Victoria’s Secrets: Oy vey, OMG, but…

What a joy to celebrate the holiday season with my staff at Terrace on the Park!

It was a sunny brisk afternoon on Nov. 29 as I made my way to my daughter Samantha’s home to give her her birthday present. As I briskly walked her slate walkway to her front door, I tripped on a brick and went down on all fours and a new adventure began.

Laying on the ground, I hoped that the fall would be just like any other and I’d simply get up, wipe myself off and keep going. But as I got up with the help of my daughter, I found I couldn’t move my right leg, so off we went to Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, an urgent care center that specializes in orthopedic care.

My daughters had used the place multiple times when their children were injured, usually from playing sports. My grandson Jonah had just broken his wrist playing football and went there to be treated.

The urgent care center was a godsend, as I got in immediately without any other patients in the waiting room.

What a remarkable place, with orthopedic doctors on one side and a rehabilitation physical therapy office on the other side. I smiled as I noticed that the front receptionist desk had a “Vote For Me As The ‘Best of Long Island’ Nominee” flier. It’s such a popular program that we had over a million people vote in previous years.

The orthopedic group has specialists in every part of the body, but that afternoon, a physician’s assistant was the “doctor” in charge. She had a technician do an X-ray, but after reading it, she sent me to one of my best and trusted clients, Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, for a CAT scan. Within the hour, I had their diagnosis of a fractured pelvis, with no surgery needed. Hooray!

My daughter’s friend Dr. Ari Goldman is an orthopedic surgeon, so we took the scans for him to read and evaluate. He came to the same conclusion: stay off my feet and rest. That’s not an easy prescription, but life changes instantly and I’ve learned to go with the flow. 

My daughter got into action and ordered a walker, a wheelchair and a recliner — among other things — to adapt my home for me.

With my calendar filled for the holiday season, I wasn’t going to miss my staff holiday party or  Joe and Maryann Mattone’s annual party starting the beautiful holiday season.

It was the first gathering of our media company employees since the beginning of COVID. I was delighted to see our team and meet new members who had been hired virtually.

What a joy to take the elevator in Terrace on the Park up to its ballroom overlooking our sparkling city.

To prepare, my friend Lois Christie, of Christie & Co Salon, brought my favorite stylist Marisa to blow out my hair so it would look perfect!

While Marisa did her magic, Lois got busy decorating my wheelchair with white holiday lights and gold ribbons. She also placed pink bows around my walker and we all glued sparkling stones on its “legs.” If I’m going to be using “assisting tools,” I want them to be glamorous!

Over 20 years ago, I was visiting my client Bob Coccia’s Appliance Center to collect a check when I fell into a tree pit and cracked my pelvis. But never one to be held down, shortly after I had to attend a press conference hosted by Mayor Mike Bloomberg. When the mayor saw me, he asked what happened. I quickly answered, “Oh, I was pole dancing and fell off!”

It’s fun to make fun of ourselves and laugh about life!

Talking about fun, it was such a treat to catch up with the wonderfully talented people we employ. Josh, our CEO, had hired a great band that backed up all our staff karaoke singers who took the mic!

We laughed, screamed and sang along with the singing sensations created that night. If you haven’t done karaoke before, do it! What fun!

On Saturday night, dear friends Maryann and Joe Mattone held their annual holiday party at the spectacularly decorated Columbus Club in Manhattan.

(L. to R.) Georgiana Reese Benatti, Vinny Riso, Linda and Greg Galdi, Denise Arbesu, Gail Gartenstein and Peter Meyer

Thanks to the club’s powerful staff, they (four strong men) literally carried me up the club’s eight steps in my decorated wheelchair. I squeezed my eyes closed and prayed they didn’t drop me! They didn’t! 

Having safely arrived at the party, everyone laughed with shock on their faces as they watched me roll into the cocktail hour with holiday lights flashing on my wheelchair.

Michael Mattone and me in our red sequins!

It was a reunion of people I see yearly at the gloriously designed party.

The biggest treat was seeing old friends and participating in the sing-along led by a brilliant opera singer, whose rendition of “Ave Maria” and “Silent Night” brought cheers of “Bravo” from the guests seated in the stunningly decorated hall.

It was so good to see old friends Denise Arbesu and Peter Meyer, who now live in Florida.

With Denise Arbesu

They had a crazy accident themselves. While walking their dog, a man coming out of his driveway ran them over and they suffered terrible injuries. So with Denise telling me to keep off my feet, I’m listening to her advice, which comes from her struggles on her road to recovery.

I’ll keep you posted on my recovery. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can move from oy vey to hooray!

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