Last nights post was a tad... well. I freely admit I was feeling rather low. I don't do still at the best of times, and apparently I also suffer from some kind of short term memory issues as I would lay immobile for a while, and then would somehow forget the white hot blinding pain from the last time I tried to move and reach over for a different magazine or to nudge Pandora off my foot – only to have my lapse in thought thoroughly explained to my addled brain as the wave of pain rolled over me. So in my suffering (I have plenty of experience in this type of thing, so allow me to state I would rather break both legs AND be in the midst of a PMS typhoon then do nasty things to my ribs. I know the first sounds worse... but at least you get a flashy set of wheels for a month and the terrified natives proffer chocolate in the hopes of appeasing your momentary demons. Ribs? Anything that makes you weep and shake at the mere thought you might sneeze – Worse. MUCH worse.) I may have given the impression that being a klutz is a truly terrible thing.
Not so my friend. In fact, there are some standout good points that make me happy to claim the slightly bruised and battered crown of klutzdom. Allow me to explain.
1 – When helping friends to move, they will only allow you to carry items like pillows and blankets – and these only to ground level rooms. The rest of the day they will give you “important” jobs, such as keeping the lemonade pitcher (plastic) filled and the cats (declawed) out of the way.
2 – When camping in groups any job involving axes, sharp pieces of wood, fire, tent stakes, rusty buckets, ropes, or decisions regarding the setup of latrines or water stations are allocated quickly – to anyone other then you. A friendly offer of help splitting wood for the nights fire will usually result in a panicked look from the offeree and a renewed vigor on their part to get the job done before you can wander towards them.
3 – Bravery. Sounds like an odd one, I know. But its true. Once you fully embrace your inner klutz, fear over hurting yourself fades into the background. You already KNOW you're not walking away from a task unscathed... but after a few dozen trips to the emergency room you know the worst that can happen. It might hurt, but it won't kill you.* Knowing intimately on a scale of 1-10 what a broken bone feels like means you know the risks and can compensate for them – so go ahead and climb that tree to get down the neighbor's cat. Worse comes worst? A klutz always has a stack of wheelchair accessible projects to work on over the next month.
4 – Rapid healing. Most true klutzes I know develop this. I don't know if we're all mutant freaks and thus are able to speed our healing, or if it is something our bodies develop in self-defense.** Whichever the case, I've never had a broken bone that took longer then a month before I cracked off my own cast or a scar that didn't eventually get reabsorbed back into my body. I bruise like a son of a gun... but they go from ugly to washed out sometimes in just a day.
5 – Medical Knowledge. This one comes under the heading of survival... but after tumbles, knock-downs, slices and breaks - I have learned how to put in my own stitches, slam my shoulder back into its socket, and reset a finger that just really REALLY shouldn't look like that. I'll laugh my butt off while doing it (some people cry, I giggle. The Prime Geek tells me my way keeps things moving and getting done... but is far more disturbing.) but I can put most of myself – and others – back together until someone qualified comes along.
6 – How to fall. A knowledge that has saved my skin a hundred times. Don't fight the graceless moment, don't try to prove you're cool, accept gravity is going to win and roll with it. Ignore people staring, dismiss the laughter, and just go with the zen of the fall. 95% of the damage folks do to themselves is done when they try to overcompensate for their own missteps. I don't mind the bruises - its fighting them that results in breaks.
7 – And finally – Angels and Fate watch over small children, fools, and klutzes. Something in our very makeup seems built to allow us an extra roll of the dice, often creating moments of serendipity in which the planets all aligned and the music of the spheres is allowed to ring.
What do I mean? An example – This morning was rough, very rough on this nerd. I had spent a restless night staring at the ceiling and wondering at what point should I stop being a hardass and call out to my husband that now – NOW was the time to carry my sad carcass to the ER. Nature had been trying to call for hours and I could no longer ignore the need. Gathering myself up to jerkily move – my feet got tangled in the bedsheets and I went down in a heap, slamming my back into the edge of the bed.
After the shock, pain, tears, cursing, and the wave of self-pity rolled back, I took a deep breath to survey the damage I had added to myself. Frankly, I was afraid that I had finally graduated from popped ribs to a broken back. There had been several nasty cracks coming from my back... this wasn't going to be good and my cell phone lay in the corner on the floor – thrown several feet away from me in the fall. With a shudder I tried to rise and...
Danged if I haven't popped the rib back into where its supposed to be.
Still hurts, but can breath now. Still sore, but I'm moving without crying.
*Permanently. At least more then once. I find that oddly comforting.
**My mother also claims in my case it has something to do with the gallon of skim milk a day she used to pour down my brother and I's throats. To this day, I still put away a half gallon or so a day. Many health issues run in my family - osteoporosis tisn't one I worry too much about.