I haven’t written for a good few days. Reason being I had a pretty nasty motorbike crash.
It started off so much fun, getting a ferry to another province, riding through the jungle, negotiating deep puddles of water – almost knee deep! But these beasts of bikes made it! We were caked in mud and the riding was exhausting but so much fun
One of the easier ‘puddles’ to negotiate.
Heading back after the long day, I knew I was tired and dehydrated and my bike didn’t sound too healthy. But the girls ahead were keen to catch the last ferry. So I tried to keep up my speed. A momentary delay in judgement between two potholes caused my bike to swerve out and I fell. My head hit the ground with such force my helmet smashed and my skin dragged along the stones. I temporarily lost my hearing and I worried instantly that I’d broken my arm.
I couldn’t even crawl away from under the bike. Waiting for it to be lifted off of me. My whole body shook in shock, blood poured down my left arm. I couldn’t move it and my fingers on my left hand couldn’t move.
People gathered, from where I don’t know! We were in the middle of nowhere. But the pain was so great as was my need to lie down. I suddenly felt exhausted and wanted to sleep. Apparently I later found out, during this time a journalist tried to take pictures of me and the police were on scene. I was oblivious. All I wanted to do was sleep it off and not feel the pain. But I was told I couldn’t sleep and became very emotional. A few calls later and a car was arranged to drive us back to the ferry and across to Kratie. The drive was excruciating, I felt every bump and pothole. They were keen to take me to the hospital (I use the term loosely out here) but I objected. I wanted pain relief and bed. The Westerners didn’t force the issue knowing I’d probably fair better at the guesthouse. They devised a roster so someone could check in on me every 4 hours for signs of my concussion deteriorating.
That night I suffered the worst nightmares. Consecutive nightmares of trauma. Being attacked in the room. At one point it felt so real I had to check my underwear was still on. By 3am I was both terrified but exhausted. I couldn’t get up for the pain and I was too tired to lie awake.
In the morning I felt awful. The other teacher, Australian, being a dab hand at first aid cleaned my deep cuts. But she couldn’t clear it completely and got concerned about infection. I was reluctant to see the dr. I hate them anyway, but to go to a ‘backstreet surgery’ with someone I couldn’t communicate with was terrifying. I had a sort of entourage though. Some guys from the guesthouse, the other teacher and our support who is Cambodian but speaks English.
My cuts were painfully scrubbed and then he had to stitch them up. I felt every movement of the needle and string, and i cried and screamed in pain. Later feeling like a complete moron. But stitches without anaesthesia is worse than tattoos.
I took painkillers afterwards but I wasn’t allowed my Valium or anything that could make me sleepy because of the concussion. I was also put on a medley on antibiotics.
I slept on and off during the rest of the day. Confused and unable to stand or sit for long periods. Dizzy, nausea, headache. I felt like death.
Suffice to say I was unable to carry on teaching. I felt very sorry for myself, angry, worried about the burden i put on everyone else.
Finally I had a better night’s sleep and determined to prove to everyone I was feeling better, I took my sack of laundry to the laundry people. About three blocks away. On the way back I was shuffling along like the walking dead. My body depleted of all energy. My wounds hurt, my bruises ached. I went by the Mekong to sit down and quietly die in agony, when I was greeted by a few of my students. They were so genuinely happy to see me – but also concerned. I reassured them I was fine and would see them soon.
I finally staggered back to the guesthouse in hope of getting some sleep in my air conditioned room.
To be cont….