Did you know falling in the shower has its own ICD-10 code?


No, that’s not the actual code.  But I would totally understand if it was. 

The fact that there is a dedicated way for medical professionals and insurance companies to specifically record each instance of some poor soul who just wants to be clean and winds up completely wiping out tells me it is certainly a common occurance.  

Yes, where I’m going with all of this is that I recently took a tumble during my nightly ‘get clean and relax before bedtime’ shower.  

Short version is that it happened quickly and I’m fine.

Long version is a bit longer.  My tub is slow to drain and I think soap dried on the tub floor instead of draining when I showered the previous night.  So the following night, when I stepped into the shower right after I turned it on, it was basically a private naked ice skating event.  I literally stepped in, realized I was falling, grabbed at the shower curtain rod with my left arm and the shower shelf with my right arm.  Grabbing these didn’t break my fall but a) slowed me down b) allowed me to pull myself around so that I stayed inside the shower.  I wound up landing on my butt facing the other direction, cracking my head and upper back on the faucet and tile in the process.  I pulled a muscle in my left side from grabbing the shower rod and warped the shower shelf, but landing inside the shower was preferable to falling out and cracking my head on the toilet. I also had some crazy looking bruising on my upper back.

But I’m fine.  No doctor visit required.  But also quite frightening. 

I mention this because it was a wake up call to me that falling in showers doesn’t just happen to the elderly.  I’m fairly stable with my RA right now so falling in showers also doesn’t just happen to people experiencing ambulatory difficulty. 

It happens quickly and can be very serious.  Even if you’re stable in your RA.  Especially if you’re stable.  We don’t want broken bones, especially because in my case, injuries cause flares.

So be aware.  Buy the super attractive no slip mats for your bathrooms.  Use them. I’ve already decided that I’m going to purchase a shower stool if I’m ever having walking problems ever again.  

Even though I’m doing well, even though I didn’t get hurt, even though I’ve been proactive to implement safety features in my home going forward, I still can’t believe it happened and I’m still a bit shaken up every time I shower now.

Protecting ourselves never stops, does it?!?!?

10 responses »

  1. I’m sorry you fell but happy it wasn’t serious. Next on my list to purchase are the safety bars for the bathroom. Having surgery soon and thought it would be a good idea.

  2. Yikes! Falling/slipping in a shower, on a slippery sidewalk, or any surface for that matter is scary! Very relieved that you’re doing fine and you were able to come away from it with bumps and bruises and nothing more serious. Your incident was a much needed wake up call for me and a greater appreciation for a “worse-case” scenario. I’ve had “incidents” before where I looked like a cheerleader doing a gawky split or a hard landing on my backside where my poor wrists took the brunt of my awkward and graceless descent…but I thought nothing of these minor spills and continued to dwell in my denial…I did not want to be proactive and to mitigate the potential pitfalls of my RA…I would deal with it at a later time. Well, it is a big deal and the time is now…and I thank you for helping me realize that! I’ve scheduled to have shower grab bars installed soon and in the mean time I’ve got a good shower mat with excellent grip.
    Thank you again and safe rub-a-dub-dub!

  3. I fell about tow months ago and hurt my ankle. I walked around on it for a few weeks and saw my doctor. Yes, it was broken and I have been in a boot / brace for 6 weeks now. Falls can be so damaging. I am glad yours turned out well. I also suggest bathroom handles and supports. They have saved me post hip replacement many times.

  4. Yeowza! Glad it turned out ok. Scary stuff especially if you live alone. I’ve had a close call of two myself and it certainly is a wake up call. I am lucky because I have an accessible shower that I can use when flaring badly. It was a Godsend after 3 recent surgeries. Be safe

  5. I’m glad you are okay. That’s scary. I’ve come close to falling in the shower but not all the way. The stairs however, I’ve fallen down many times. ☺

    When I read your title, my first thought was, “Oh no! Will a diagnosis of falling in shower be a pre-existing condition for you?” Ha!

  6. Whenever dear sweet hot water hogging daughter uses my shower, I have to step in very carefully the next time I use it. Always seems to be a thin layer of soap in the tub. Almost wiped out a couple times. I’m sure my sliding and flailing around was quite a site……

    Now I’ll let the shower run a minute before I get in and then go SLOWLY. My RA has been pretty much under control too and I do NOT want to mess that up.

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