Posted by: E (The Third Glance) | September 14, 2012

Dear curb, the extra bones in my ankle do NOT thank you for their creation

One of the negatives of my brain is that I’m incredibly klutzy. I walk into things, trip over things, and fall on things at least 3 or 4 times a day. Stairs are a nemesis, as are doorways, and cracks in the sidewalk are even worse. I’ve injured my ankles, knees, wrists, shoulders, and back more times than I care to count, though most of the time its not too serious. About 6 years ago now, I tore 3 ligaments in my left ankle while marching in place – I put my foot down wrong, and bam, suddenly, it didn’t take any weight anymore. I should’ve had surgery to fix one of the ligaments, but we decided risks outweighed the rewards, and I just went through months of physical therapy until it was basically passable. And that’s when I had to really stop gymnastics. Every few months, I roll this ankle again, just by taking a misstep. Usually it results in some minor swelling, a few days of uncomfortable walking, and then it gets better and I move on. I roll it and fall at least twice a week – I’ve learned to fall over with my body in order to avoid injury – most of the injury happens when you’re fighting to stay upright – fall along with it, and no harm’s done. 4 years ago, I tore my ankle apart again, walking down the street, and ended up on crutches for 7 weeks while it tried to heal. On the plus side, I can do neat tricks with crutches. And I have super-human upper body strength. 🙂 And my klutziness usually doesn’t do much more than that.

So yesterday, I was walking home, and I took a slightly different route than normal, because I was sitting next to someone on the bus that I was really REALLY uncomfortable with – they smelled of cigarette smoke, and were leaning over me. EWW. And I was carrying a couple of library textbooks. And me and this curb didn’t quite see eye to eye. And I missed a step down, into a ditch, where my lovely ankle rolled and made a very VERY nasty crunch. I didn’t manage to save both myself and the library books (books took first priority). And it certainly wasn’t going to get me the rest of the way home. It’s now purple, swollen, and majorly unhappy. X-rays yesterday evening showed that there are more bones than there should be in my ankle. And by that, I mean, it’s broken. On the plus side, it doesn’t require surgery. And there’s no obnoxious plaster cast (though it would be fun to have people sign it). I got my big black boot today, and have orders to not put any weight on it at all for a while. Alas, nearly 4 years without being on crutches once is actually a new record for me, I’ll take it. And at least I can take showers and wear real clothes. And whatever knee sock I like under the boot, because the doctor noticed I have tons of them and told me as long as I’m gentle in putting them on, they would work as well as the cotton sleeve he gave me to help keep the inside of the boot clean. 🙂 Small victories.

At some point, I will write a post about how autism interacts with this particular fix I’m in (visible vs. invisible disability, for one thing), but for the time being, this is just an update post. Klutzes of the world unite 🙂



  1. OH NO!! Ouch!! Yes – I will join you in klutziness! We can be a club… with a secret virtual handshake. I dislocated my knee playing badminton and can miss doorways and trip over a painted line. I broke a bone in my foot stepping off a curb… You are in good company!

    Sending virtual ice, hugs, and positive thoughts,

    • Thanks, Leah! I just have to keep reminding myself, while my foot is throbbing like crazy, that its been 4 years since my last major injury, and for me, that’s actually a spectacular track record. Now all I need is someone else to be home to help me out. I’m managing on my own, but it’s really sucky, and there are a bunch of things I can’t do, like deal with the fruit fly infestation in my garbage.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you broke your ankle. I hope it heals fast. I know what you mean about klutziness. I’m horrible, too. I read it’s common in people on the Autism Spectrum.

    • Thanks! Yes, I believe klutziness is definitely a trait common on the spectrum.

  3. Ouch! I have sprained my ankle, the same one, several times. I splintered my ankle whilst trying to walk backwards in a basketball game once, I was on crutches for weeks. Door frames are my real enemy, and beds, always fall out!

    • Yeah, my left ankle (which is the one that currently is even more broken than usual), has had a really rough time of it. I’ve sprained it bad enough for crutches something like 7 or 8 times. It has a permanent tear in the fib/tib ligament (the one that holds your two leg bones together). And ironically, it’d been swelling/hurting for about a week before this happened, probably due to being rolled and I didn’t really notice. *fail* I should probably have surgery to attempt to fix the ligaments, but until I absolutely have to, I’m trying to avoid that route.

  4. Ugh! I do stuff like this all the time too! So sorry you got hurt, hoping the recovery goes quickly.

    • Thanks! Yeah, this is a relatively common occurrence. It usually doesn’t end with broken bones, though… alas..

  5. Oh gosh, so sorry that happened to you! The clumsiness thing is the pits. I once broke my nose by falling into a garbage can. 😀

    I hope it heals up smoothly for you and the pain starts to ease soon. Broken bones are no fun at all.

    • Thanks. OUCH! That sounds painful, glad to hear your nose survived. My foot will too… so should be ok. 🙂 just take a couple months.

  6. Ouch! I hope the bones heal quickly and with as little pain as possible!

    You’ve got me wondering if ‘klutziness’ American English for ‘dyspraxic’?

    It’s odd how American websites almost never mention dyspraxia when almost all my British friends on the spectrum have a dyspraxia diagnosis too. Most get diagnosed with dyspraxia first, that’s how it worked for me.

    Dyspraxia and autism go together so frequently that having diagnosis of one can make it easier to get assessed for the other over here.

    I have a detailed dyspraxia assessment report that I disclosed at work meaning I no longer had to do anything that requires upper body strength (I have none, I have hypotonic muscles like many dyspraxics), balance or coordination. Dyspraxia is also understood to have sensory sensitivity issues and planning and communication issues, so it’s something that can be disclosed to access accomodations or understanding without revealing everything.

    Hmm this is longer than I intended but I hope you found it interesting and it was somewhat new information 🙂

    “Dyspraxics of the world, unite and fall over!”

    • Well I’ve never heard of Dyspraxia, but it sounds about right. Klutziness is just another word for excessively clumsy, often in amusing ways. Or at least, that’s how I use the word.

      Unite and fall over 🙂

  7. Paul, I identify with “books took first priority” 😉

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