30 Nov 2018. The day I can never forget. It was my third semester’s first exam. After the exam got over, a friend of mine, invited me and other college friends to her birthday party in a restaurant in Gurugram. We went there, enjoyed heartily and on the way back to the nearest metro station, something unexpected happened.
My friend was riding the bike. We were tripling. I was sitting in between the two. We were going slowly. Suddenly, a cycle cart came in front of us and our bike lost balance. We three fell down on the road. I became half-unconscious. The Bullet bike came on my right leg and while falling down from the bike, my left leg got stretched badly. I stood up with difficulty with the help of my two other friends. Somehow, we reached the metro station. I was in a state of shock. I sat down on the footpath, shivering for about the next 45 minutes. My group of friends helped me to calm down. I borrowed money from my friend and booked a cab to go back home. I called up my mom and told her everything.
It took me two hours to get back home. I was unable to get out of the cab on my own and thus, my mom and a neighbor helped me and I went to the nearby clinic. Hopefully, it was not a fracture and the doctor did the necessary bandages.
Two days later, when I opened the bandages, I was shocked to find that my left knee was swollen to the extent that my knee seemed FLAT! I could not walk with my knee straight. My whole left leg was paining. It was Sunday and all the X-ray laboratories were closed. I had to wait for the next day to get an X-ray done. The very next day, I went to an orthopedic clinic and after the X-ray, he concluded that I had Multiple Ligament Injury in knee. I wore knee braces on my left leg to keep my knee straight and walk with ease. I was advised to have complete bed rest. Two days after, I had my semester exam. I was so tensed.
I had two options- first, to leave the exam and sit at home or second, to go to the exam center on a wheelchair with someone from my family. So, I chose the second option. With knee braces on my left leg, I moved down from my second floor to third floor with the help of two hands and one right leg in a sitting position giving all the body weight on my shoulders. I went to the exam center in my car with my mother and my new friend ‘walker’ for support. Luckily, I was provided with a wheelchair at the exam center and was allowed to give my paper on the ground floor itself. After the completion of my paper, I had to go to a hospital to get an MRI done. When the reports came out, it denied multiple ligament injury in knee but stated 3 things- meniscus injury in knee, clotting and hairline fracture below the knee- everything in the left leg.
I had grade 3 posterior horn medial meniscus tear. In simple words, a meniscus is a thick cartilage which acts as a cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (the shin bone). Grade 1 and 2 tears get healed up on their own with physiotherapy. But only 10% of the Grade 3 tears get cured without arthroscopic surgery. Before the surgery, physiotherapy is done to prevent the knee from getting locked after surgery.
Painkillers killed my pain but could not kill my tension, frustration and stress of the meniscus injury, especially during the exams. I could not study well, sleep or eat properly for the first few days. Knee braces became my constant companion for 24 hours. I gave the third exam too on a wheelchair in a similar manner. Till fourth and the last theory exam, I was able to the stand on my feet wearing knee braces.
That one and a half week on wheelchair were not less than a nightmare for me. Unable to go to the washroom on my own, wear pants, walk, sleep, bend and what not. At the end of the second week, physiotherapy started to bring some movement in the knee. There was so much of muscle stiffness. I had to use both hot and cold packs throughout the day to reduce stiffness and swelling, respectively. There was an improvement in my knee after the first few sessions itself and the knee started bending. Meanwhile, I had my practical exams too in December and gave them wearing knee braces. Now, I and my family were eagerly waiting for 31st December when the doctor would tell whether the meniscus injury required surgery or not. And finally, the day came. The doctor examined my knee and said that there was no need for surgery as of now. Just 3 months precaution- no running, dancing, jumping, sitting down because that will make the knee twist. Finally, I said goodbye to knee braces, walker and wheelchair.
The accident gave me so many lessons to learn. It was the toughest phase of my life. How ungrateful we are to God, unknown of the fact that many people in this world can’t walk, see or talk properly. We don’t value small things in life. The accident made me distinguish between real friends and fake friends too and once again established the importance of family in difficult times.
Months have passed and still, a pain in my knee is caused if I walk or stand for too long. But I am happy, at least, I could walk without surgery and gave all my exams. A lesson learned!