Colin Harris (palatinate) wrote,
Colin Harris

You assume it will only happen to other people ... part 1

So, Eastercon was great as a convention. Before I start on the personal travails, much kudos goes to the whole committee, all of whom did brilliantly. James Bacon in particular led from the front as only he can - his deep beliefs in what fandom is about shining through and inspiring the team and the con - and my long standing admiration for Vince went up another notch from the amazing and unique music programme.

The hotel was a real find, too; the lack of sleeping space was regrettable but the combination of good function space, social spaces, excellent onsite food options (choice, low price, good hours, decent quality) and really helpful staff really enabled everyone to get the best from the con.

It was therefore unfortunate that I picked this weekend to have my first really serious personal accident in 40 odd years. (Even when I wrote off my car a few years ago, I walked away without a scratch; and touch wood, I've yet to break any bones anywhere).

Staying in the refitted Campanile hotel, I went to take a shower. The shower head was over a (new, shiny) bathtub with fairly high sides; there was no anti-slip bottom to the tub, and no rubber mat. This didn't bother me especially, after thousands of showers over the years ...

I got the water going, put one foot in, then as I lifted the other one into the tub the first one just shot out from underneath me. I went straight up in the air and came down too fast to catch myself, dropping all my weight (about 230 lbs these days I think) onto the 3-inch-wide edge of the tub, landing sideways on my ribs.

Thankfully I didn't pass out but the immediate experience of being unable to shout or indeed breathe was one of the scariest of my life. Thankfully after what seemed like quite a few seconds I was able to focus and breathe a little, but only shallowly due to the huge pain I now had all down the left side.

Thankfully the immediate pain subsided enough to let me stand up after a few minutes (well, claw my way up) but I couldn't twist or bend without making it much worse. I managed to get dressed, walk to the lift (I found that walking very slowly in a straight line was OK) and get the hotel to order me a taxi. (I thought about an ambulance but this seemed unnecessary at that point - excepting that I could only breathe very lightly still, and any cough or attempt to talk immediately doubled me over in pain).

I reached Bradford Royal Infirmary to find a 3-hour waiting time in A&E, but they fast tracked me into Major Incidents for the breathing problems and level of pain. ...

(on to part 2)
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