Threading the Needle of Pain
After the collision I lay on the ground bleeding, thrown from my motorbike onto the street. I watched blood pour from my face, unable to speak because my mouth was shattered. I felt I could just close my eyes and let my life peacefully pass me by.
But I decided to live. I attempted to rise from the ground and someone put their hand on my shoulder. A Balinese man helped me onto his motorbike and we drove off, one arm holding onto him and the other holding my face together. Thankfully I had travel insurance which paid for a month at a really good private hospital in Kuta, Bali where I underwent 3 major surgeries.
I waited in the emergency room for 12 hours as they searched the island for my blood type. I had to stay upright the entire time, struggling for breathe because blood kept filling my lungs. When the blood finally arrived I had to do a CAT scan and was forced to lie down for 10 minutes. I feared I would drown in my own blood. As I lie still my lungs filled with fluid until eventually all I could do was take one slow, small breath every minute.
I underwent a seven-hour surgery which took seven surgeons in a race with time to stop the bleeding and brace my facial bones with titanium. They could not put me back together perfectly due to the many 3 dimensional breaks in my jaw. My face is now slightly askew in small but numerous ways.
I spent 4 days in Intensive care and cried deeply. I accepted my fate and began to heal my body. The bleeding simply would not stop. Every slight movement of my body triggered more blood. So I decided to remain motionless and for 3 days just breathing slowly, in and out, eyes closed to regain control of my body.
During this time of inward stillness, I learned a great lesson in self-healing. I was able to cancel out the pain by going directly into it. Wherever there was pain I sought to find it rather than avoid it. As I moved my mind to each precise location of pain I would find the center of it and simply go there with my awareness. Every time I found the center, the pain would melt away. It was remarkable. I spent my whole life avoiding pain and now I realized that to move past it you have to look right at it.
It took a week to breath fully again. All I wanted was air – to breathe freely and deeply. After seven days I ate for the first time by sucking liquid food through a straw between my wired-shut teeth. I was thankful that I survived. The nurses were spectacular, their love helped heal me.
When I arrived back in Canada I had to start my life over with the support of my family. I remained reclusive and worked on my land for 6 months healing my body and my mind. It was then I that gained the courage to have my first child. And now here I am - happy, healthy and supremely grateful to be alive.
- Written by Christian Prekratic