Saturday, December 13, 2008

This could be the longest post I have ever published but it is very important so you should read it anyway.

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.

Ta DA!

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?


  1. Thank you for the opt-out option. Just saying the words needle and knee next to each other makes me feel a little like abandoning reality for the safety of the dark, silent place. LOL.

    So, a thought to distract you momentarily from the stress. I bet knob covers really mess with the feng shui of a room. Unless you think the energy can figure them out.

    Oh, and break a leg today!

  2. I'll be there to laugh with you or cry with you. I'll be there!

  3. It could happen. I totally believe in Christmas miracles, and you deserve one as much if not more than anyone.

    I love that scene from Music Man where the kids play horribly and all the parents say things like "That's my billy." I know your family and friends will feel the same way. That's our Lisa up there. Whoo hoo.

    But I also totally validate your fear and desire to wan't things to be the best.

    So I just really hope, no matter what anyone else says, you feel good about it.

    You go girl!

  4. I'm betting you'll have a fantastic time and not even be thinking about your knee until it's over and you have that big rush.

    (It's been a lot of years since I've danced on stage . . . this is making me all sniffly.)

  5. Long before I wanted to be a star blogger, before I wanted to be a star dollmaker, before I wanted to be the hottest gal in my young adult ward, before I wanted to be the world's greatest novelist, I wanted to be a dancer. I even took lessons, many, many years of lessons. I guess we just can't have it all, huh? So, I'm very excited for you that you get to dance. Have a blast! Are you going to record it? I want to see!

  6. I'll admit to having used the opt-out... needles don't make me all jittery, but I've had the whole cortisone thing done (in my wrists) and the memory of that pain... well, let's just say I invented some new mormon swears that day :) It did help - the feeling came back in my fingers and I was allowed to hold my baby, so it was worth it!

    We'll be sending up prayers for a Christmas Miracle... as long as you don't mind me sharing it... I have to sing in a week and it's been awhile since I hit THAT note comfortably!

  7. My Prayer for a Miracle was granted! I remembered all the steps and formations, and although I made some mistakes, they were not huge ones. I didn't fall down. I haven't watched the video yet so I'm not sure yet on how I did on the grinning part. Overall I am happy with how it went and I actually had fun!

    Thanks everyone for your supportive wishes. I hope to get the video up tomorrow!

    :waves happily:

  8. Well, I didn't see Lisa's dance because I was dancing with her but I did see her finale' section. In rehearsal it was horrible (not just for her but for the whole class). Last night she RAWKED! Actually they all looked fabulous! I think that was the first time through, that all four made it perfectly with no mistakes. Way to go Lisa and the other ladies! Btw - It was fun pinching your butt!

  9. WOW!!! A dancer! How graceful....and here I fell the other day because I was surrounded by birds in the parking lot of my work! True story! I hope your knee holds out for you so that you can continue to enjoy yourself!

  10. Yeah, I found you!! Or rather, you found me! I'm so glad to know another blogger - I can definitely tell you are in a much higher canon of bloggers than I. Maybe you will lift me. Or perhaps I can drag you down?
    I'll be checking in!

  11. April and everyone else - PLEASE don't get this image of me as some graceful lithe ballet type of dancer. I am talking about clogging here. It's fast and bouncy and I am definitely NOT graceful. Just so y'all don't get yer expectations up too high for the video that will post tomorrow.

    SHERAL - YAY Sheral's here! How in thunder did you find my blog before i had a chance to leave a comment on yours? I must know this secret spy skill!!!!

  12. Oh and uh... in case y'all are wondering what the heck Crazy Lady is talking about with the pinching comment... I'll explain it all in tomorrow's post. It's all very scandalous!

  13. I'm so glad your knee is better (no way am I watching that video). And congrats on a successful recital!

  14. I am pretty stealthy! You always want to pick me for your "capture the flag" team... don't let my size fool you!!

  15. OH MY gross about the knee, maybe because it was hairy? Anyway...I'm glad your leg is feeling better.

    I have been a dancer all of my life...and still get terrified right before I go out...

    I understand not wanting to be mediocre...but I'm sure you will do great and adrenalin always helps out come performance time...

    So embrace the nerves! :)

  16. Heyyyy, how's my BBFF? YAY my button looks so good on your sidebar. ;)

    So where's tomorrow's post? Where, where, where? I can't wait to see it. I'm so glad you did well. And I'm not squeamish/squeemish/squirmish about needles because my son is a hemophiliac so the only gross thing about that video was the hairy legs.

    So I want to know why you capitalized Who in that core of Who I am? There must be a reason. Do tell.

  17. Anyone who can dance, clog, or walk without falling for that matter has grace in my books!!! I took ballet when I was 4 for 2 years and when I asked my mom if I could quit she gladly let me! I had no sense of balance! In fact, I just fell the other day. True story! So, graceful you are!

  18. *humming the Jeopardy theme music while waiting for the video to be posted*