July 17: Thursday Thirteen #5

Time again for Thursday Thirteen.

The other night I tripped on my front porch. The amount of dark purple skin I have now is unbelievable. And the muscles that are sore are muscles I don’t think I even had before. If you’re a regular reader of this blog—or a person that’s actually met me—you know that I am not a graceful person. I never took ballet but I doubt it would have helped. My dance moves are not admirable. Even walking can be a challenge for me. But in addition to being clumsy, I also make idiotic mistakes that cause injury to me or stuff or other people or other people’s stuff. (Don’t feel guilty, Mom; I blame Dad’s genes for this.) I would like to point out, however, that I have never been the cause of a car accident of which I’m aware. So… y’know… there’s that.

13 ways I’ve been clumsy or unfortunate or stupid

  1. I slipped while walking on a short brick wall when I was two years old and scratched the side of my face. It left a scar near my eye that looks like a dimple when I smile.
  2. Third grade. Picture day. Our class was sent to recess just before we stood in line for pictures. I ran across the blacktop to the swings, where I slipped on someone’s jacket and landed on my face, tearing all the skin off the side of my nose. Those were some pretty school portraits that year.
  3. When I was in grade school, my friends and I were always challenging each other to try daring things on our bikes. We would try to pop wheelies, ride backwards, put our feet on our handles, etc. One time I came up with a brilliant idea: how many times can I clap while riding with my eyes closed? I crashed (duh) and got a fat lip and mouthful of gravel. Clumsy AND stupid.
  4. While walking into a grocery store, I slipped on ice and fell against the bar separating the entry/exit doors. I broke two ribs. I was in an incredible amount of pain for quite a while, and the area was sensitive for several years. I think it’s only less painful today because there’s a good layer of blubber around it now.
  5. My senior year in college, I was making dinner for a date. I had visions of it being a fancy meal with soft music, candles, and him realizing how completely fabulous I was. During my preparations I started my kitchen on fire. The only thing I had to put it out was flour, so I dumped my entire canister on my stove. It put out the fire, but not before my entire studio apartment was filled with smoke and flour dust. I started waving a towel around and when the smoke and dust cleared, I found him standing in my doorway, his jaw on the floor. I think we ended up eating microwaved Rice-a-Roni.
  6. I broke my foot when I stepped into a pothole while walking across a parking lot; the fall twisted my ankle and knee so bad that the tendons actually yanked one of my metatarsals apart. That was the only time I ever wore a cast.
  7. Victor would pick me up from work occasionally in downtown Portland. It was a busy street at the end of the day, of course, so I would wait outside my office building and when he pulled up I would jump in the car. Every single time, I bonked my head on the door. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  8. I fell down our stairs and strained my shoulder trying to catch myself. This injury wasn’t especially serious but my doctor put my arm in a sling that made it impossible to drive or teach for a few days. It also made the injury look much worse than it was.
  9. I broke my foot during my first pregnancy but I don’t know how. One day it was swollen and I couldn’t put any weight on it. I was on medical leave the last couple months of my pregnancy because I couldn’t stand (I was a full time trainer at the time). I broke both my feet during my second pregnancy. The first break happened when I ran into a door frame. This was the week before I left for my first trip to Europe, so staying off my feet, as instructed by the doctor, was difficult. I toured Europe wearing my walking cast from another injury. The second break was much later in the pregnancy, but still a result of extreme clumsiness. So began a new question in my weekly OB appointments: “How many bones did you break since your last exam?”
  10. I overflowed the kitchen sink and slipped in the puddle on our new hardwood floors. I remember very little about it because I hit my head on the way down. When I came to, the kitchen looked like a crime scene; there was blood everywhere. I went to the emergency room, where they had a heck of a time finding the gash in my head through all the matted hair and blood. When the nurse finally found it, the “gash” was a teeny-tiny hole.
  11. I was setting up computers for a class when I tripped on a chair leg and fell, twisting my ankle. Only one person was there to witness my clumsiness, but it was still quite embarrassing. Within ten minutes, when students began to arrive, my ankle was swollen and I couldn’t put any weight on it. I taught class from my chair that day, and could hardly wait to get back to my car and take off my freakin’ shoe.
  12. I contracted E. coli poisoning in 2004, a few days before I was to have 50 people at my house for my husband’s and sister’s 40th birthday party. Thankfully there were none of the horrific symptoms you hear about when people eat tainted meat; apparently I had a different strain of E. coli that pretty much just shut down my kidneys. I was weak and delirious during most of this illness and while my mom saved the party by taking on all my hostessing duties, I lay upstairs and missed the whole thing.
  13. I saved my favorite one for #13. I had been sick for a few days and started picking at a zit that showed up on my jawline. Like an idiot, I couldn’t stop messing with it—but instead of going away, it just kept getting bigger. I finally saw a doctor and he said it was a bad infection, gave me antibiotics and told me to get some rest. The next morning it had gotten even bigger and was all the way up to my cheekbone. I was told to get to the emergency room immediately, where two nurses actually met me at the car and grabbed my hands and ran me into an exam room. There they picked and excised and drained and then put me on IV antibiotics for three days. The doctor said another few hours and the infection would have gone into my eye and blinded me, by the next day it would have gotten to my brain and killed me. And that is my story of how a zit nearly killed me in 1986.

What are some of your crazy injuries or foibles? Write about them in your blog or in a comment below.


  1. OMG Jen great list. I'm a total clutz too, but you so have me beat. Never been at death's door due to a zit. Happy TT

  2. I have a friend I work with who got in a car accident where the airbags deployed. What she instinctively did when she was about to hit another car was to put up her had to her face in self-defense. All this did was slam her hand directly into her face at the speed of the airbag causing her hand to break her nose. When she got back to work about a week later, she had to redo her ID card. So for the next 2 years the photo on her ID card looked like she was in an abusive relationship.

  3. wow - that is a brutal list. Impressive that you can remember all the details! Here's to a safe and pain free week :-)

    Happy TT!

  4. Number 13...been there done that, but instead of it being a zit it was a mosquito bite.
    I am a Queen Klutz dearest. Pop by The Cafe if you'd like to check out this week's TT.

  5. So to begin, I love your blog! It's so cute! Is your middle name Grace?? ;) hehe just kidding...
    As for the bridesmaid dress stress... (ooo.. that rhymed...) i hate the tradition of the girls having to pay for the dresses, it puts some people in a bind. I can't really say anything though because more than likely my girls will have to pay for their dresses to if we are to stay on a $5000 budget...
    Well... have a great day! Thanks for stopping by my blog!! Come again!

  6. No kidding... and I thought I was the clumsiest person on the planet. You totally beat me. I however have fallen down every flight of stairs in every home I ever lived in.

  7. Wait - you were nearly killed by a PIMPLE? That's just breathtaking.
    I had a uti that ran wild and ended up getting a vile case of sepsis and nearly died a couple of years back. OTher than that, I am REALLY prone to breaking bones in my foot.

  8. Wait - you were nearly killed by a PIMPLE? That's just breathtaking.
    I had a uti that ran wild and ended up getting a vile case of sepsis and nearly died a couple of years back. OTher than that, I am REALLY prone to breaking bones in my foot.


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