In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!
-- Green Lantern Oath
Hey everyone! If you’re a basketball fan, Happy March Madness! (But really, who’s not a basketball fan?) If you’re excited for warmer weather (hopefully!) Happy first day of Spring! I know I’m ready for Spring weather, myself, but I’m even happier about my NCAA bracket, because except for the whole St. Joe’s loss to UCONN, I have a perfect bracket (so far) for day one (other than the play-in games), which is the best I’ve ever done with a bracket! Small pleasures. ::EDIT:: I began this post before NC State and Oklahoma both fell, so three losses for today but all in all I’m still pleased!
Anyway, I had to come on to share something exciting. You may be wondering why the Green Lantern Oath starts this entry. Heck, some of you may be wondering, “Who/what the heck is Green Lantern?” (While I hope that isn’t the case, if you’re unfamiliar, I’ll spare you an explanation lengthier than a blog warrants and direct you to this link to read the first paragraph, courtesy of the DC Universe wikia.) I’ll give you a moment to read if you need it. Go on, click that little link and allow your mind to be enlightened by the awesomeness you will find.
Green Lantern, in addition to all the things you can read at that link, is my absolute favorite comic in any universe of comics. Everything about Green Lantern fascinates me, and if I had to choose just one comic to get monthly, it’d win by an intergalactic long-shot. If you don’t already know this about my life, every Wednesday is a cause for excitement because it’s comic book day—meaning Rog and I (and usually one/two of our closest friends) drive to the comic book store and get whichever of our monthly comic(s) is/are released on any given week.
Obviously, life with Lyme & Co puts a damper on any excursions outside our house, so for the past several months, Rog and aforementioned friend have been going alone on Wednesdays. This is partly because most days I’m unable to leave the house at all, and partly because the shop we frequent is ridiculously-but-awesomely jam-packed full of comics and collectibles to such an extent that not only is any possibility of using my wheelchair gone, but the aisles don’t have enough room for my walker. And being a person who thoroughly enjoys going “comicsing,” not being able to go obviously puts a damper on my mood.
So today, Thursday, three days after my most recent dose of EBV treatment, and typically the day I’d be due for my next dose (but am not due today since we switched my schedule to every 5 days instead of 3), I had a pretty good morning. I slept well last night (always a plus!), and then had enough energy to fix my breakfast this morning, fold a little laundry Rog brought upstairs, and take a shower. All of which are major accomplishments because of the days when nothing like that is even in the deepest recesses of the realm of possibility. When Rog asked me if I wanted to ride up to the comic book store with him (a day late this week for various reasons), I agreed, because with my energy being okay all day, and with the only majorly annoying symptom being a tolerable level of the classic Lyme headache, I thought I could definitely ride and sit in the car while he went inside. At least I’d be getting out, right?
But it didn’t stop there. I had a fleeting moment of madness inspiration/confidence, and decided to bring along my cane, even though I used the walker to get to the car…because a cane DOES fit in the aisles of the comic book store and by golley, if I thought I had the energy when we got up there I was going in the comic store!And I did. To get into the store, I used the cane on one side and Rog holding me on the other, but once inside I was able to carefully use my free hand to steady myself on the wall (emphasis on carefully, because anytime you touch the walls in that shop you’re inviting an avalanche of comics and miscellaneous merch to come tumbling down), and I walked around the comic book store for ten minutes. Yes, I had to kneel down on the floor a few times to catch my balance/breath, but I did it. And it was great. I felt like a regular (non-Lyme-fighting) person who was able to exist, if only for a few minutes, in the real world, and enjoy real world things! It was absolutely wonderful!
Seriously, just being able to walk in the comic shop for a few minutes for the first time in months gave me such a high (it doesn’t take much nowadays, and that’s pretty cool), and put me in such a happy mood. It was truly amazing! Not only that, but when we got home, I was able to sit on my kitchen stool and fix a quick dinner for myself—another huge accomplishment! And even though the reality of this Lyme life is that my days will still tip the scales significantly toward the side of bedridden/symptom-overdrive, at least for quite a while as I undergo treatment, this illness Satan cannot take away my focus on these good days/moments.
And oh how he tries! Oh how very much that antagonizer tries to take them away! Case in point: once I finished eating dinner, the all-too-familiar hot flash feeling that always precedes a sudden-onset herx (typically involving not being able to catch my breath, overheating to the point of having to throw various assorted items of clothing onto the floor in an effort to cool down, random muscle twitches, and screaming/crying due to exploding head/eye pain to such a degree I wonder how I’ll actually live through it—herxing is not pretty, to let those of you in who don’t have personal experience), and within a couple minutes the herx was in full effect. Thankfully Rog was able to get my burbur drops and essential oils at the very beginning to head it off, and continued the burbur every ten minutes throughout (I owe so much to burbur, seriously!), so it lasted about 20 minutes, which isn’t horrible as far as herx length goes. My first very human thought throughout all this (after having such a good day up to this point) was, “This isn’t fair!” and after saying that out loud I realized how utterly ridiculous it sounded.
Why on earth should herxing at the end of an otherwise great excellent day make me say the day is unfair? (Hint: the answer involves the words: it shouldn’t. I can honestly say that after that very first human instinct to cry out in anger about the unfairness, my thoughts centered on how much of a blessing today truly was. Once I refocused my mind on the inherent greatness of today, throughout the rest of the herx itself, I was speaking aloud to Satan, telling him, “You’re not gonna win. Not this time. It’s not gonna happen.” And the favorite phrase I’ve heard my dad say throughout life when it just feels like the deceiver/accuser won’t relent, “Go for it.”
When I speak words aloud to the master of evil, I instantly feel more powerful, and I know that’s because when we denounce the façade of control Satan tries to convince us he has, we can’t help but be filled with the peace of the Spirit and be assured again that God, as always, is with us in all situations—good and bad--brightest day, and blackest night.
While I’m in no way putting Green Lantern on the same level (or in the same galaxy) as God, the fact that one of today’s most major accomplishments revolved around a visit to the comic book store made opening with the Green Lantern Oath, and tying it into the previous paragraph, absolutely necessary.
One of my Green Lantern comics Rog got the current writer (this was the first issue he wrote for Lantern) signed and personalized for me last week at Comic Con in Lexington last week since I wasn't able to attend this year.