The more things change…

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist comes clean on physical coordination issues

I’m a klutz. A royal klutz, to be more specific. This isn’t news – anyone who knows me will vouch that I am a klutz of longstanding. My balance is poor (always has been) and I do silly things like taking a plunge while rappelling and slipping on ice (hey, it looked like water to me).

That ice incident happened in early November of last year. My husband and I were renting a beach cabin near Longbeach, Washington with my brother and his wife when the accident happened.

The day started nicely enough. Sitting on the couch and looking out the picture glass window at the surf rolling in while warming my hands with a cup of coffee was the perfect way to start the day.

Inspired by the surf and the pungent ocean smell, I decided to take an early morning stroll in the back garden area overlooking the shoreline. Slipping on my Crocs, and still in my pajamas, I headed to the garden to take a closer look.

The wooden deck had dew on it from the night before, but other than that it appeared perfectly safe. I was wrong. What I didn’t realize is that, in fact, the dew was actually ice. Being the klutz that I am, I took one step down from the deck and promptly fell, hard, as in earthshaking, bone- rattling ka-thunk!

That hurt.

So I laid there for a few good minutes afraid to move and trying to assess any possible damage. From that prostrate position I could feel the pull of muscle as my right leg was folded up under me clear to my backside and there was a stinging sensation on my right shin. My sister-in-law, who is a physician’s assistant, saw me fall and was quickly outside trying to determine if I needed an ambulance. The only problem was she ran out without her shoes and her feet were cold. Telling me to lay still, she quickly ran into the house in pursuit of her shoes.

This is where my quandary started. Did I lay there and let my sister-in-law, who is just under five feet tall, struggle to get me to my feet, or did I get up on my own. The answer was clear to me. First I rolled over thus easing my captured leg and then I got on all fours. Hmmm. Although I ached in protest, it seemed as if there were no broken bones. I slowly got to my feet and hobbled my way into the house.

When inside I noticed that I had skinned my shin. No big deal, and hardly any blood.

Sometimes it’s the small things which escape attention but which later turn out to grow into big things.

It wasn’t until almost two weeks later, on the American Thanksgiving and while down in Phoenix, AZ, that I noticed the small scrape was angrily infected. My brother had such an incident numerous years ago, and that small scrape turned into MRSA, a strain of antibiotic-resistant. bacteria. That little scrape changed the course of his life.

Taking no chances, I decided it was time to have the infection looked at, Thanksgiving or not. Unfortunately, all urgent care facilities were closed and so I ended up going to a hospital.

The nurse practitioner who examined me wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and ordered a tetanus shot. It didn’t take long for that infection to clear up and I was none the worse for it except for my embarrassment at being so clumsy.

It’s a good thing we had thought to take out travelers insurance though. Evidently that little foray into clumsiness cost over $850.

I wish I could say the fall caused me to be more cautious and less clumsy. But if I did, I would be telling a lie. Just yesterday I walked full on into the kitchen chair, which has been sitting there forever. Some things never change, do they?

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