I used to run up and down my staircase many times a day, but now, I manage them very carefully with a crutch under one arm and a cast on the other. I need help to do the simplest things that I used to do with ease. I can’t even put my hair up in a ponytail by myself.
You see, I slipped on an unmarked soppy wet floor in a darkened wine bar that I frequented occasionally. I drink little, one glass, or two at most. On this night, I was with a friend visiting from San DiegoI had just picked him up from the airport. He checked into his hotel then we headed out for a late night bite to eat. We ordered a split of Champagne for the both of us which actually is a serving for one. I had two sips of Champagne and a bite of cheese, then got up and headed for the ladies’ room. I made my way through the tables and turned left at the end of the bar to head down the hallway to the restrooms. The floor was soppy wet and even wearing rubber-soled casual shoes, I fell slamming hard into the concrete floor on my left side, breaking my elbow and fracturing my hip in two places.
( I fell right behind where the man in the white tee shirt, in the photo to the left, is standing. In that small, dark space just before the hallway to the restrooms and there was no wet floor sign anywhere in site.)
When my friend came to lift me up, the floor was so wet that he almost slipped himself. No one from the restaurant helped me. My friend lifted me up and sat me in a chair. I was in shock and severe pain, but couldn’t tell, at that point, to what extent my injuries were.
The bartender called the manager and told him what had occurred, then he told me to go to the emergency room and to do whatever was needed to take care of myself and the restaurant would take care of it all. He apologized profusely.
My friend went to get the car to bring it out front. I had to lean on him completely to walk, I was in such severe pain. The bartender followed us to the car assuring all the while that I should take care of my physical needs and the restaurant would take care of everything else.
We spent the rest of the night in the emergency room…
X-rays, cat scan, tetanus shot. I was shaking in pain and shock. I had never broken anything in my life and workout every other day for two hours, was a ballet dancer, a large portion of my life, and the grace and flow of my arms was one of my signatures.
This was a disaster. I couldn’t control the pain in my left side and it was vague as to where it was coming from.
We left the emergency room at 6 am… me, with a splint on my arm and on crutches. I didn’t want to stay in the hospital. I wanted to be in my own bed. Years back, I had a terrifying surgery where the surgeon cut an artery and I almost died and this experience had made me ‘deathly’ afraid of hospitals and surgery.
My friend came home with me, where I threw up, needed help walking to the restroom and to get out of my clothing and into a nightgown. Talk about humiliating. Of course I wanted to feel pretty and mysterious and this was as raw as it could get.
We slept a few hours the he began the search for a surgeon to operate on my elbow. We found one and made an appointment for the coming Tuesday, the first day they had open for appointments.
That afternoon, my friend, took my X-rays to the wine bar to show the manager the seriousness of my injuries and to get their insurance information. The manager came out to the car, where I was waiting and apologized repeatedly, stating that they would take care of everything and that I was one of their ‘valued’ patrons and to just take care of myself. He even offered to be of personal assistance in anything that I would need.
The rest of the weekend was spent in pain with my friend taking care of me, getting me a chair for my shower and a long plastic sleeve thingy, so that, I was able to shower without getting my splinted and wrapped arm wet. I was taking pain pills, which I hate. I detest all drugs as most of you know… but I had to use them in this instance.
We did manage to go out to dinner one night to have a few hours of comfort and pleasure.
But soon, I was home in bed and in pain again. I couldn’t lay any way that would alleviate my pain.
My friend left on Sunday, to go back to San Diego. So, I was left alone, devastated, scared and helpless…
Friends came to assist… ( You sure learn who your ‘real’ friends are fast, and the nature of their character.)
I had my doctor’s appointment and he scheduled surgery on my elbow for the next morning. I was scared, but just sucked it up, and prayed to God to protect me and to put skill and caring into the surgeon’s hands.
The wine bar’s insurance company called and took my description of what occurred that night, while I was on pain pills. They told me they would get back to me once their ‘investigation’ was complete. When they did, they informed me that they will accept ‘no liability’ for my fall. That the floors were marked as wet… to which they offered me 1000K and the restaurant sent me some cheap flowers along with a ‘feel better quick’ note.
Let’s see nowthe restaurant was open and serving wine. It is a darkened in their environment. I saw no wet floor signs and neither did my friend. And had there been one where I slipped, I would have had to jump over it since the space is so small.
I will need rehab and who knows what else? My life as I knew it before entering the wine bar on that night has changed completely. And ‘they claim no liability.’ As long as I was a paying client, I was ‘valued,’ but once damaged by their error and negligence… they just want me to go away.
I have never spent so much time in bed. I can’t wash my own hair. I can’t drive my car. I can’t run errands. I have not left my house, but once, in a week and a half. My life has changed and all because of unmarked wet floors in an establishment where I went to have a nice time.
I have always been nimble on my feet with excellent balance. The only reason I fell is because of this wine bar’s unmarked, overly wet floors.
I have marble floors in my home and am vigilant about keeping them dry and safe. My father was a war veteran with a back injury and his house had slate floors… all my life, I have been concerned and vigilant concerning the perils of a wet floor…
As all ballet dancers know a well-rosinned floor and toe shoes are a must… to a dancer, the floor is either your friend or your enemy.
And a soppy, unmarked wet floor is an enemy to everyone….
To be continued…..