Surviving Life’s Unexpected Detour

It has been a while since that last great adventure and I need to write about this next one! Ha! Just a fair warning, some of the photos posted below are not for the faint-hearted. However, I know we all have been through tough times the past three years and I think we have developed a tough shell. (Kaya makakayanan ninyo pictures ko, guys! ) Now back to my story.

November 1 was one fine day. Look at the blue skies!

My friends invited me to golf. I was not available the first time they went golfing mid-September. I went to visit a sick relative so they went ahead and they enjoyed it.

They again planned to golf by the end of October. I told them to go ahead because my family was scheduled to visit the cemetery. They moved playing golf to the day I was available- November 1.

I was ready by 6:30 AM since my friend would be fetching me. I did not golf though. I was busy taking photos as future references for my art. It was mid-way to the month-long Philippine Guild of Watercolorists Convention. I was learning a lot of painting techniques so I was really busy thinking how to apply those techniques in the different reference photos I took. Future artworks will have these as inspiration.

There are only nine holes in that golf course. It was almost 11 am when we were at the 7th hole. My aunt already texted me not to forget to buy lunch for them. I told them to eat snacks first. I might not be able to bring lunch on time since there were two holes to go.

A few minutes later, I called her that I would not be able to bring lunch. Why? Because we had an accident. The golf cart my friend was driving (where I was one of passengers) toppled over. I really do not know what happened. I never anticipated that something might go wrong. I felt we were going downhill too fast but it never occurred to me to hold tight or that we might fall. Been in the mountains in a motorcycle hanging for dear life a few months before, riding a golf cart did not look like a risk. But lo and behold, I found myself shouting for my dear legs that were under the roof of the toppled golf cart. My friends were quick to lift the cart up so I could free my legs.

This was me at the hospital. Happy to be alive!

Glad that my cousins were quick to rescue me. Azenith arrived the hospital just a few moments after my friend and I arrived. Then Arvin came after.

I had x-ray in every angle of my limbs and there were no broken bones. Thank you, God! I thank my fat-covered gastrocnemius muscles for that. The doctor gave us anti-tetanus shots, painkillers and antibiotics and we were good to go.

By 2 PM, I was already home showing off my glorious bruises and trying to bear all the ribbing I got from family for going out on All Saints Day.

My cousin said that my bruises were part of my Halloween costume. My cousin called me zombie. My aunt called me robot because my movements were slow, calculated and very linear. My wounds hurt every time I moved so I walked ever so gingerly that I looked like a robot. My niece would not go near me. I looked scary. She eased up a few weeks later though.

Only a few friends knew what happened to me and I kept sending them photos of my wounds!

And I was a show-off.

I can still paint despite the wounds. But honestly, it was the only thing I could do for more than a week. It was difficult to move. If I found a comfortable position, I would no longer move or I would risk touching my wound. I could not write well. Typing was painful. Taking showers took time. It was only through painting that I was a little productive.

After 10 days of staying at home, I really needed to go out. I have bills to pay and a stomach to feed. Ha! So welcome to my conservative era, where my fashion is all about long sleeves and wide-leg pants! Good thing, my aunt and cousin were spring cleaning their closets, I have more than enough long sleeves to add to my existing ones. These clothes will last me for more than a month. Ha! (I miss my other clothes. Hintay lang kayo, guys. Masusuot ko rin kayo!)

The scars in my hand are healing gradually. I took a photo of my hand on February 28 this year to show my friend how my hand has aged and the veins were protruding. Little did I know that nine months later, I would think of those ageing hands as physically beautiful after seeing my scars.

As long as my hands still function the way I want them to, they are beautiful. I think I can wear short sleeves and sleeveless with these scars. These scars can be interesting conversation piece or repellant for people. Introverts like me would love that. Ha!

The wound in my left foot follows a different timeline. After 37 days, the scab in my left foot still won’t budge. Clingy scab.

As I reflect on the unfortunate predicament I was in still am in, I laugh at the ironies of my life. I dodged COVID (so far and, I hope, forever). I survived unscathed trekking and riding the motorcycle in the mountain in South Cotabato. I was even spared from a dog bite when my friend who was walking next to me was bit by a dog. Riding on a golf cart with four wheels on a paved road without traffic did one on me. Such is life. Randy Pausch said that we cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game so I chose to wing it and accept life’s little surprises. There are far more painful things in this world like heartbreak. chos

I thank my family for adjusting to my condition. My aunts did a lot of the chores in the house since I was useless the first few weeks. My cousins always cheered me up with stories and food. (My cousins and aunt brought me durian from Davao!) One friend always sends me video of products that might be able help heal my scars. Another friend kept in touch every day to ask about my condition or just talk. My friends even if they live far away would ask for updates on my wounds and sometimes I updated them too much with pictures that they had to tell me they felt queasy looking at them. I think I scared them. I am blessed to have a supportive little community that makes my life bearable even in this unfortunate condition. Sometimes that is all that I need.

I remember going to the bank and the teller told me she liked my outfit not knowing the real reason for wearing the long sleeves. I remember my friend telling me I have nice legs and that it is a shame I had this accident. I never had an appreciation of my thick limbs until it got scarred this bad. The little encouragement also fueled my healing.

They say time heals all wounds. There was no mention about the scars though. I still have some faint scars from my childhood so I accept that it may take a while (a lifetime, perhaps) for complete healing. I learned from my experience with skin diseases (pityriasis rosea and hidradenitis suppurativa) and childhood bruises that the skin will heal itself. I am looking forward for that day to come. For now, I hope to be able wear my scars with confidence since I survived and endured them. I am so looking forward to summer time, with or without scars. Beauty standards be damned. But first, I will enjoy Christmas with family!

The documenter and the curiosity in me prevailed. I took photos of my healing progress. For those who are uneasy with hideous images may stop scrolling. Thank you for reading up to this point.

For those curious, this is how skin heals. These are my before and after photos.

It is amazing how our bodies heal. I know my skin will be better soon. Thank you, God!

“When I stand before thee at the day’s end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.”

Rabindranath Tagore.