Several months ago while I waiting in the emergency clinic to get my injured hand stitched up, I wondered how the heck I got there in the first place. FACT #1: Baby gates, pugs and glass mugs don’t mix. FACT#2: I’m a klutz.
I rarely get sick or have injuries, but when I do, I go big. When I was a little kid, I pestered our family German Shepherd one night while he was eating…. and he decided my face looked like a pork chop. Four stitches just below the eye taught me never to come between a dog and his Alpo.
In high school on the eve of an important band competition, I got bit by a spider on my arm. I knew if I told my parents, they would never let me go to the out-of-town competition, so I kept my mouth shut. The next morning the bus driver had to stop frequently to let me ralph on the side of the road. All dignity was lost at that point, but for once I didn’t care how green or disheveled I looked to the others on the bus. My arm felt like it was on fire and all I could think about was finishing the competition and getting back home.
When the contest ended later that day, I pulled back my sleeve to reveal angry, red tracks drag racing up my arm toward my heart. “Um….excuse me….is there a doctor in the house?” The green infection that the doctor drained from my arm looked like something an alien would spew after eating our GMO enhanced foods.
My freshman year of college I decided to get sporty (or at least look like I was) and invited my roommate to play Frisbee on the front lawn of our dorm. I’m about as athletic as an elephant on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, but I had an ulterior motive— to attract the attention of some M.U. males who strolled across our campus. It was all fun and games until my 150 pound friend tackled me for the Frisbee and fell on my left arm, snapping both bones in half. Good thing shock set in when I saw the middle of my arm curve into a backward “L” like a misshapen piece of pasta. A metal plate, five screws and one pin later, I had a bionic arm that set off all the alarms at the airport.
Fast Forward two years—same college, different friends. I slipped down a flight of icy stairs and busted up my ankle. Back to the same hospital, cast and crutches complete. My fall had absolutely nothing to do with the “hunch punch” served at a certain sorority party. I figured I might start a new fashion trend that spring when I attended a formal affair—nothing speaks sexy more than a college coed hobbling through a line dance with a cast on her leg.
A few months after my graduation, I ended up in the same E.R. for a third time with a fractured elbow from a fall in a parking lot.
Things remained quiet for several years until I decided it might be fun to experience labor pains. My mother popped out babies faster than a bubble blower, so I assumed it would be the same for me. WRONG. Four kids and four c-sections later, I am the proud owner of a belly that looks like I have a road map to The land Down Under stamped across my skin.
And then there was the infamous Night Of The Living Dead experience. Imagine a romantic anniversary celebration at a resort with candles, flowers, champagne….and a wife with her head in the toilet, yacking up Kung Pao Chicken and imported Italian chocolates. I had one of those creepy, out-of-body experiences where I gazed down and saw myself curled into the fetal position (with an uncanny resemblance to a gray, uncooked shrimp) on the bathroom tile. The paramedics arrived just in time to pump my body with the elixir of life and cart me off to the nearest hospital.
You know that part in your wedding vows where you SWEAR you’ll stick by your spouse through sickness and in health? I gave that vow a run for its money that night in the hospital. What didn’t come out of my mouth came out the other end and even the nurses refused to handle me since the doctors were unable to identify what virus I had. I knew it was bad when the staff kept coming in with masks on their faces and spraying my area with disinfectants and air fresheners. The Hubs never left my side and cleaned me up when no one else would. That, folks, is someone who takes their vows seriously.
When I left the emergency clinic several months ago with eight stitches, I wish I could have told you that the nasty condition of my zombie-looking hand was due to a bar fight. And that the other guy’s face looks much worse than my hand. Sadly, my accident could only be blamed on my klutziness. Hopping over a baby gate with a glass mug in my hand while trying not to step on two, sleeping pugs was a recipe for disaster. I need to keep reminding myself that despite all my booty shaking in Zumba class, I am long past the age of twenty and not nearly as agile. Because of my clumsiness, I tripped and fell when my toe caught on the gate, causing me to land on the shards of glass from the broken mug. I never realized how badly a hand injury bleeds—my kitchen looked like the inside of a slaughterhouse.
As the doctor stitched me up that day, he apologized for the scar it would leave. I laughed and showed him all the others I have. The way I see it, each one is a new story to share with the grandkids some day.
And in typical blogger fashion, I took pictures of my bloody, stitched-up hand for the blog post that was already taking shape in my head.
When we left the emergency clinic, I told The Hubs that I thought I deserved chocolate for my ordeal. He smirked and said that at my age, what I REALLY needed was a Life Alert necklace.
I’ve survived not only these injuries and illnesses but multiple hurricanes and plenty of car accidents….so bring it on, Mother Nature and Murphey’s Law. This Queen of Klutz might take a fall but she always lands back on her feet.