Accident Prone

 Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run
than outright exposure.
 Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

I am VERY accident prone.
Although, now that I am at home most of the time,
perhaps I have finally grown out of it!

  • I fell down the steps at the Butchers when I was 18 months old, and changed the shape of my skull forever. I was off to a good start.
  • At the age of 15 I was training for an International Swimming Competition. I took a break (!) and went all the way to the top of the 18′ diving board. I realised I was being a show-off, and turned back. I slid, or bumped and bounced, down the stairs. Dislocating all my fingers as they met the vertical struts of the handrails, but I held on grimly, if vociferously! Towards the bottom I realised I had to let go, or break my pelvis. I went through the handrail and steps, but caught the inside of my right leg. Lost the calf muscle and I had over 100 stitches!  Cool! Of course, my Olympic Dream was shattered.
  • The ambulance people sent to bring me in for the above, had two awful experiences. They dropped me. TWICE! The doorway was narrow, so they tilted the stretcher! I hadn’t been strapped down. Then, the guy at the head of the stretcher, THOUGHT he’d hooked the stretcher on to the tracks in the ambulance. The other guy pushed. I saw stars as I zoomed head-first into the back of the ambulance. Topped and toed!
  • My family owned horse. My ex-racehorse, Acerae, and I went out alone. She spooked and had a hissy fit. She dragged me, upside-down, down the dirt road for a while. I managed to grab the girth and yank. Dislocating and cracking my shoulder. But, my foot dislodged and I lay in a crumpled heap until help came. My foot was also dislocated. I was really p****d when they cut by fabulous, knee-high, leather, imported boot off!
  • A friend’s horse threw her and she broke a collar-bone. I offered to ride Snowy about 3 weeks later. Snowy headed straight for the Clubhouse Verandah. From inside the Arena. He was gathering himself to jump between the roof and railings when sense prevailed. He swerved, I went straight; into a concrete filled pole. The paralysis below my waist was caused by swelling, and came back after a few days. She never even OFFERED to ride my two horses while I “rested on my laurels”!
  • Nine years ago, I was tootling along in my gorgeous, red sports car. WHAM! I woke up in hospital. Totally confused. An 18 year old smashed into the side and back of my car. My car spun, FOUR times they said, and wrapped around a traffic light. I was cut out of the car – which was now a piece of modern art! I suffered head, neck and leg injuries. Lost some memory too. I was  really p****d about my beautiful car!

  • Nearly 5 years ago, I was standing at the side of the road, waiting to cross and WHAM! *sigh*. I woke up in hospital. Another 18 year old, on a motorbike this time, at immense speed, catapulted me into the air. Landing on my face was not good. Many surgeries later, I look different but  normal. Eyes were damaged, which is sad, as I can no longer draw like I used to. Other injuries healed slowly, some still need surgical tweaking. But, I’ve been seen, in varying states of undress, by dozens of top Medical Specialists. They’re all very grateful. (They were paid a fortune!)
  • There have been others. I have had more stitches than ANYone I know. Fallen off horses the requisite 7 (plus, plus) times. Come off the pillion of motorbikes with spectacular grazes, bruises and broken ribs. How I made it to Granny-hood I’ll never know!

                                            Laughter is the shock absorber of life

As a result, I am not the person I used to be. I look quite different. Not because of aging, but because of surgical reconstruction.
I am not the woman my husband married. Or at least I don’t have the same brain in my head. The head injuries have taken their toll, and I have changed a lot. I also have memory loss  – MBI – Minimal Brain Injury – hubby says MAJOR, but oh well.
I see things very differently – er, ‘cos my eyes were damaged, but also because I am so glad to be alive!
I have straight teeth – I got 15 new ones after the motorbike incident left mine missing or broken.
                                                “Life isn’t like a box of chocolates.
                                               It’s more like a jar of Tabasco sauce.
                                                                 What you do today,
                                   might burn your behind tomorrow!” Unknown
Through it all, I have learned that counting your blessings and being grateful, thankful and excited about them is all that is important. It gets you through many a rough spot without losing your mind.
Grandchildren are an incredible blessing, and I re-experience so much through them.
Photography has taken me to places and events I have no memory of, but through looking and talking about them, I’ve made new memories.
The internet is FANTASTIC! I’ve reconnected with friends from my first day at school, through to my last. Some I remember, some I don’t. But it doesn’t matter, they know the story, and fill me in.
My kids also fill me in on things I have forgotten, sometimes I just KNOW they’re having fun at my expense and we laugh like mad!

                                           “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
                                  It turns what we have into enough, and more.
                                               It turns denial into acceptance,
                                                            chaos to order,
                                                       confusion to clarity.
                                              It can turn a meal into a feast,
                                                        a house into a home,
                                                     a stranger into a friend.
                                          Gratitude makes sense of our past,
                                                    brings peace for today,
                                         and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
                                                               Melody Beattie
I wouldn’t change things. My husband believes we would have been divorced by now, we’d been living apart for over a year. He has taken care of me, shuttled me back and forth to dozens of doctors and specialists. Paid through the nose for surgeries, procedures and therapies. He cooks for me and everyone else. He is wonderful.
                Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be… Robert Browning
We are planning to go overseas on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and we’ll renew our vows before we go. A 2nd  Honeymoon. It’s my gift to him, from a bit of the settlement that I will be receiving soon.

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25 thoughts on “Accident Prone

  1. What an incredible story of survival charlene, what joy you must find in living every day, when so often life was nearly extinguished …. i hope you have a wonderful trip with your husband and continue to spread your love and gratitude through the world 🙂

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  2. Oh my goodness – soooo much you have been through! Enjoy your 2nd honeymoon! What a great hubby you have. I have a fantastic hubby and mother who support me, shuttle me back and forth to appointments and take care of me while I’ve been trying to heal these last few years.

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    • I’d never have gotten through the last 5 years without his unselfish and amazing support! We suffer pain and illness, but their trauma is in some ways, worse. Bless the families and caretakers! 😉

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  3. What an inspiration you are, especially given your positivity and faith. What more can I say but, THANK YOU for being you and telling your story- Love Kate

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  4. Oh my goodness! You have an indomitable spirit if ever there was one. I feel lucky to know someone as positive and life loving as you! You’re an inspiration. Next time my back starts to bother me I’m gonna think of you. : ) Thanks for providing some needed perspective. haha!
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lisa

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    • Aww Lisa, thanks love, but believe me, I complain! Today I moved my office, and am so happy with it, but ouch! my back! Tomorrow I’ve got to finish up in the other room, make it look presentable too.

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  5. Oh my goodness,,,you have been through the wringer literally..I am so sorry for what you and your family have been though and continue to be put through..But Charlene, I so admire your tenacity that you’ve shown and the laughter that is so much apart of your blog. I am happy to have met you and you inspire me in my challenges….hugs..Michelle

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    • Dear Michelle, thank you. Your blog and story are so inspiring to me. I hope the therapy is making life easier, so you can keep on doing what you do. I love your spirit and sweetness. Hugs, Charlene

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  6. Charlene, how can one lovely woman with such a beautiful face have gone through the proverbial meat grinder that many times? You tell it so gracefully…as gracefully as you accepted it, I suspect. A wonderful and inspiring account of a life well-lived.

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    • Dear George, it’s easy to sound graceful after the fact. The real heroes of the story are my husband and family. They were, and are, wonderful. Thank you for the sweet encouragement, you are a lovely soul. Charlene

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    • Colline, I am very blessed. He’s had a tough time with me, while doing a myriad of other stuff. I need to find an appropriate award for him – but in the meantime, I am very thankful. 😉

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    • Thank you very much Nia. You are such a sweet woman, you have a generous and open spirit. I enjoy your photos and posts. I don’t know where you find the time! Big hugs, love Charlene

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