A fall related injury is not something anyone would wish for, because the outcome could be fatal. It could lead to a broken arm, leg, neck or death as the case may be. Life must be lived with all forms of caution everyday.
The trip and fall experience of Dr. Eugene Itua, the Chairman International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), Nigeria, is worth learning from.
In sharing his story recently, he said, sometime ago, his team was coordinating a training of the World Bank supported project for the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment. It was a Conference which held at Chida International Hotel Abuja, where they were lodged.
He explained that while closing from one of the sessions, he returned to his hotel room and after a chat with his family, he put his mobile phone on the wash-hand basin and was just about entering the bath. What unfolded next was what people would have called a spiritual attack.
Dr. Eugene narrates:
It was a Conference which held at Chida International Hotel Abuja, where I was lodged.
After closing from one of the sessions, I went to my hotel room. I was about entering the bath and I slipped and experienced what you will call a “free fall” because there was nothing to hold on to. I fell so hard. Getting up was a problem but I managed to pick myself up and finished taking my bath.
I remember my cousin came over to the hotel and I attended to him.
Afterwards, I returned to my room still experiencing severe pains.
I informed the management of the hotel and they directed me to their clinic where I met the doctor who examined me and said there was no fracture but gave me some medications. I left there feeling relieved as the pains subsided.
When I later told my colleagues about the incident, they narrated how a controller with the Federal Ministry was transferred to Port-Harcourt after a slip and fall also in a bathroom.
When I returned to Lagos, the pains began again . I had to visit an X-ray centre. I did the X-ray but couldn’t pick the result that day. So, the next day I sent someone to pick it up for me. The X-ray report showed that there was no dislocation or fracture.
However, as the days passed by, the pains persisted. Before then, my family members massaged my body to relieve the pains. From the previous night into the next day, I couldn’t sleep. The pains were so severe. I was crying like a baby. I couldn’t even get up. My wife said that I needed to be taken to the hospital.
As my driver drove the car, each time he entered a pothole, it was like the man ran the car on my body. When we got to the hospital, we went to see the Physiotherapist.
I kept shouting, I need a bed and they were making jest of me that this is not labour pain. But then, they couldn’t understand what I was going through.
Then the student doctor working with the specialist picked the X-ray report to examine it and to our greatest surprise, the doctor said there was a fracture there.
When my wife and I looked at the X-ray result, there was indeed a fracture.
My wife (who has a medical background) and I have knowledge of X-ray report, but because we just saw the report of the radiographer, we didn’t bother to bring out the X-ray film from the envelope to read it. That was a great lesson for me.
So, at the hospital, they subjected me to a treatment they call ‘Figure of Eight’ I was on it for six weeks. While I was on that, one of my family friends suggested that we call a traditional bone setter. The man came with a hammer and chisel but when he saw me, he said “Oga, you are a gentle person, let’s just leave it.” That was how the man left. I can only imagine if the man was desperate for money, he would have just made it worse.
But thank God, I got medical help on time and I was back on my feet.
I am glad that I am alive to tell the story.
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