Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Accident

I remember the morning of the accident, on my bike, powering up the Malaysia highways in near 40 degrees celcius heat. I remember my body feeling strong, albeit a little dehydrated. I remember feeling invincible, despite feeling tired. I felt like I could ride on forever. That was the bike ride.

I do not really remember too much in the hours after the accident during the horse ride that afternoon. I remember the horse going from a trail walk to a gallop all of a sudden. I remember instinctively making the decision to let go of the reigns. I remember having no control of my body in order to stop my back hitting the ground first. I remember my head in its helmet, slamming against the ground.

I remember the moment I realised that I was not able to get up and walk. I remember wanting to cry but being unable to. From that moment onwards, I do not remember much at all. Apparently, I descended into shock quite quickly. Rain was pouring down and the palm trees were not doing much to stop the water from soaking my body. It apparently took an hour for help to come.

I vaguely remember the pain of being lifted into a car by five people. I recall the slow and bumpy ride back to the horse ranch. I remember Bart's hand reaching into the car to squeeze mine and I remember telling me that I would be okay.

I recall the long ride to the hospital, with every corner, every bump, hurting my back. I remember slowly being loaded onto an emergency room bed, the lights blinding my already sore eyes.

The last thing I recall that night was the feeling of pethidine in my body, like a blissful white cloud consuming me.

Over the last two weeks, I have had to come to grips with the fact that I am now required to rest, in order to heal the three fractures in my spine - the T9, T10 and T11 spinous processes. In the grand scheme of back injuries, it was not the most serious, for which I thank the Lord with all of my heart. I can only thank the Lord that my spinal cord remained in tact and the fractures were not as serious as they could have been.

Being unable to active is like taking away everything I have worked towards in the last year or so. I have worked hard at training and those who know me well enough know that it directly affects the way I view life and I view myself. As a result, I have descended into somewhat of a dark cloud of sadness over the last week or so. I have no energy, no desire to get up, I cannot see a light at the end of the injury tunnel. When I feel down, my usual coping mechanism is to go for a run, or a bike ride or a swim. Or, even better, travel and do photography. Now, I am back in Sydney, in my home town, back in my old room feeling helpless. I must admit, it is very hard.

I can only imagine how it much feel for those who are permanently incapacitated through spinal injuries. It must be torture. I remind myself of the fact that this too shall pass, and that time heals. Just like heartache. And that those who are broken come back stronger.

In time, I will be that person.


  1. My dear girl, I cried when I heard of your accident, and especially when Annie told us all that it was not your spinal cord. We do not want any more clients!

    I think we have a couple of stories on our website if you fancy a look - if you need any information or want to hear more stories, don't hesitate to ask and I'll see what I can do for you. Recovery from serious injury is hard. I remember every time my skin got so bad I couldn't move, couldn't dance. It was like taking my spirit away. But I know you and I know you will come through this so well.


  2. i'm so glad you're posting again, and i'm relieved that you'll be able to fully recover from your injuries. it sounds like a terrible, scary ordeal. thinking of you, and wishing you well as you rest and heal.

  3. And I am sure that your fitness levels before the accident will contribute to your getting back to 100% fitness soon.
    I am so glad it wasn't worse and that you'll be running soon again.
    Thinking of you.