You know those people you see in a cast and when asked what happened they tell this fascinating story of how they were competing in a triathalon or jumping from an airplane or saving a kitten from a tree?
Whenever I get injured, it is always some ridiculous story that is too humiliating to share. Except here, of course. Nothing is too foolish or embarrassing to blog about.
I’ve never had stitches (except during surgery) or a cast (My breaks have been in spots that are uncastable. <—That should be a real word.). So I never considered myself “accident prone” until I started listing this series of misfortunate events. These are just the ones that came to mind quickly. I think I should start wearing bubble wrap.
1. My Little Pony (age 9) – I got a concussion from being thrown off a horse. And by thrown I mean slid off because I was riding without a saddle. And by horse I mean itty bitty pony. My head managed to find the sole rock in that field.
2. A Real Cliffhanger (age 10) – I was hiking on a mountain with my girl scout troop, carrying a heavy backpack. I’m not sure why we had backpacks. Probably to earn a patch of some sort. We were walking along the edge of a cliff and a sudden gust of wind knocked me over (Or I was just clumsy and slipped. Same thing, right?). I wouldn’t have plunged to my death or anything but it would have been a painful, bumpy slide down a very steep rocky hill. Plus there was a major highway at the bottom of the cliff. As I hung on to a boulder, I just started laughing hysterically (I’ve told you before I joke at inappropriate times.). The leader grabbed my hand and pulled me up. Everyone just stood there staring at me like I was a freak for cracking up at the thought of the rocks cracking me up. (And lest you think this is one of those childhood memories that gets exaggerated in the mind, I still drive by that cliff. Laughter was definitely NOT the proper response.)
3. Ice Ice Baby (age 14) - A friend and I routinely took a shortcut after gym class. Instead of maneuvering through the crowded hallway to our next class, we took the gym’s outside exit which included a large flight of concrete stairs. One day we stepped outside onto a sheet of ice. My friend slipped and bounced to the bottom of the stairs. I slipped but didn’t bounce. Unfortunately, my elbow stopped me. I couldn’t get myself off the stairs – not because of the pain – but because I was laughing so hard (Shocker.). By the time I got myself up and to the school office, my pants were completely soaked (from the ice, my bladder control was fine. Then.), I was in excruciating pain, AND I was in trouble for leaving the school building (Oh, did I forget to mention that taking our “shortcut” was against the rules? I guess they thought someone may get hurt or something. Psshaw.).
4. On The Fence (age 14) – While riding my bike on a gravel road, I did a perfect flip over the handlebars, landed (on my back) on a fence, flipped again and landed (on my butt) on the ground. Cirque Du Soleil would have been impressed. I’m sure this was my coolest looking mishap ever, but I had no witnesses and not a single scrape or bruise to prove it. I didn’t even break the fence.
5. Dope on the Slope Part I (age 16) – I went on a youth group ski trip. I suck at skiing and struggled on the bunny slope all day. When it was almost time for the bus to leave, a friend convinced me to try the medium slope before left. “I can’t handle skiing next to the 3 year olds on the almost flat snow and you want me to go on the big hills? Sure!!” (I suffered from ITS – Invincible Teenager Syndrome). To make matters worse, we got on the wrong lift and ended up on the advanced slope. With the reeaaallllyyyyy big hills. I wiped out getting off the lift and my “friend” left me in the
dust snow. I crawled around to gather my skis and realized I had no idea how to get them back on. The lift operator finally took pity on me (and stopped the lift!) and came to help. I then had no choice but to ski down the enormous hill, alone. I was doing ok until my skiis fell off again and I realized I STILL didn’t know how to get them back on. I had visions of being left behind by the bus and found days later by a St. Bernard with a mini barrel of water around his neck. I actually attempted to WALK down the hill. Slippery snow, slippery boots and remaining upright? Impossible. As a last resort, I sat on my skis and slid the rest of the way down the hill on my butt. I got a lot of strange looks, but that was the most fun I had all day. It wasn’t until I was safely riding home on the bus that I realized my wrist was swollen. I’m not sure which of the (many) falls caused the injury.
6. The Frat Splat (age 17) – My very first weekend at college my Freshman year, I tore ligaments in my foot at a fraternity party. There was…ummm…soda…spilled on the floor and I slipped while rocking out to Mony Mony. (Well, I don’t know what song was playing but Mony Mony played at every single frat party ever so it’s a safe bet.) My suite mates – whom I had known for all of about 4 hours - started helping me hobble back to my dorm until the kind campus police stopped to see what all the hopping was about. They gave my roommate and me a ride (to the dorm, not the station). My roommate kept whispering emphatically for me to hold my breath. I must have had the hiccups or something (It was definitely not because I had too much soda.). The next day my roommate went with me to the ER and kept running my foot into walls and door frames while pushing my wheelchair. I think it was subconscious payback. Surprisingly she didn’t request a room assignment change.
7. Study Break or Study Broke? (Age 20) - I was lying on the floor studying for a college final when something popped in my lower back. I spent the next 6 months recovering from a slipped disc. From studying. Those text books need a warning label.
8. Dope on the Slope Part II (age 23) – When Jim and I were dating, we went skiing. Jim used to be a ski instructor so thought he could teach me. He underestimated my suckiness. While trying desperately to snow plow, I ended up completely off the course. I landed - doing the splits – in the muddy woods. Muddy because they don’t bother to put fake snow that far over since they assume no idiots will go there. (You know what happens when you assume? Well, unfortunately this assumption only made an ass out of ME.) It took me so long to try to get unstuck from the mud (and unstuck from the splits) that the rescue sled came because they assumed I was injured. Luckily the only thing hurt was my pride. And Jim’s eardrums.
Sadly my misadventures are too long for one post.
Tune in next time for Dumbest Injuries, Part 2: The Mrs. Years.
“Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others” [Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary]
I bring you much good fortune.