Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Those who have known me for a few years have keyed into this very important fact about me—I am a flippin’ klutz. I may not be the most accident prone person you have ever met, but I should rank in the top three. I have lost count of the concussions, x-rays, CAT scans, sprains, strains and plethora of other injuries to my person because there have been simply too many to remember. I was the girl who was in a walking cast for her first prom because she fell down a flight of stairs. I was also the girl who almost broke her wrist opening a door. Speaking of doors, have you ever opened a car door, and managed to clock yourself in the eye? I have. Twice.

As I’m in pain and unable to do much from my most recent graceless escapade, I decided that I should recount some of my most impressive ungainly feats.

I’ll start with my first concussion, which is only somewhat impressive as I was playing national league basketball with female giants from Dallas (they grow ‘em big out in Texas), who were supposedly in the 11-14 age bracket. The girl I was guarding shot, and I went in for the rebound before I remembered that my coach would chew me out for not blocking out. I backed up to block out, and somehow my feet ended up over my head. The next thing I knew, I had about five worried adults leaning over me, and the ambulance was on its way. But hey, I got the only standing ovation of my basketball career that night, even if it was as I was carried out by the paramedics.

Over the course of a few years, I banged my head on cabinets, refrigerators, car roofs, doorways, walls, and the ground without worrying too much because I learned from my first head injury that I have unnaturally strong bones. My neck and back would be sore for a few days, then I would be free to go about my business as usual. That was until the incident in the dressing room.

I was shopping for a swimsuit at the Pecanland Mall, and like every other body-conscious female, I was determined to find the most flattering one. I went all over the mall, so I don’t remember the exact store in which I executed the most monumental moment of klutziness of my life. I had what I believed was “THE ONE” in hand as I traipsed off to dressing room. I put it on, and found myself a little disappointed with the effect. I was impatiently taking off the bottom piece when I lost my balance, fell over to the side, banged my temple on the clothes hanger thingy, and lost consciousness for what I guess was a few seconds. I came to, head throbbing, dizzy and annoyed that the swimsuit responsible wasn’t even worth purchasing. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to explain what had happened to my mother, my doctor, my radiologist, my nurse and my friends when I missed the blasted pool party.

After marrying Brandon, my inner klutz went into hibernation for awhile. I thought I was safe, that maybe I had grown out of it. I was wrong. Dad had an operation awhile back at St. Francis Hospital, so Brandon and I went to visit him on a rainy day. Mom chose to walk out with us to the parking garage for some reason or other. Knowing that she liked the take the stairs when she could, I headed that way. I did not make even a full step before the condensation and the slick underside of my shoe did me in. My foot slipped out from under me, I flew halfway down the stairs, which would have been fun had I not landed on my (you guessed it) head. I managed not to succumb to the dark, painless bliss of unconsciousness, so I heard the shrill voice that shouted, “Oh my Gawd!” from several feet away. A nurse who was trying to head home couldn’t pass up the opportunity to care for one more patient. She called the EMTs despite my earnest pleas that I didn’t require medical assistance, that I have the hardest head in the universe and that I would be just fine. Anyone other than me would have sung her praises, given her a plaque, and offered to buy her dinner. I was just disgusted. And horribly embarrassed. No less than two EMTs greeted me with a wheelchair in which I was required to ride as I was wheeled back into the hospital, right into the ER. Naturally, the ER doctor stated his belief that I had a concussion, prescribed me some pain medication and recommended I take it easy for a few days. I didn’t tell him that I probably had pain medication left over from my last injury, and that I was well-aware of the recuperation procedures by now. When the hospital tried to bill me for this ER visit a few weeks later, I laughed, refused to pay it and hinted to hospital billing that they didn’t want to press the issue.

While I could recount several other injury stories, I choose to close with my most recent one. Monday evening, I had the task of folding two weeks worth of clean laundry. The towels and washcloths had formed a mountain in the laundry basket, and several strays has tumbled over the side. I bent to pick up what I had fallen to the floor. Believing that I was clear of the cabinet overhead, I stood with a good bit of force, and found myself right back down on the floor. I swore. I couldn’t help it. Pain and surprise do that to me. I stood up, dizzy and seeing black spots dancing in my line of vision. I went back to folding clothes. A few minutes later, I was horribly nauseous, and I had quite the knot forming on the crown of my head. Yesterday, I awoke with pain from the top of my head to my lower back. Today, I am barely moving. So I had to explain myself to my husband, my mother and the parents of the piano students I was supposed to teach today, who are probably all thinking as I am, “WHO gets whiplash from a CABINET??” As if my humiliation was incomplete, my husband’s response to whole ordeal was this little condescending stinger--"While we’re baby-proofing the house, I need to goofy-proof it too.”


Mom said...

I thought this would be coming. Oh, well, your escapades do keep us entertained.

Amber said...


Anonymous said...

Google tells me what "dyspraxia" pops up. That's how I found you. My little 3 year-old has verbal and motor dyspraxia.

I was wondering...does it run in your family at all? Have you seen any improvement with exercise or therapy? Other than being clumsy, do you have other difficulties?

Just curious.

Hey, it's good you were born with a hard head, 'eh?

MelissaKeaster said...

Dear Anonymous,

When deciding a title for this blog entry, I googled "clumsy," and the Wikipedia entry for "Dyspraxia" was very close to the top of the list. I read a little about the disorder, and found this list of symptoms--

* Poor timing.
* Poor balance (sometimes even falling over in mid-step). Tripping over one's own feet is also not uncommon.
* Difficulty combining movements into a controlled sequence.
* Difficulty remembering the next movement in a sequence.
* Problems with spatial awareness, or proprioception.
* Some people with dyspraxia have trouble picking up and holding onto simple objects due to poor muscle tone.
* This disorder can cause an individual to be clumsy to the point of knocking things over and bumping into people accidentally.
* Some people with Dyspraxia have difficulty in determining left from right.
* Cross-laterality, ambidexterity, and a shift in the preferred hand are also common in people with dyspraxia. [8]
* People with Dyspraxia may also have trouble determining the distance between them and other objects.[9]

I actually have a lot of these symptoms, but I seriously doubt that I would be diagnosed with the disorder. When choosing the title of the blog, I was kind of joking around. I hope my insensitivity does not offend you. I will say this, after reading up on other aspects of the disorder, I believe I know people who have it. Those that I think have the disorder do seem to improve with therapy or some other form of organized exercise. I have no idea about verbal dyspraxia though. Best of luck!

Amber said...

Honey, you're way overdue for a blog post! Do you realize there's NOTHING here for the month of August???? Are you alive????????????????? LOL. How's the book coming?