This is a damn hard one to write… It’s not a usual blog entry; it’s a call for help. And asking for help has always been one of the most difficult things for me.
“Don’t be so proud, it’s your only option!!”
my friends have said.
So here I am… Typing. Deleting. Re-typing. Deleting. Drafting it again…
Where to start?
Maybe with telling you what actually happened…
If you want to skip that whole boring health story and take the shortcut to action,
scroll to the bottom of this post or click here!
I was on my way back from Java to Bali, smashing out as many kilometres as possible per day, because I wanted to reach Bali in time for the 25th Anniversary celebration of my friend’s bike club, HMT.
The road I took back from Jogjakarta to Java’s habour was very unpleasant; over 40 °C (104 °F) in the heat of day. There were many open pit mines and it was therefore very dusty; heaps of trucks and not really much to see. I found the heat and dust very challenging, and I started to feel unwell; incredibly hot, sick and a massive headache. I took more breaks than planned, drank a lot of water and coconuts and probably made the mistake of taking pain killers… something I never do. It numbed my perception of what my body wanted to tell me and therefore I didn’t listen to what was going on at all. At one point, I had to impose upon this family’s prayer room in the middle of nowhere because of incredible exhaustion. View post
However, I made it to Bali in time and my last post on Instagram and Facebook was a little video with my dirty face in it straight off the ferry… (already had a fever, but still ignoring it).
I reached Bali at about 10pm that night after a rather turbulent ferry ride, and knew I had to stay close to the habour to rest. But as you can imagine, habour towns in Indonesia aren’t the safest place for a single white woman to stay, so I made my way along the north coast to find a more suitable accommodation. About 50km and 1.5 hours later, I finally dropped my tired bones on a big, comfortable bed. My body was boiling, I felt nauseous, threw up, developed a massive migraine and could hardly carry myself into the shower.
After two nights of shaking and sweating in the accommodation in north Bali, I knew I had to get myself down to Denpasar. Not because I considered going to the hospital, but to make it in time to the bike show. I was lucky I had my friend Ali accompanying me, but yet I had no idea if I was capable of making the ride. During the ride, I felt like I was in a bubble and I struggled to focus on the winding roads through the mountains. I dropped the bike on some gravel just when we pulled over for some rest. It had slipped a bit, but I almost had it under control again when it finally went down. I was just too weak and exhausted to hold it any longer.
What I interpreted as heat stroke turned out to be Dengue Fever; a tropical infection passed on by mosquitos for which there is no prevention and no cure. It can cause death. That being said, many people here get it and recover from it just fine.
However, with my pre-existing health conditions (which I have touched on in previous posts but never spoke about in detail) and a therefore much weaker immune system, it hit me harder than it would the average person.
After my friends witnessed my condition for two days, they insisted I go to the hospital. Needless to say, I never made it to the bike show with my friends. After coming back only for the show and pushing my limits, it was hard for me to accept not being there.
First, I was diagnosed in a local Indonesian hospital and was advised to get treatment at an international facility. The following night, I found myself in the ICU with panicked doctors and nurses around me… I had a dengue shock syndrome; where the blood pressure becomes so low that it cannot supply sufficient blood to vital organs.
Yes, I had already heard the angels singing that night.
Before I entered the ICU, I had managed to leave a voice message for local friends as well as for my parents, which I cannot even remember doing anymore. I woke up to a letter from my Indonesian biker buddies who had rushed to the hospital that night but weren’t allowed in: “You must survive! We love you!”
A dear friend Ali, who I was riding with only a couple of days before, threw herself on my bed crying next morning, in fear but also in relief that I made it through that night.
In the following days I was also diagnosed with Typhoid fever, nasty Amoebas, and a “lady’s infection” due to my low immune system. In addition, I developed bronchitis with a chance of progressing into pneumonia. All these things at the same time were a dangerous combination and my “old health issues” started to flare up again. I have been on three different kinds of antibiotics, painkillers and heaps of other chemical sh*t. My body feels almost radioactive, damaged from all the drugs and totally out of its natural balance.
I was so exhausted and had no power anymore.
I endured two weeks of 40 °C fever NON STOP, incredible headaches NON STOP, back and bone pain NON STOP and diarrhea NON STOP! The pains were unbearable!
The good news is, my dad and my best friend Jenny from Germany rocked up!! After I left that voice message when things became so critical, they booked an emergency flight and stood in my hospital room only two days later! I thought I was hallucinating from the medication and the high temperature, but NO… it was real!!! When I realised I wasn’t just dreaming, I couldn’t stop crying! It was secretly my biggest wish to have my family around me, but never would have I dared to verbalise this! My prayers had been heard, and I knew this was the best medicine there could have received (besides a lot of sleep and a positive attitude). This was the biggest and best surprise, and immediately I felt stronger to fight whatever was ailing me.
They were here to bring me home, but unfortunately I didn’t even make it out of my hospital bed in that one week that dad and Jenny were here. The doctor had to tell them that it would take a few weeks of recovery until I could travel by airplane. So they had to leave without me and it was so hard to say farewell while still being in that stupid bed and not even knowing how long until I could leave. Even though they didn’t come for a holiday, I wished so much I could have shown them a bit of my beloved Bali…
Now I was fighting alone again.
Only 24 hours after the departure of my beloved ones, I got the devastating news, which is the reason I’m reaching out to you:
On the second day of my hospitalisation, my health insurance sent the Guarantee Letter stating that they would cover all costs. They withdrew that same letter 13 days later, which left me with a $6,000 hospital bill! It took them 13 days (!!!) to realise that there is a clause in the policy that says I am not covered anymore due to the fact that I have already been outside of Germany for too long. Yes, it is unfortunate that I wasn’t aware of that part of the policy; but it would have been their responsibility to tell me so on “day one” of my hospitalisation instead of sending a confirmation that ensured all would be paid. They even called me and my parents serval times, and were super friendly; even wishing me a speedy recovery. They also confirmed they would pay for my transport back home, including a doctor who would fly with me. Two weeks later, none of that was true anymore!!!
Had I known all of this from the beginning, I would have decided to get treated in a local hospital where the costs would have been affordable enough to be paid in cash.
I understood that from then on I was responsible for all additional costs to the 6 grand myself, and therefore spoke with my doctor about a more affordable solution. He changed all my medication from IV to oral and discharged me from hospital.
After all the medicinal arrangements had been made, paperwork etc had been done, a friend came to pick me up but the hospital staff didn’t let me go.
They held me in the hospital with the intention that they wouldn’t let me go before the amount was paid in full. I had two security guys following me wherever I went, grabbing me by the arm when I simply reached into my friend’s car for some water. Being treated like a criminal, I was sitting on my hospital bed boiling my eyes out and spewing my guts. I knew there was no solution for such a big amount to be paid that fast. Neither my family nor I have so much savings. How long are they gonna hold me for and what will all that cost? Followed by security and nurses, I went to the admin office again and got them to write me a letter stating that they were holding me against my will and I should not pay any room cost from then onwards. They wanted me to sign that same letter under the word “Agreed” – I refused to do so!
After 48 hours of horror, uncertainty, many tears and my mum having a melt down on the other side of the world, a friend that didn’t just swallow this information came to rescue me!
After an argument with the administration and management of Siloam Hospital, they agreed for him to leave his Indonesian working visa and a letter of guarantee to pay the bill if I don’t do so.
What a huge act of trust and generosity!!! I was free, and with shaking legs walked to his car and drove out of there…
I have no idea how to pay the huge bill of $6,000.
After laying awake for many nights trying to think of solutions; a dizzy tirade of phone calls, insurance babble, legal consultations (which only generates more cost) and several doses of advice raging through my head, the idea I finally settled upon was a fundraising effort (versus fleeing the country).
I realised that if only half my readers donated just $1, I would still be able to pay the hospital bill in full. Seeing it from this perspective gave me new hope that this goal could be achieved!
Please know that this is a huge step for me to take; asking your for your support… but I am hoping that my wonderful social media community of bikers, life lovers, adventurers, positive thinkers, spiritual seekers and sparkling souls, could possibly sprinkle a little bit of kindness and magic into my PayPal account:
I have no words to express my gratitude for your generosity. I wish I could give every single one of you a massive hug!! All I can give back to you are some wonderful stories of my quest through Lombok, Bali, and Java; to share some of Indonesia’s magic with you and some of the wisdom I have gained from staying with the most humble people and some of the lessons I have learned in solitude on the road…
I still have 15 pieces of The Moto Quest leather patches and a few stickers left, which I will gratefully send out to the kindest donators.