An Accident Waiting to Happen!

This is a word to the wise!  Little did I realize that my first night in the hotel in Istanbul, might have been my last night to see Turkey on this trip!  Later I found out that many of the bathrooms in hotels we stayed in had problems with the bathtubs or showers, spraying water on the very slippery tiled floors.  Of course I was very tired after getting up at seven AM in San Francisco, leaving the airport to Frankfurt at three PM and then a 12 hour flight.  Then a five hour layover in Frankfurt and a four hour flight to Istanbul.  We then were picked up at the airport and driven to the hotel, another two hours.  Then preliminary over view of the trip and dinner, and of course, my trying to get the air conditioner to work for Barbara and Helen.  By that time I was up over 30 hours and I was bone tired.  I should have gone to bed but thought a hot shower would be the best bet as we were going to the Egyptian Spice Market and then the Bazaar before a six hour drive to Izmir.  I took a hot shower and then went to step out onto the floor.  Little did I know the water had run all over the floor and the bath mat was as slippery as the terrazzo tiles.  The tub was at least two feet off the floor and when I stepped down, I had an extra eight inches to reach the floor.  My left foot slipped, my right foot hit the wall and bruised the side of it, I flew through the air and hit the toilet with my left hip and rib cage and laid there on the hard tile and cold water, nerve endings all screaming out in pain!  I was pissed at myself and thought I had broken my hip.  Just great, first night in Istanbul and a broken hip.  I decided I had better try and stand up so I shook my left leg and could move it at least.  I managed to stand up and could walk.  So I walked around the room and exercised my leg and hip.  Well I thought, at least I could walk as we were getting up so early. 

So the next morning I warned everyone about the tubs and the dangerous floors and everyone was worried about me.  Everyone was so nice.  I could walk fine even though I had a swollen area about five inches across on my hip.  That went down in about three days but by then my ribcage  started hurting and luckily, I had Ibuprofen 200 caplets with me, enough for me to take at least two every six hours for the two weeks I was inChuck at the Richmond Thermal Hotel! Turkey.  That was enough for me to function so no one could tell how bad my side was.  I couldn't lie on it and if I rolled over onto it, I either woke up or I had to grab a hold of anything I could, in order to get up, not a pretty sight!  So even though I looked great, even if I say so myself, (check out the happy face at the Richmond Thermal Hotel), I sure was doped up at times.  At the Richmond Hotel I soaked in the hot thermal tub for about an hour and perhaps that helped a great deal.  It was strange, I never had bruises except for two small ones on my hip, about the size of a dime.  My side felt like the ribs had been cracked and I am sure my rib cage inside was/is a mass of bruises.  

An interesting side story, people were worried about me and the bathrooms so many checked each time they got to a new hotel.  At the Richmond, I was waiting at my door for my luggage when Judy came rushing out of her room two doors down.  She yelled at me, "Chuck, my travel book warns me to be careful in the bathroom!  Check it out, the tub!"  So she came over and we checked, the curtain was across the edge of the tub but if you didn't check it out, you would have fallen in as it was very deep, a sunken tub!  Scary!  Get this, five minutes after Judy came by, there was knocking on my door.  I thought it was the luggage.  It was Barbara, she and Helen were on the other side of the hotel but the first thing they did was check the tub.  They were worried about me so Barbara rushed over to warn me about the sunken tub.  Now wasn't that nice of them. 

So after two weeks of hiking all over Turkey, I came home and went to the Veterans Hospital to get a blood draw for my bi-yearly checkup and also my flu shot.  I told the nurse about my accident and she said if I had a hair line crack in my hip, I would not be doing my yoga, spin cycle class, or weight lifting at the Y.   I also started taking Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSN (Helps promote healthy joints and cartilage maintenance), a year ago.  The nurse said since I do yoga, spin cycle and work out, plus take the joint compound, I probably am in good shape for someone who is going to be 65 next February 4th.  But I will be going to see my doctor on December 9th so I will have him check my side and hip out to see if I need to do anything else.  As the nurse and others have said, it just takes time for the ribs and hip to heal, especially if there is a lot of bruising internally!

So that is my story and warning to you stay at homes and fellow travelers.  Be extra careful when using bathrooms in new places as they may be of different heights and surfaces that you are used to, making it easy to fall and hurt oneself.  

I was lucky but one should never take that sort of risk.  So take care and happy traveling! 


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