We delivered a meal to a gentleman in Killeena Avenue. He took his main meal from me at his door. I stepped backwards and - bingo! There was no step! There I was, flat on my back, struggling to get up. The gentleman, being aged, was unable to help other than to advise that I wasn’t the first person to fall there. Some comfort!
With some effort Bernadette helped me rise and we completed the round
At the hospital, later, I received the news that ‘I broke it!’ I had broken my pelvis in two places and had incurred a lumbar injury. I learned later from Mr Critchley, an orthopaedic surgeon, that the pelvis would mend itself in time (about 6 months) and I should take pain killers. After 8 months he told me, ‘You are not healed but you are healing’. Today, after 3 plus years, I am still not healed. However recently, at the local clinic, I obtained some new painkiller medication which, thank goodness, seems to be effective, although I have been warned that there may be some side effects.
Having sustained my injury as a council volunteer I had, apparently unreasonably, assumed that I may have an acknowledgement at least from a councillor, who would ask how I was managing. Not so! Nevertheless I did receive a visit from a council community worker who offered many council facilities to me. I did not utilise these facilities.
I also received a visit from a council officer, offering to meet all medical expenses incurred by me. This was greatly appreciated as I incurred expenses to the tune of some $3000, which was the figure net of Medicare.
I enquired about insurance and, having made a claim, was told by the insurance company that, as I was not being paid to do the job, I was ineligible.
I was advised, by outside sources, that I would be entitled to a substantial payout, should I make a claim through one of the public liability firms.
As a long term Benalla resident I was loath to involve Benalla Council in such a claim, which would undoubtedly become public knowledge. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I accepted a minimal settlement. I felt that at my age there were too many complications for me to be concerned with a formal claim. It would be too much of a hassle and would only un-nerve me. I would have to repay Medicare and I couln’t be bothered with what I considered unnecessary involvement.
So there you are!
That’s how ‘I Broke It’.
Ray O’Shannessy, Feb 2017