Down And Almost Helpless

Cut nose

The bathroom is a potential hazard. I discovered that on Monday. Just after lathering myself, my muscles went into spasms. My legs flexed. My body tensed. My buttocks slipped off the chair. I landed on the floor with a thud. It happened so fast. There was no time to react. My head slammed into the corner of the doorway and ramp.

I laid on the floor, naked and slippery. The impact left me dazed for a moment. The shower was still running. My right cheek and forehead throbbed. I ran my index finger across my face. My cheek was swollen and tender. There was a deep gash on the nose between the eyes. My left brow was swollen and hurting too. I was unsure if I had injured myself elsewhere. I have little sensation from chest down.

Everything was slippery. I knew that I needed to rinse away the lather off me first before anything else. After I was done, I patted myself dry with a towel. Still, I had trouble dragging myself out from the bathroom. I could not get a good grip on the wet floor tiles. I sat on a sarung and used the floormat for traction.

The scent of blood wafted in my nostrils. I dabbed to towel on my nose where the skin was broken. It was bleeding. The mid part of my face ached. I wanted to put on a sarong first. It was difficult to open the drawer from the position I was in. After a few tries, I got a clean sarong out and struggled into it.

The phone was on the bed. When I finally dragged myself there, I dialled Peter’s number. Elaine answered. The clock showed 2am. I told her I fell off the chair and needed her father to assist me up. Peter lived just one floor below and had the keys to my apartment. He came a short while later and helped me back onto the wheelchair.

After I settled down and recovered my composure, I realised that it could have been worse. I could have suffered a broken nose but that was least of the problem. That knock on the head could result in a concussion. I could have lost consciousness. As I live alone, it could have been days before I was discovered. Scary notion that.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

11 thoughts on “Down And Almost Helpless”

  1. Peter,

    Thank God it was not worse than what could have happened. Take care of yourself & God bless.

    Cg ~

    Yes, it could have been worse. Thank God. Thanks.

  2. oh dear peter… hope u recover soon from your injuries.

    The gash has almost healed except for the scab. My cheek and brow still hurts though. Thanks.

  3. Oh my.. I don’t know what else to say except that I hope you get well soon..

    Thank you and thank you for the e-card. Merry Christmas to you too. 😀

  4. Hi Peter,

    I ‘ve been following your blog for quite sometime now and this is my first posting. I can understand your situation quite well as I am a nurse. Please be very careful especially where fall are concern. To my understanding, most home in Msia prefered putting tiles in the bathroom which I think is not that good as far as safety are concern espcially for kids, elderly and physically compromised. You might want to consider laying some anti slip material in the bathroom for traction. And please put away throw rug if you have any as this may also be a potential problems. Hope you are o.k. Take care.

    The floor tiles do not usually pose any problem unless I fall. This is the second time in my 22 years that I have fallen in the bathroom. Hopefully there will not be anymore. Thanks for the advice.

  5. Dear Peter

    Be brave no mountain high enough to deter you, get well quick and on the way to more
    fantastic blogging.Try lower level bathing chair so that the fall if ever, the damage is not so

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I will have problems transferring to and from the chair if it is any lower. But I will be more careful from now on. It was a harrowing experience.

  6. hey mr tan. it’s been quite a long time since we’ve chatted. sorry to hear about your mishap. hope you feel better soon. take care k?

    I need a doctor to check my injuries. Are you up to it? 🙂 Thanks.

  7. Hope you get well soon. The incident shows that personal assistants are important to the disabled.

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