Clumsy habits die hard

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
For those of you who know me well you already know why my column has not been appearing and you will not be surprised to hear the reason.
I am known among my family, friends and co-workers to be clumsy. I drop most everything from food to drink at one time or another and usually on me.
Lunch is never complete at the office until I have dropped something on my shirt and spilled at least one cup of coffee in my lap or on my desk.
I am also notorious for falling. It seems that I can't walk for falling. Thus was the case two weeks ago when I took a spill with a set of make shift steps and fell four feet to the ground.
At first thought, I feared that I had broken my right leg, but have since found that I probably did worse by injuring my right knee.
I tore three of the four main ligaments in the knee and therefore am facing surgery in the next couple of weeks.
So for at least another six to eight weeks I am unable to drive or walk for that matter. I am limited to minimal movement and then only with crutches. And for me that in itself is dangerous! I can't seem to walk with my own two feet. The chances of me not falling with two more aren't very promising.
My mom says that I have always been this way. I am sure that my weight is a huge issue in the area of falling, but the overall clumsiness seems to be a trait that I was born with.
I can remember back in the day, going for dinner at my boyfriend's house. His parents always had big family gatherings that I absolutely loved. They would grill the best pork chops and have all the fixings. After eating, myself, his mother and sister would clean up everything. I loved being a part of the family, but it never failed that I was going to drop something. It may have been a knife, a plate, a cup or even ice, it didn't matter much, it was just certain to happen. They were always nice, but I certainly felt awkward and embarrassed about it.
Then years down the road when I married into another family, the same thing would happen after Sunday lunch. Over the years I have managed to break a few glasses, plates and I think even at one point a saltshaker. (They weren't thrilled about that one!)
Even with being a master butterfingers, I have never had a broken bone that is until almost two years ago.
I was at work and stepped off of a sidewalk into a hole and broke my left leg. It was a miracle that it hadn't happened sooner.
Ever since then, my clumsiness has been a joke among family and friends and even my co-workers. Since working at the Advance it has gotten even worse due to some extremely public displays of falling I have made.
Probably the funniest and most memorable for everyone who knew about it was the fall I took almost a year ago at the county health department.
I had gone to take a picture of elderly people getting their flu shots. I was standing in the room where the nurse was giving the shots and the person did not want their picture taken so I stepped out of the room into the hallway to take a picture of the long line of people that was forming outside.
As I was working to get the best shot, I continued to back up until I was stopped still by the set of scales behind me. When the back of my feet hit the scales I fell flat on my back on them and hit the floor.
Imagine my embarrassment as I heard 20 something elderly people gasp in fear. To add to the already embarrassing situation imagine falling and having a weak bladder. Yeah, you wouldn't think it could get much worse. But it did.
The nurse jumped up to see what was going on and at the same time two of the sweetest elderly gentlemen had rushed to my side to help me up. Yes, you've got it – they couldn't lift me up. I was too heavy for them.
Despite my absolute shame, I got up like a trooper and proceeded to take a picture. As I walked out of the building, everyone was talking about it and asking me if I was OK. Oh, the shame!
On top of that fall, I have tripped over a phone cord at the office and head butted a door and fallen outside of a business on my way to an interview.
My string of clumsiness just seems to continue. Unfortunately this time took the cake, not to say that those scales didn't hurt when I hit them. But my recent fall has really done a number on me.
I plan to work as long as I can until surgery and as soon as I can after surgery, so fear not – I am still here. I am doing interviews via email and the phone and depending on my co-workers to take pictures for me.
Until next week, I will be here trying to stand on my own two (one) feet!
Janet Little Cooper is editor of the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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