One of my biggest pet peeves is being “accident prone”. Oh my gosh, it totally rubs me the wrong way. Even though I meet this comment with a forced smile and usually crack a joke, it hurts me a lot. I don’t completely know why. After all, people get called “accident prone” every day. Some things in life are not preventable and I think this is the most challenging part to come to terms with. I think a huge part of why I can’t stand the phrase so much lies in my medical history and all of the other obstacles I have had to overcome during my life to get to where I am today. No one wants to get hurt or be in pain, but for some, it seems nearly unavoidable.
With severe dystonia, CRPS, and joint hypermobility syndrome, merely sleeping can cause a disaster. All it takes is rolling over in my sleep to sublux my joints. A small whiff of smoke after walking past a person smoking on my way to class can send me gasping for air because of asthma. Standing up from my chair can send me crashing to the ground from dysautonomia and syncope. Living life for two or three months at a time sends me to the hospital for a week to ten day admission.
Now, I could be running away from life all scared and decide to live in a cave in the middle of nowhere (and some days, that seems like the easiest road to take), but I’m not. I choose to stay and play the game of life, even if my game looks a little different or has some pretty crazy detours. After all, these detours have to get me somewhere at the end of the day. Life never goes the way anyone expects it to, but the key to winning is finding a way to accomplish your goals even if it is not the “traditional” way. So please, if you happen to witness or hear about one of these incidents, please don’t judge me or call me accident prone. Just remember that I am trying to hold my body together in a body that is forever fighting itself and even though I may make it look easy, it really isn’t.