The Curious Case of the Chronically Accident Prone

From the time I was an infant I was talented in the art of unique forms of injury. I’m not talking about being brittle boned, but more excessively skilled in athletic physical events of accident-hood.

When I was about four to six months old my parents were at a get together with friends, enjoying time in their backyard. I don’t know where my brother was at the time, probably romping around the other kids his age. My mother was up on her friend’s back deck, while my father was down on the ground about six feet below. Like any mother my mom’s arms were getting tired, and I was probably fussy or bored. Mom called to my dad and asked him to take me for a while. Leaning of the porch railing my mother handed me off to my father. The difficulty was that he either was distracted or not prepared when my mother assumed he already had hold of me and let go.

I’m sure their stomachs dropped and their hearts stopped as time slowed as their little daughter plummeted toward the ground. In a moment rivaling the Marx brothers my father halted my fall by grabbing my ankle before I hit my head on the bottom of an empty rain barrel. Since then I have been terrified of fast downward falls (with a dash of height issues sprinkled on top).

Since that day I have developed the super ability to find unique methods of hurting myself.

– When I was about ten I went roller skating. I was a nerous wreck and was afraid to stop. After skating around the rink sixteen times because I couldn’t figure out how to stop my legs failed and a crashed by doing the splits. . .on roller skates….not a good idea. In the end I had to have knee surgery to remove a cyst in my knee that had formed from my awkward ballet antics.

– Even something semi-normal as an appencitis I could not do in a typical fashion. Oh no, my symptoms were abnormal. In fact, the doctors couldn’t figure out why I was in so much pain, eventually they did laproscopy surgery by taking a scope into my belly button to take a look around my insides to try and identify the root cause. What they discovered tfloored the doctors, my appentix was bent around a rib and was so infected it was going to implode. Didn’t even know that was a thing.

– Remember the childhood game where you avoided cracks “or you’ll break your mothers’ back?” One day I was walking home from school and stepped on a raised section of sidewalk from a tree root pushing up the concrete from below and broke my foot.

– I even crushed the vertebrae in my upper back when I fell off the seat of an exercise bike.

You’d think I’d grow out of it by the time I was an adult, but my proclivity to injury grew exponentially. I’ve ruptured a disc in my back putting my baby in his crib. I had to have my kneecap reshaped from falling down on my backwalkway taking my son out to the school bus during winter. Then there was the time my three year old threw a carseat at my head.

I’m so skilled my friends have recommended I wear a permanent helmet and clothes made out of bubble wrap, but I’m sure I’d just find the one flaw in that scenario and fall down a hill, puncturing the wrap and slicing the helmet off my head. I mean today, I cut my finger on the steering wheel of my mini-van while driving my kids to school.

If being Accident Prone could be a super power, then I have it in spades. But even though I might be chronically accident prone I have learned one thing about myself. . .I’m not going to let that stop me from living my life and facing fears.

I have gone sea kayaking around the San Juan Islands in the Northwest. I’ve gone repelling off Mount Lemmon in Arizona. I interned in the InsectLab at the Phoenix Zoo. I’ve taking archery classes and even hope to sign up for ax throwing classes. I’ve photographed weddings and high school dances. I even snorkeled in Hawaii.

Life is an adventure for everyone in their own ways. My adventure is learning to not let a physical struggle define how I am going to live my life. I have several more items to check off my bucket list, including: zip lining, river rafting, and trips to Ireland and Greece. So, for now, when the accidents happen, I’ll whip out one of the four first aid kits I keep at home, bandage myself up, and get back to work, because I have a life to live stories to write, and kids to raise.