I meant to post this on 13th December 2015 because it was the ‘anniversary’. Anyway, here it is.
Have you ever got something you’d been wishing for so long, but it turned out to be a bad idea and disaster happened?
Well, I’m going to tell you a story about a girl who wanted special things but got more than she expected.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to fly.
Every day she would look up to the blue sky and say, “Wouldn’t it be great to be up there with the birds?”
The townspeople laughed and mocked her.
“Silly little girl. Why would anyone think of that?” One said.
“You’re better off doing something else, child.” Another said.
The girl ignored their words. So she dreamt and wondered and wished every day.
Until one cold morning, a fairy appeared in her room.
“What brings you here, fairy?” she asked.
“You’ve been a good girl.” The fairy said. “A wish of yours will be granted.”
And on that morning, she flew. She flew as graceful as the birds. Soaring high in the sky.
As she flew over the town, she waved her hand at the townspeople who doubted her. Their mouths hanging wide open. They couldn’t believe what they saw.
All was fine and dandy. Until one little mistake happened.
She fell. Hard on the ground.
And then she was sent to the hospital and got diagnosed with a fractured spine.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the story was an exaggeration of the real thing (duh). The girl is me and flying is actually a sport called paragliding and the fairy is my mother.
On 13th December 2014, I went paragliding at my kampung, Ranau,for the first time along with my sister and my mom’s friends. Everyone else’s flight went fine, mine ended with disaster.
My family and friends know that I’ve been wanting to go paragliding since early 2013. Only after almost two years, I finally got my wish.
From the accident, I sustained a compression fracture on my spine, cut my lip and a few bruises and grazes here and there. One year after, the scars are still visible and my back still frigging hurts.
You must be reading this and think “That’s what you get for doing stupid things…nag nag nag”.
I can’t describe to you how it felt like being up there. You just need to be there yourself to understand it. It felt so liberating, just dangling your feet hundreds of meters above ground, enjoying the view. (FYI, I took a tandem flight.)
That’s me. About to fly in a few minutes.
This day alone was THE most interesting day in my life. There were loads of firsts.
- I got to paraglide for the first time.
- I fell from the air for the first time.
- I wore an adult diaper for the first time.
- I got a ride in an ambulance for the first time.
Wait wait. Why did I wear a diaper, you ask?
Oh. You didn’t ask? I’m gonna tell you anyway.
You see, we went paragliding around 9 or 10 in the morning. When we arrived at the hills (where we were going to take off) I already wanted to pee.
There wasn’t any toilet. I seriously thought I was going to pee when I was up in the air. I didn’t, don’t worry. I didn’t pee when I fell either despite being in so much pain.
When I arrived at the hospital, the nurses and the doctor didn’t let me go to the toilet. The doctor told me about the fracture. I wasn’t allowed to move at all, with fear of disfiguring the bones.
So, my family made me wear a diaper. I needed to be transferred to another hospital in Kota Kinabalu (which was a 2-hour drive) to get a specialist. Hence, the ambulance ride.
(I only got to pee at 10 pm. There was a lot of waiting. 12 hours of holding it in. I couldn’t pee in the diaper. 😦 I still couldn’t get up to go to the toilet, though. So you get the picture.)
I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.
During that brief 3 days in the hospital, I got a taste of how it felt to be paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything at all except lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling. I couldn’t even turn sideways and lifting my legs hurt a lot.
Reality slapped me in the face the moment I got the diagnose. I didn’t think it was that serious.
I pretty much was laughing it off since the first minute of the ‘tragedy’. Although, I did cry a few times, briefly. Despite feeling pain on my butt, I laughed it off. I felt liquid running down my nose, turned out it was blood and I laughed and told my sister to take a picture of me. I was laughing because I had dirt inside my mouth.
The whole fiasco made me really appreciate my family above and beyond. I love them a thousand times more after the accident. Your family are the only one’s you can count on at times like these, mmkay? Appreciate ’em while you still have ’em.
In the end, I had to wear a brace for 3 months.
Was it worth it?
Yes. Because I have an awesome story to tell.
I couldn’t have gotten away with it. It was a tandem flight. I wasn’t doing the technical stuff.
The scar on my face will always remind me to think twice before doing stupid things.
But unplanned, spontaneous events and yes, disasters are always the ones that bring the awesome-est stories.