Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dead Clumsy

Every once in a while I catch sight of someone's smooth, scar-free knees and I think, What, do you live in a bubble?  Where are your hard-earned battle wounds? but then I realize most likely they're just a person who doesn't fall down walking across a flat surface every other week and it's more like, Oh.  Okay.  What's that like?

This is what I'm doing today:

Around midnight last night I woke up fighting for air, an asthma attack catching me by surprise.  I managed to wheeze my way down to a hive-free, relatively open-airway existence about an hour and a half later, only to have Atticus scream his way through a night terror just as I was falling back asleep.

I had my alarm set for 5:02 am so I could go on an easy-paced four-mile run, and as I finally laid back down to hopefully get some sleep at who-knows-what-time (I never look at the clock if I'm awake in the middle of the night; I'll only torture myself calculating exactly how much time I have to sleep if I fall asleep RIGHTNOW, making rest even more elusive), I promised myself that if I got up and did the run, I could have a quick nap during Cade's nap time this afternoon rather than writing a blog post.  

I got up at 5:02, shrugged on my garb, and headed out the door, munching on toast during a walking warm-up.  

I'd been running for all of two minutes when, in the darkness between pools of light cast by street lights, I misjudged the placement of the sidewalk, my foot fell where the edge of the sidewalk meets grass, my ankle rolled and down goes Frazier.  (<----Just for yooouuuu, Derek!)

You probably don't remember that the last time I sprained my ankle was when, a couple months after Caedmon was born, I decided it was time to start running again.  I laced up my shoes, headed out the door, and fell down the front steps, badly spraining my ankle, forced to walk around in that crappy brace for a month.

This time, at least, I'm hoping it's just kind of, I don't know, wrenched or something, as it's hardly swollen, just hurts like a mother any time I try to do things like walk or go down stairs without the brace.  No big deal, right?  Right?

I wish I could blame the injury on the sleepless night, but most likely it's just a sad combination of lack of coordination, poor depth perception, inability to gauge little things like This is a sidewalk and This is grass- PICK ONE, NOT BOTH.  

I have sprained joints and broken bones just trying to walk from point A to point B on this earth, which, well, sucks, obviously, but the one good thing to come from all this chronic clumsiness is that I know how to fall.  I was set to fall hard right on the concrete this morning, but YEARS of practice have taught me to instinctively curl inward and roll upon impact with my inevitable opponent The Ground.  I should have a lot less skin than I do right now; instead I have a (PLEASE GOD hopefully fast-healing) wrenched ankle and sore knee, and that's it.  (Do me a favor and pretend to be terribly impressed that this is a skill of mine and not mildly horrified.  Thanks so much.)

I'd been hoping none of our children would exhibit any of these tendencies toward klutziness (the week before Adelaide started kindergarten I sternly warned her, "Do NOT try to jump rope off a curb," which was my virgin foray into the Land of Sprains, and it was a doozy), and so far, all has been more or less well. 

Then last week I got a call from the elementary school nurse.  Atticus ran face first into another kid in P.E.  The worst part about this was that when the nurse first called, she described the injury and told me he had an ice pack on it.  There was silence for several seconds and I said, "Okay, well, feel free to send him back to class when he's feeling better!" because I'm a terrible mother with a dwarf-sized sympathy organ, but then she said, "Um, you may want to take him to the doctor to get his nose x-rayed," and I was like, "Oh, you want me to come do something with this child who is, in fact, my very own son."  I went and got him and he was freaked out but holding it together, and yes, the bridge of his nose was swollen and bruised, but there was no way I was just going to take him to a physician who is well-versed in the healing arts; no, I instead called my mom who had me do a couple simple tests to make sure he didn't have a deviated septum- he didn't, so she said ice every other hour for 20 minutes and some Tylenol.  Boom.  No doctor required.  (He still has some bruising between his eyes and nose, so if any of you I know in the real world see him, that is apparently what happens when you high-five someone with your face.)

Aaaand today the nurse called again:  Atticus fell going up the steps to the slide and split open both lips.  There was blood.  Quite a bit, I gather.  (Like my mom cheerfully told me anytime my sisters and I sliced ourselves open above the neck:  "Head wounds bleed a lot!")  But he was pretty calm by the time she called, once again with an ice pack to his face, and she said she'd send him back to class soon.  

I'm not worried.  He'll learn how to properly fall soon enough, and I've had lots of practice treating injuries, in the meantime.  Silver linings, friends.


  1. That's a pretty thin silver lining, in my opinion.

    I saw the photo in my blog feed before I read anything, and I simply said, "Oh, crap" and it was the 8th time I said that today.

    Another silver lining could be that you get to say "Just a flesh wound" for at least a few days.

    I hope you feel better soon. I am not a nurse, but I just have to say that IF YOU HEARD ANYTHING CRACK when you went down, you should get it x-rayed. Unlike some other people, the main one of whom is my husband, who hear a crack and then refuse to get an x-ray. The crack did mean that there was a broken bone.

  2. I think I'm tired just from reading this. Although, I'll admit, I do remember days (far in the past now) where I got up at 5 am every morning to do 45 minutes on a nordic-track before going to work. However, I did not have a kid then, and all the attendant sleep problems of those early years.

    Truthfully, I just can't imagine getting up to run at 5 am after a night like that. But that's okay, because I can just live it vicariously, though you :-)

  3. I broke my nose when I was five, Atticus is just trying to keep up


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