It was just another Friday night soccer game, we play every week, year round. I had the ball, jumped over a defender and came down very badly on my left knee. I collapsed immediately and was helped off the field. One teammate, a Chiropractor, came over to do some gentle probing. Nothing broken he said.
This isn’t the first time…
I injured my ankle playing soccer several years ago, trying to kick the ball with my left foot, not one I usually use. Kicked the ground, very hard and went down. When I got home, my Asian neighbour, seeing my limp offered to help, yelling for his son to get the Chinese Medicine. After a vigorous rub-down, the pain unbearable, the odour unbearable, my neighbour said I’ll be good as new tomorrow. Limped home wanting to believe him. Went to Emergency the next morning to find out I had some kind of fracture in the ankle area. Upon seeing me come home with crutches, my neighbour came right over. When I told him about the fracture he said “Chinese Medicine will not cure fractures” and walked away.
Broke the same ankle a few years earlier, getting out of my truck, slipping on ice. This one was nasty. Had to crawl to the front door where my wife helped me in. Later in the night, ankle expanding exponentially, we headed to Emergency. The first cast was put on wrong then cut off a week later, ankle needing a reset. Playing Doctor, I removed the second case weeks later when my doctor refused to repair the broken walking heel. There is quite a bit more to this story.
Broke the other foot working on a farm, disconnecting a large plough. The jack collapsed, the tongue falling on my foot then bounced to one side. The farmer’s wife saw it all and ran over to help. Once my boot was off and I was comfortably seated, she ran back to the house and came out with a very large steak, draped it over my foot and made some calls. A little while later, the steak came off and went back into the house. Off to Emergency where they found all five bones leading to my toes broken. I’ve often wondered whether that steak made it to the BBQ.
What I’ve learnt from all these injuries is that you can’t predict them, they just happen, usually it hurts and you are out of commission for weeks. Sleeping the first night will be impossible and you’ll walk funny.
Men are stubborn, we never want to go to the hospital, preferring to wait, trying ice packs, wraps or Chinese Medicine. Looking at my badly swollen knee, barely able to bend it, I’m debating calling my neighbour.