In October 2018 I had a life changing accident. Whilst cycling home from work I was knocked off my bicycle in a hit and run accident. I suffered a grade 3 acl Tibial Spine Avulsion injury and a grade 1 sprain of my MCL and major bruising around my knee. In ‘normal’ speak that means my ACL pulled upwards out of place and pulled a chunk of bone off the top of my knee cap and that rest of my right knee was pretty badly knocked about. I needed two surgeries to pin my right knee back together again, so I will have a bit of metal in my knee for the rest of my life. Then it was six months on crutches whilst I had to relearn how to walk and even now in May 2020 it is not fully better. I am just starting to run; still struggle to straighten it; and often in pain.
But I am trying to let go of the anger and sadness. I don’t want to be haunted by trauma forever. So this is an ode to my right knee. A celebration of what it used to be; what happened that fateful day; and my recovery from it. So here goes…
‘Dear right knee, it’s time to address what you used to be.
All muscle and bone, natural and at home, In the skeleton that makes up me.
It was strong and tough, no thing was too much.
From running marathons to adventures on skis.
What a fine knee you used to be.
Then came in the day when it went away
Mr Van driver knocked me off my bike, it was not something to like.
Consequences that I needed to pay.
He faced none, simply drove off into the sun.
Leaving me on the road to stay,
To wait for an ambulance to say hey.
What the driver was not to know, was the extent of his blow.
He drove right off though, to ensure his face to the police was not on show.
I was in agony and hardly conscious.
People around me seemed to be obnoxious, as they walk past me not offering help.
I didn’t even have the strength to yelp.
I could simply lie on the road hoping for a hand that could help me to stand.
To the taxi driver who eventually came, you are a hero of this refrain.
You crossed the road full of cars even though it was hard.
You lifted me up and in safety placed me on the curb, it really was superb.
You called 999 then stood on guard until they arrived and so I hold you in high regard.
There is much I could say about what happened next.
But to say it all would be a lot of text.
Needless to say it was a serious event which caused a serious health decent.
A surgeon had to pin my knee together.
That bit of metal will be there forever.
I was on crutches for six months, even once it began to heal it did not have strength of steel.
The pain is still ongoing today, I really wish it would go away.
It radiates out from my knee to my hip, tightening my back and causing slips and trips.
I lost running and skiing and much independence too.
For me that was the hardest thing to get through.
Learning to rely on other people when your mobility is taken from you.
Even now, a year and a half on, it isn’t right and getting better is quite a fight.
There are things I’ll never be able to do again, there is no when.
It hasn’t just been a physical event, my mental health is much below a hundred perfect.
I have flash backs and panic attacks at unpredictable moments although there are several components to that fear.
Noises that if I hear, send shivers down my spine, they seem so clear.
On and on they sound in my head even though the object has long since gone ahead.
Sirens are the worst. That nee naw call that makes others stall and try to get out the way.
It’s difficult for me to say how that noise takes me back to that fateful day.
Lying in the road, on a morphine drip in the ambulance, wishing somehow it could all go away.
Like it had never happened.
But that can’t ever be the case, even though I tried to shake it off in haste.
This is a part of me and will always be.
So goodbye to my old knee and hello to the new and I hope the metal addition will stay strong and true.’
Stay safe out there everyone and whatever happens you are stronger than you think and braver than you know.