Those who have known me for a few years have keyed into this very important fact about me—I am a flippin’ klutz. I may not be the most accident prone person you have ever met, but I should rank in the top three. I have lost count of the concussions, x-rays, CAT scans, sprains, strains and plethora of other injuries to my person because there have been simply too many to remember. I was the girl who was in a walking cast for her first prom because she fell down a flight of stairs. I was also the girl who almost broke her wrist opening a door. Speaking of doors, have you ever opened a car door, and managed to clock yourself in the eye? I have. Twice.

As I’m in pain and unable to do much from my most recent graceless escapade, I decided that I should recount some of my most impressive ungainly feats.

I’ll start with my first concussion, which is only somewhat impressive as I was playing national league basketball with female giants from Dallas (they grow ‘em big out in Texas), who were supposedly in the 11-14 age bracket. The girl I was guarding shot, and I went in for the rebound before I remembered that my coach would chew me out for not blocking out. I backed up to block out, and somehow my feet ended up over my head. The next thing I knew, I had about five worried adults leaning over me, and the ambulance was on its way. But hey, I got the only standing ovation of my basketball career that night, even if it was as I was carried out by the paramedics.

Over the course of a few years, I banged my head on cabinets, refrigerators, car roofs, doorways, walls, and the ground without worrying too much because I learned from my first head injury that I have unnaturally strong bones. My neck and back would be sore for a few days, then I would be free to go about my business as usual. That was until the incident in the dressing room.

I was shopping for a swimsuit at the Pecanland Mall, and like every other body-conscious female, I was determined to find the most flattering one. I went all over the mall, so I don’t remember the exact store in which I executed the most monumental moment of klutziness of my life. I had what I believed was “THE ONE” in hand as I traipsed off to dressing room. I put it on, and found myself a little disappointed with the effect. I was impatiently taking off the bottom piece when I lost my balance, fell over to the side, banged my temple on the clothes hanger thingy, and lost consciousness for what I guess was a few seconds. I came to, head throbbing, dizzy and annoyed that the swimsuit responsible wasn’t even worth purchasing. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to explain what had happened to my mother, my doctor, my radiologist, my nurse and my friends when I missed the blasted pool party.

After marrying Brandon, my inner klutz went into hibernation for awhile. I thought I was safe, that maybe I had grown out of it. I was wrong. Dad had an operation awhile back at St. Francis Hospital, so Brandon and I went to visit him on a rainy day. Mom chose to walk out with us to the parking garage for some reason or other. Knowing that she liked the take the stairs when she could, I headed that way. I did not make even a full step before the condensation and the slick underside of my shoe did me in. My foot slipped out from under me, I flew halfway down the stairs, which would have been fun had I not landed on my (you guessed it) head. I managed not to succumb to the dark, painless bliss of unconsciousness, so I heard the shrill voice that shouted, “Oh my Gawd!” from several feet away. A nurse who was trying to head home couldn’t pass up the opportunity to care for one more patient. She called the EMTs despite my earnest pleas that I didn’t require medical assistance, that I have the hardest head in the universe and that I would be just fine. Anyone other than me would have sung her praises, given her a plaque, and offered to buy her dinner. I was just disgusted. And horribly embarrassed. No less than two EMTs greeted me with a wheelchair in which I was required to ride as I was wheeled back into the hospital, right into the ER. Naturally, the ER doctor stated his belief that I had a concussion, prescribed me some pain medication and recommended I take it easy for a few days. I didn’t tell him that I probably had pain medication left over from my last injury, and that I was well-aware of the recuperation procedures by now. When the hospital tried to bill me for this ER visit a few weeks later, I laughed, refused to pay it and hinted to hospital billing that they didn’t want to press the issue.

While I could recount several other injury stories, I choose to close with my most recent one. Monday evening, I had the task of folding two weeks worth of clean laundry. The towels and washcloths had formed a mountain in the laundry basket, and several strays has tumbled over the side. I bent to pick up what I had fallen to the floor. Believing that I was clear of the cabinet overhead, I stood with a good bit of force, and found myself right back down on the floor. I swore. I couldn’t help it. Pain and surprise do that to me. I stood up, dizzy and seeing black spots dancing in my line of vision. I went back to folding clothes. A few minutes later, I was horribly nauseous, and I had quite the knot forming on the crown of my head. Yesterday, I awoke with pain from the top of my head to my lower back. Today, I am barely moving. So I had to explain myself to my husband, my mother and the parents of the piano students I was supposed to teach today, who are probably all thinking as I am, “WHO gets whiplash from a CABINET??” As if my humiliation was incomplete, my husband’s response to whole ordeal was this little condescending stinger--"While we’re baby-proofing the house, I need to goofy-proof it too.”