Mark (2/4)

It was hard! I started doing labouring work, dishwashing anything to keep my mind busy. It was particularly difficult because in Indonesia I was semi well-known but being in New Zealand: I was nothing. A complete nobody and that was rough.

Feb 6th 2009 was the day I made it here and it will always be my second chance at life.

August 2012 was my third chance at life hit me like a ton of bricks!

I had been having extreme headaches for the past 4 months. Excruciatingly bad headaches, it felt as if something was trying to crush my head in and at times I found it almost unbearable. I was very tired and getting angry with myself all the time. One night I was working on my job as a traveling sales consultant and I was in a lot of pain. My shoulders were all cramped up and I couldn’t move my neck properly.

While I was talking to my customers I had to stop and ask them if it was normal to be able see four of their faces when I looked at them. Naturally they were very concerned and told me to go home and get some rest. So I managed to get back to my motel room and passed out. When I woke up the headache just wouldn’t go away.

Luckily I managed to drive back an hour and a half to where I was living at the time and get home safely. But once I got back the headaches just got worse and worse. I finally decided I needed some proper medical attention so I called the ambulance to get me. This could be a whole story in itself. They must have been flat out because it was a Friday or Saturday night and they kept asking me what was wrong with me and wouldn’t come out if I just had a headache.

In the hospital it also took hours before they could figure out what was wrong with me and they finally decided to give me a CT scan.

The results were not great. The Emergency Doctor told me ‘You will be going to the operating room tonight; you have a big lesion in your skull causing extreme inflammation if it’s not eased asap it might be fatal. You will need to call your parents’ and let them know what’s happening.

I didn’t want to do this!

I dreaded the idea of calling my parents with this kind of news. I felt that calling my parents who were in Indonesia would just freak them out more than do any good. But the doctors insisted. So I texted my dad

‘Hey I am going to the operating theatre tonight, I have a brain tumour, don’t tell mum!!’

Dad called me straight back and told me ‘mum would never forgive him if he didn’t tell her’ so I talked to her and just said as calmly as I could that ‘we can only hope for the best’.

That night the doctors put me on some very heavy steroids to reduce the inflammation in my head. I was in the hospital room, in the main neuro ward being checked on every hour.

Lots of people ask me if I ever felt lost and alone at this time but I have to admit that sitting there on my own I had one of the most intense spiritual moments in my life. I was lying on the bed looking out at the window in my room thinking.

‘Is this it? Have my past life mistakes finally caught up with me. Am I screwed?!’

It was at this exact moment I started seeing snowflakes everywhere outside my hospital room window. It was winter at the time but you generally don’t see much snow in the Capital of New Zealand in the winter and it looked like a good amount of snow fall so I was so intrigued. It was so pretty though!

I got up to tell the nurses what I saw. Is it snowing outside? I asked? The Nurse looked back at me kind of concerned and said ‘No, I think it’s best if you go back to your room and take a rest, the drugs must be kicking in’.

So I was escorted back in my room and lied on my bed just looking out the window and watching all the snow swirl around in my imagination. It was so peaceful! I got the sense that I was at complete peace with myself and then there was this voice that surrounded me.

You know when you hear a voice talking into your ears? It wasn’t anything like that. I could hear it everywhere like a presence in my room that said

‘You haven’t finished what I need you to do. You’ll be fine’.

You still have to finish what I need you to do here. For some reason I didn’t freak out or panic. I felt an amazing feeling of peace come over my body and fell asleep.

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