Banged Up In Bangkok

How I Almost Died Crossing The Road In Bangkok

My first trip to Bangkok was filled with wonder and admiration for the Thai people and the beautiful country of Thailand. Then one day I crossed the road in Bangkok, got hit by a truck and almost died. Literally. I lay there in the streets of Bangkok as a lifeless carcass, bleeding profusely from the head. I woke up 5 days later with no identity no memory and was slightly curious why I was in hospital. I asked one of the nurses why I was in hospital  and she said that I had been hit by a truck and had serious brain injuries (brain swelling, brain bleeding, short term memory loss) a badly broken leg in 3 places.

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2 and a half weeks later in made it back to Australia in a wheel chair, escorted by a doctor from Bunrungrad hospital. Thankfully in my short time in Bangkok I met a beautiful girl who was there every day to take care of me in hospital. She bought a new sim card for my phone so I could call my parents & tell them I had been in an accident, which I did 6 times in a row. The extent of my memory loss was so bad that after the first conversation with my parents I rang them again shortly after and told them that I had been in an accident – AGAIN. At that point I had maybe a 5 – 10 minute memory, so every time I called my parents I thought it was the first time. Mum told me later that I called her about 6 times in row to tell her the same thing.

 

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Why You Should Always Get Travel Insurance

Sometimes things don’t go to plan – my plan was to have a nice 2 week holiday in Thailand then head back to Australia and carry on with my painting business. But evidently life had other plans. I was very grateful that I had travel insurance because the bill from my 2 and a half week stay in hospital was $45,000 US dollars which was taken care of by the travel insurance company. I was also very grateful for the nurse who had the gargantuan task of shaving my hairy face with a less than perfect razor (which was more painful than a broken leg and brain damage combined – seriously). But at the end of the day it FEELS GOOD to be cleanly shaved.  For the next 4 months I was getting around on crutches with my leg being held together by an external fixator, then I progressed to a fiberglass PTB cast for the next 8 months. So no painting houses for me, my main movements for the months after the accident were from the couch to the bed, and the bed to the couch. I was very grateful that the insurance covered some of the time that I couldn’t work (6 months in fact).

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Disasters Can Be A Blessing In Disguise

“You got hit by a truck and almost died? In THAILAND! That must have been terrible for you!”  That’s along the lines of what most of my friends said to me. To be totally honest it wasn’t bad at all. In fact I was in a state of deep peace. So deeply peaceful it’s indescribable. How could that be? Because my mind stopped. The false sense of self that I carried around for so long was gone. I think because sense of self that held in the mind is derived from the past, (my accomplishments and things in my life) was gone because I had no recollection of the past. Joel was gone,  but I was still here. I was aware without thought, and seeing the world without it being filtered through the mind. It was beautiful. It still is beautiful, just here and now, and at peace.

Am I different now? Well I have a much deeper appreciation for the simple things like just being alive, walking, breathing, sunshine and nature. One thing I realized is that there are no problems in life or your situation, problems only exist in the mind.