Now, Cambodia is known for one of the countries where the number one cause of deaths is, traffic accidents. I see it happening everyday. However, that doesn’t stop me from driving a motorbike to get from point A to point B.
This is the final straw of my traffic blunders here in this nation. I declare that in Jesus’ name! Amen.–I don’t want anymore accidents because this one is probably something that I won’t want another incident to top.
I had ten stitches on my right ankle, a deep, terrible gash just above that stitched area, I was hooked to a dextrose for the first time, I had an anti-tetanus vaccine, and a morphine injected to ease the pain, just a tad bit.
The cause? Well, you’re about to find out.
I had a normal day at work. The workload was, as always, heavy and hectic and I was thankful that it was almost 5 o’ clock. I can finally go home in a few minutes. There was a heavy downpour before working hours were over and there was still a light shower trickling from the heavens. I figured, I’d rather be on my way home than to have to drive under another huge downpour–the skies were getting darker and darker as rain clouds started gathering overhead.
I grabbed my helmet and got on my bike. Off I go through the streets lubricated by the first shower I previously mentioned. As I drove through Monivong Blvd., the raindrops were getting bigger and bigger. I was careful. I do not drive fast. I stopped at the second to the last traffic light before you reach the Japanese Bridge. I could see the Phsar Thmey at the center of the road to the right. I was just going to drive across and continue driving along Monivong Blvd.
The lights turned green and I waited five more seconds because I just know that people are going to be zooming past. I then eased my way slowly across that intersection, when a motodop (motorbike driver) zoomed past me–that wasn’t the problem, he was followed by a kid, not more than 15 years old, on a white mountain bike, just a few inches away from collision with me. I had to hit the breaks!
When I did, my motorbike slid sideways and stopped right in the middle of the intersection. Something was piercing the back of my leg as I tried to get up–the motorbike’s kick dug into my right calf and ripped my flesh apart when I stood up. Blood was oozing out of the wound and slowly trickling down my right foot.
Nobody rushed to my aid–here, as it seems, it’s normal to have somebody crash. The cars and other motorbikes zoomed past me. The boy on the bike got away safely. I picked myself and my motorbike up. With adrenaline still rushing into my system, I made a decision to drive home, give myself some first aid, call my housemates and get stitches and a vaccine to prevent sepsis and tetanus. I knew my flesh was torn at the lower back of my right leg.
By this time, the rain was starting to pour. I drove through muddied streets and more roadwork. I was thanking God I was still alive and that I happened to be a person with high pain tolerance. I got home.
I changed into dry clothes and went inside my bathroom to examine my leg. Dirt was mixed with flesh and blood as my torn flesh dangled at the back of my leg. I thought I had to clean it. I had to cut the dangling flesh because it was all muddied up.
I flushed the blood and mud with water. I went down and got myself some tweezers and scissors. I put the water to boil and sterilized the tools. I was going to perform a minor “surgery” for my self. I went up to my housemate’s room and got her first aid kit. I set everything in order in my bathroom. When the scissors and tweezers were sterilized. I grabbed a t-shirt to bite on because I know that it was going to be excruciating.
I began to cut my flesh–no anesthesia. I growled while biting the shirt and cutting the torn flesh. I flushed everything with water. I applied alcohol and iodine to clean the wounds. I grabbed a piece of cloth to patch it all temporarily and dried my leg. I reached for my phone after it all and called one of my big sisters in the house.
I said, Ate, I got into an accident. I need to go to a clinic, get stitched up and get vaccinated. All she said was that they were coming and for me to just stay put. About 15 minutes later, my housemates came through the door. We all got into the car and I was taken to the nearest clinic.
I was hooked to an IV upon arriving there. They made me lie on the hospital bed face down as the nurses injected anesthesia after she made sure that my wounds were clean. She started stitching me up and that whole thing lasted for at least 25 minutes.
My wounds were dressed, I was patched up and then off to dinner we went.
It has been more than a month now, I learned how to dress my wounds. I still drive my motorbike because it really is the way to go. Now though, I am more steady and alert when it comes to traversing through the streets of Phnom Penh. I am more patient now with the other motorists. I still can’t wear short skirts or mini dresses because of my huge scab and my still-mending and scarring skin, at the back of my right leg.
Phnom Penh is still beautiful in spite of the unfortunate events.