19 Broken Bones, 19 Years

Last summer I fell out of a treehouse and broke my shoulder. Those twelve words should give you a pretty good glimpse into what I’m like. My mom begrudgingly drove me to the urgent care, her face a glowing red, as she listened to her 18-year-old daughter explain the ridiculous circumstances around how she broke her shoulder. “You’re supposed to be an adult,” my mom said a couple hundred times between the time I walked into the urgent care and the time I got my sling off and finished physical therapy.


I love adventure. I love trouble. I love mischief.


The infamous treehouse is in the backyard of my best friend. Her dad built it for her, so it is a real treehouse, not the kind you can buy at Home Depot. The problem was that there was no ladder, you actually have to climb a large tree to gain entrance. My friend, climbed it with such grace, I thought, how hard can it be?


I am clumsy. I am courageous. I was foolish.


The tree incident is just one of many unfortunate situations I have found myself in due to my love for adventure. The list could go on forever, from the time I got a leaf stuck in the back of my eye and had to have it surgically removed to almost falling 129 feet off a cliff in Belize. I’ve had three concussions, broke numerous bones, and even did a three year stint in a wheelchair. I’ve had more than my fair share of trips to the hospital. Now don’t get me wrong, some of these hospital visits were due to things beyond my control, but, nonetheless, my friends like to joke about how prone I am to injury/illness.


As unfortunate as all my hospital stays, casts, splints, slings, eye patches may have been at the time of incident, it gives me a lot of subjects to write about. Which works out very conveniently because

I love to write. I love rituals. There is a method to my madness.


The proper location is essential. A hushed coffee shop with the aroma of espresso and hard work in the air is ideal. My first draft is handwritten, so messy no eyes besides mine could read it. There are things crossed out, arrows drawn. It looks more like a map than a pice of writing. My chaotic map turns into a typed rough draft. It turns from black to white to full of color in a matter of minutes as my colored, ball-point pens paint over the words. This process repeats itself many of times. It has to be perfect.






Meredith Fox

University of Michigan 2018

3 thoughts to “19 Broken Bones, 19 Years”

  1. Meredith,
    I enjoyed your description of your writing a lot. While I don’t write all of my rough drafts by hand, I completely understand your process and even kind of agree with it. I also write certain things by hand because it allows me to feel more creative and free flowing. I feel that a keyboard somewhat restricts creativity and that there is something in the mind that takes off when a pencil hits a piece of paper. I enjoyed your use of imagery as you compared your draft to a map as I could visualize your editing process. One question I have is what coffee shop is your favorite to write in? Is it a specific one for your writing or is this shop the one for all of your homework?

  2. Hi Meredith,

    I enjoyed reading your blog and I have a few questions about the tree house in your friend’s backyard. Did you return to the infamous treehouse after the incident? Was it your first time in the tree house? Did the treehouse accident cause your three-year stint in the wheelchair?

    Similar to you, I enjoy spending time in coffee shops. Which one in Ann Arbor is your favorite? Do you frequently run into people you know when you are writing? I always find myself straying off campus to find new spots, but then returning to my favorite place when I have a lot of work to complete.

    Thank you for letting me read more about you. I look forward to working with you in class!



  3. Hey Meredith,

    As someone who broke her pinky finger because she couldn’t catch a football (pinky casts are embarrassingly underwhelming) and broke her arm literally just because she tripped and fell (no dangerous cliffs or icy roads or banana peels were involved…I literally just fell), I thought I was unlucky. But, I can’t believe you’ve been injured so many times! Three years in a wheelchair? The leaf in the BACK of your eye?? So many questions…
    I’m also curious as to all the different places your love of adventure has taken you: do you travel a lot because of this? what’s your favorite adventurous memory?
    I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures this semester!


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