Story Behind my Bike Accident, Lessons and FAQ

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A couple of hours before breaking my leg, a girl from the UK I just met at Old Mans, asked me if I ever had a bike accident in Bali. “Never, I’ve been here for one year now!” – I might have said a little too proud. Bike accidents are a cliché in Bali, unfortunately. Sometimes with a way worse consequence than a broken leg…

A dog came running into me aggressively whilst driving an extinct road in Canggu. He was running next to me for a while. I thought I would run him out when speeding up, but instead, he just jumped in front of me and I drove over him. Me and my friend, who was on the back of the scooter, fell down. I didn’t think it would be so serious and I wanted to get up to see how my friend was doing, but I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. Happy my friend didn’t have anything except for two grazes.

and a weird eye

Two tibial fractures (eminence avulsion and a lateral plateau fracture for the medical-interested like myself) appeared to be the reason for a dysfunctioning left leg. I needed surgery to replace the dislocated piece of bone. I didn’t want to fly home to the Netherlands for the operation, so I discussed with my health insurance to have it done there. I wanted to stay so badly, but after one week, I decided to fly home anyway. My visa expired the next week (I was supposed to go to Hong Kong with Domino) and I felt I asked too much help of my friends already. I trusted the orthopedic I saw in Bali, but I knew I would need care after surgery. I needed my parents. Fuck.

I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do to get morals out of certain situations, but the accident and its consequences set me thinking and I concluded a few things.

SOMETIMES YOU NEED HELP…
The last two years, I’ve been working towards a life in which I could be totally independent of everyone and anyone. To be pushed to accept help and care has been the hardest thing since the accident, and I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, but now I know how important it is to be there for each other.

ACCEPTATION IS EVERYTHING
I was happier than happy in Bali recently. So happy that I was scared I would be pulled away from Bali. Freaky enough, it happened. I had moments in which I was so angry and frustrated that I had to leave. I tried to understand why this happened. Did I manifest it myself? All kinds of questions were running through my head, but I learned that the ‘why’ questions don’t really matter. It is how it is and I better focus on recovery. An eye on the future rather than one on the past.

KEEP ON GOING
Accepting a situation doesn’t mean you should give up on everything. I learned to keep on going with the things that I love to do. I’m disabled in my legs, but as I walk on crutches, I’m kinda disabled in my arms as well. But I try to get around it and keep on doing as much as I can. I’m so happy that I’m still able to do my work.

DONT BE SCARED FOR THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU
I was scared for accidents. Mine was not that bad actually.
I was scared for pain. I didn’t have much pain. I mean not unbearable pain.
I was scared for surgery and narcosis. It’s not that bad actually.
I was always disgusted by stories of bone operations and fixation with metal plates and screws. I’m not really aware of the metal inside my knee, so it doesn’t worry me.
Okay, I’m not saying my accident was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Not at all. There is way way waaay worse things happening out there, but I do have a better trust in myself now that I can get through things. Hope you understand what I mean.

BE PATIENT
Every day I have several moments wondering if I can walk again. I constantly have the tendency to try it. Putting slight weight on the leg. Trying to flex it (I actually have to extend my knee 24/7). I want to do things. Stroll through Amsterdam, seeing my friends and do little citytrips in Europe (now that I’m here anyway). But okay.. I know bone fractures are healing slowly and I know I should be patient. Hardest thing.

INTUITION…
I left this one as last and unconcluded on purpose. That night of the accident, I did many things against my intuition. But I kept on going and doing things that didn’t feel good doing. Not saying this wouldn’t have happened otherwise, but it definitely set me thinking. I actually still don’t really know how to decide what to do in such situations. Always listen to your own intuition? Or is it okay go against it sometimes to adapt to someone else’s?

And now? I feel good, I like being in the Netherlands and I look forward to walk again. I hope I can start rehabilitation next week, but no one actually told me when I can. I guess it’s different for every patient and it’s just a waiting game.

FAQ (KIDDIN):
How is the dog doing? I don’t know. As soon as it happened, I couldn’t walk so we were focussing on getting me on the bike to get some help.
How’s Bendi doing? The accident didn’t happen with my vintage Honda. It happened with a rental bike as we planned a roadtrip the next day.
Were you drunk? It happened after a night out, but I only drunk 3 beers in like six hours time.. I wasn’t drunk, but to be honest and I hate saying this, I could have been.
Will you return to Bali? No doubt! But I stay here several months.