I’ve never been very coordinated. From childhood my family nickname was “Grace” said with a heavy dose of sarcasm. My mother used to joke that I wouldn’t simply fall down the stairs, I would fall up them too. I had two left feet and would trip over nothing. If we went out to dinner, it wouldn’t be long before I tipped over my glass of milk. Almost every photo of me from age 2 until about age 12 featured me with a skinned knee (sometimes two!) I broke my arm 3 times, I broke my foot. I had stitches in my hand, my finger, and my lip. Trips to the emergency room were commonplace in my younger years. Accident prone, clutzy- that was me.
Then I grew up. Accidents got bigger (I totaled two cars before age 18 and a 3rd in my 30s) but I was less clutzy. I was able to walk up and down stairs without bruising my shins. I was able to pour a glass of milk and eat out without embarrassment. The only time I spilled things was when my mother was around, as if to prove to her that I was still “Grace”.
Until yesterday. I decided I wanted to make my famous homemade lasagna. As the sauce cooked, I boiled water for the noodles, but had to turn the oven off to take my daughter to a birthday party. I left everything on the stove and hustled the kids out the door. When I came back 30 minutes later, my younger daughter and her friend went down the street to see another friend, so I was alone in the house to finish making lasagna. Finally the noodles were done, so I put on oven mitts and carried the huge stockpot of boiling water to the sink, where it slipped from my hands, tipped toward me and poured it’s entire contents over my thighs and splashed onto the tops of my feet.
I screamed as the pot fell. I pulled the fabric of my pants away from the skin and made my way to the bathroom. I carefully took off the pants (loose drawstring capri style knit pants that I wear to the gym) and grabbed a robe. My legs were an angry shade of bright red and starting to blister. I went back to the kitchen for ice and the phone to call my husband, who was with my dad watching the Laker game. As he raced home I tried to mop the water off the wood floor in the kitchen while holding rapidly melting ice cubes to my legs.
I found the one loose flowing skirt I own and put that on, called my neighbor to watch my daughter and her friend, and then we were off to the emergency room. They gave me a Vicodin tablet almost as soon as I arrived. An intern applied a cooling cream with a wooden spatula and wrapped it in wet gauze. I literally wanted to jump out of my skin as he applied the cream. He was careful and kind and very slow, but it was excruciating.
3 hours later I was home armed with gel ice packs, an Rx for Vicodin and some antibiotic cream. My little girl was my nurse and was so sweet with me, making sure I was comfortable. My husband ran to the all night pharmacy for bandages and gauze and to fill the prescriptions. I tried to sleep sitting up on the couch because lying down on my side wasn’t possible. The pain was indescribable even with the Vicodin, but I did finally sleep, and this morning it’s a lot better. Gross yellow blisters the size of golfballs have bubbled up on both legs. My legs are all wrapped up now thanks to the expertise of my husband, who reminded me he is a former boy scout, and I’ll be lying down all day with the ice packs. Not exactly the fun Memorial Day I had planned, but on a positive note I will get some reading done!
Are you accident prone too? Have you ever done anything this “graceful”? If so, leave me a note and tell me about it.