So What Did I Learn?


Well, this has been a very interesting week for me. I thought I would take time in the Dalat News to tell my story and what I have learned from a most recent experience that had a good deal of impact on me.

Last Saturday evening, I went out for a ride on my bicycle. On my way down the road from our apartment, a taxi driver did not see me coming and turned right into me. The force of the impact sent me flying over the car and landed me on the road. I knew right away that it was serious as I looked down and saw two gaping wounds in my side.

God’s providence was evident to me in a number of different ways that night. A family from Dalat (Jasmine Cho and her son Hasung) saw me on the road and stopped to help. With their assistance I got back to my apartment and my wife was able to rush me to Island Hospital. After a CAT scan and X-rays revealed that I did not have any broken bones or internal bleeding, I had the opportunity to meet the surgeon (Dr. Badrul Yeap) who would be stitching me back up. I was so pleased to meet him and find out that he is a new parent to Dalat. I appreciated the connection he made with me right away and that he understood I really was joking when I said that he needed to do an extra good job for his son’s new headmaster.

Late that night I was taken into the operating room where the anesthesiologist gave me the option of getting an epidural (numbing my lower body with a shot in my spine). I jumped at the chance (well not literally) as it meant that I could be awake during the surgery. I then got the rare opportunity to be part of a surgical procedure — my own. Dr. Yeap allowed me to watch the procedure, and his staff did a great job of keeping me entertained with some eclectic music, singing, and wonderful banter.

The next morning I woke up, and though I had feeling back in my legs, I was pretty immobile for the rest of the day as my body began to deal with the traumatic experience it had gone through. I had a number of visitors who dropped by throughout the day and got a chance to rest and begin my recuperation.

On Monday morning, the feeling in my upper right leg had still not returned after the surgery and so some tests were needed to make sure that I had not injured my lower back or spinal cord. This was an anxious time for me, but after an MRI and an electrical conductivity test were done, I was relieved to hear that my back is okay and that the loss of feeling is most likely nerve damage that should heal over time.

I returned home Monday night and have been recuperating throughout the week. Each day I have felt a little better and have become more mobile. The Dalat community has blessed our family in so many ways, and the support and care has been phenomenal. I am grateful that I have the opportunity and blessing of being part of such a great community. I am lucky in so many ways.

So what did I learn from this experience?

  • That a bruise can be as colorful as a sunset, similar to the beautiful ones we see in Penang.
  • That hospital food really isn’t that bad.
  • That fat does look pretty gross, especially when it is on the outside of your body.
  • That the Dalat community is an awesome one to be a part of and I cannot imagine wanting to be anywhere else.
  • That you should memorize your wife’s phone number so you don’t look dumb and have to say “I don’t know” to people who are trying to help you in an emergency.
  • That the surgical team at Island Hospital do an incredible job, are incredibly professional, and enjoy their work even if their music selections are a little bit strange.

So that’s my story.

Next week we will go back to talking about our new theme for this year.

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Dalat Director

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people to make a positive impact on their world, walk with integrity, and follow Christ. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Dalat Director since 2006.

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