Alternate Title: The Big Day
Alternate Title: Cortisone Shots Rock!
Dance Recital is less than 8 hours away.
I am utterly terrified.
OH! But before I say anymore about that, let me show you a video of my cortisone shot to the knee experience from last week. If you are squicked out by needles you may want to skip this next part. (PSSSST! Hiccups! That would be your cue to scroll down PAST the video.)
Oh and btw - that is NOT my hairy masculine leg in the video. Ahem. Ever the faithful blogger, I was planning to video the procedure, but the camera on my cell phone didn't react well to the X-Ray machine (iow, it was RUINED!) and so I was left without tools to document this wonderful hopefully once-in-a-lifetime experience. So I turned to YouTube and wouldn't you know there are TONS of videos to choose from, but they're mostly male knees. Go figure.
First the doctor drains the knee of extra fluid that has built up inside the joint that is causing the stiffness and pain. Then the cortisone is injected.
My experience was a little more interesting than that video, because when the doctor removed the extra fluid from my knee, my thigh muscles, which due to local anesthetic were no longer under my direct control, contracted and pulled the kneecap down on the needle, which caused me a little bit of concern (i.e. pain), and caused the doctor to admonish me to relax, whereupon I tried my very best to relax but couldn't, even after employing my best active-labor breathing relaxation techniques. So we were in limbo for a minute or two, with the doctor not wanting to force the needle and damage something in there, and with me regretting the whole thing and wishing for sudden, instant, and immediate death. But then she had the brilliant idea for me to bend the knee just a tiny bit, which helped my quad muscles release, which relaxed the kneecap, which ended the pain, which enabled the doctor to complete the procedure, and then it was all over.
After three days of babying my stupid leg (and getting alarmingly out of shape in the process) the swelling was almost completely gone and I could dance again! Yee HAW!! To say I am thankful for modern technology that keeps me walking would be an understatment. Also, Dr. Melissa McLane at Utah Valley Orthopedics simply RAWKS!!! :waves madly: If you live in Utah County and have a joint injury, go to see her first. You'll love her, I promise.
Fast forward 10 days to today. The good news: My knee is still working great. YAY! The bad news: I feel waaaay less prepared than I did for my last recital. Hence the terror.
I think it's justified. At least a little. Getting up on stage in front of hundreds of people is terrifying even when I'm rock solid prepared. Getting up on stage when I haven't physically been able to practice near as much as I needed to is almost paralyzingly scary. I am literally sick over it.
Everyone keeps telling me not to worry, that no one is expecting me to dance wonderfully so soon after surgery. They tell me they're amazed that I am dancing at all. They tell me not to be so hard on myself. They tell me to just have fun.
And I know they're right. In my logical mind, I agree that I should just relax and not worry about doing a great job and just be happy that I'm walking normally again, let alone dancing, however badly. But that perfectionistic deep-down-very-center-core-of-Who-I-Am has a really hard time playing the cripple card. I don't want to dance well enough for someone who had surgery 7 months ago (which is a nice way of saying "you suck but you have a good excuse so I won't tell you the truth"). I want to dance GREAT! And even though the audience probably wouldn't notice the difference, I notice. And I hate mediocrity, most especially in myself.
But maybe this time I don't have a choice. I've practiced as much as the knee will allow. I am not in control of how fast it heals or how much it will let me do. And at 5pm Mountain Time tonight, I'll get up on that stage and do the best I can, and it will just have to be good enough.
And who knows... maybe it will go better than I think it will. Maybe by some miracle I'll remember all the steps and the formations and I'll remember to look up at the audience and grin like I'm having the time of my life and my knee won't buckle and throw me to the ground and to everyone else it will look amazing or at least not awful.
It could happen, couldn't it?