it all better.

Pinky promise

Laraine Eddington said...

I've only had one migraine and have spent the rest of my life moaning about it and trying to avoid another one.

becca said...

aw how awful hugs

Joan said...

I got migraines in pregnancy and could not take anything. They lasted for days.

I'm glad you're back to super hero status. Love that song. =)

Mamma has spoken said...

On the bright side: at least it didn't happen a day later :o/

Miss Griffiths said...

Someday you will learn that "sick days" are given to teachers for a reason!
And, you know, I bet you could find SOMEBODY to drive you to the ER.
Crazy man.

Connie said...

It's amazing how much we appreciate the little things in life after going through such horrific pain!
Glad you're feeling better. Hope your steak fries are edible after soothing your poor aching head all day.

Karen Peterson said...

You're way cooler than Superman. Take away his powers and he's a big dork. At least you can play guitar. And beat cripples at midway games at Disneyland.

wendy said...

I can't even imagine that kind of pain. WHY can't they come up with something to help those with migraines.
Did you eat your steaks for dinner.

Being human is cool enough....after all I bet you looked kinda funny in your superman tights.

TisforTonya said...

I used to get horrendous migraines... luckily it's been about 20 years since having a wanting to claw out my own brain with a toothpick one though... they suck. Of course, having to change my diet completely in order to get rid of the migraines kinda sucked for awhile too... it was worth it though - especially now reading and remembering the "good times"

and that "wrath of Khan" reference... yeah - I make sure to miss the first 10 minutes of that movie every time (twice) I watch it.

Lars said...

If you get one of that magnitude again you may want to try asking your doctor for a Toradol shot. They seem to help my migraines when my daily migraine meds can't cut it. Hopefully you are feeling better now!

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