Never expected this to happen.

Still can’t believe something like this will happen. Who would have thought so, definitely not I. 4 weeks everything seemed to be going smoothly, even I am starting to have much fun in camp seeing my friends and as I get to know them better help each other while we look forward to POP.
But life isn’t a wish granting machine and freak accidents happen. The last thing you probably want is one to happen to you. And guess what, looks like I ain’t that lucky and am in for a ride. I just can’t believe my luck, like honestly this could happen to so many but me and it has to be me.
Just days after collecting results and as the week was about to come to an end, I thought it was going to be another normal week, another normal book out, another normal book in before field camp week. Already looking forward to finally going outfield and getting all dirty and muddy as I return to my odac roots and a matter of such gravity has to occur. Tough luck. They say you can’t change the cards you’re dealt in life, only the way you can play them.
It was only another round of going through soc (my sixth time in fact). But one thing was different- it was going to be a time trial and me being me wanted to give my all, my best my utmost effort. The adrenaline rush was not unfamiliar, the same rush and desire to excel just like in school. As I made my way up to the starting line, I was already raring to go. Before the whistle went off, I already made a dash.
Oi! Who say you can go. At that point something struck me. It was this feeling that I was going to do it and do it well either that or I was going to screw up somewhere. Low wall cleared, stepping stones cleared, in super quick time some more. Then as I approached the even lower wall and got ready to do a c grip to get over it, the coming down part was tricky, I got stuck, I worried, time was ticking away, I had to hurry. Throwing myself forward, the left leg was supposed to land first, but who knows what I was trying to do, my right went down and everything happened so fast, like a flash, I couldn’t even see it coming. But the leg went down and I couldn’t get a firm stand in went the foot and I heard a sound. Something unpleasant and my knee wobbled. I tried standing, I could. Forcing myself I walked towards the medic point I thought I was okay, I thought I was going to be fine, I thought wrong. The worse was about to happen.
Resting at the medic spot as it was time to return, I started to walk and suddenly my whole right knee gave way inwards. I fell down and as I crumbled so helplessly the inner bone of my right knee jutted out and that gave me a horrifying scare. Expletives were the first reactions I could give while my eyes just shut out in excruciating pain. I could still see the dislocation in my right knee.
I was at a loss I tried bending my leg but it wouldn’t budge, only to some greater force and a sudden pull did the knee get back in shape, first signs of thanking my stars. In a flash it was just like scenes you watch in medical shows, swarmed by medics I was soon loaded up and ready to be sent away. Lying down in the vehicle was probably the start where my mind started to wander. Thoughts crept into my head like a demon trying to inflict every single negativity it could. Looking forlornly at my sirs standing outside I felt their sense of disappointment as they shook their heads and I myself feared the worst. The drive to the medical centre seemed like ages, lying helplessly all I could do was close my eyes and hope for the best. I still thought the injury will not be fatal.
They wheeled me in and within minutes I was stripped down to my undies. They cut open my pants and bootlaces, I was horrified, what will happen to my boots and pants now??? (But honestly that should be the least of my worries right?) The doctors who came in did several checks raising my right leg up and down, pressing here and there and were shocked the bending revealed no pain. I myself was surprised I felt nothing. Could it be, that I had lost my limb? Nah can’t be I thought to myself. The doctors look to each other and muttered a few terms I couldn’t quite comprehend all I hope for was a diagnosis that wouldn’t be too serious after what I seen had happened at the soc ground.
The assessment was over in a jiffy faster than I thought it would take but I still felt like I couldn’t walk, they continue to let my lie down, pants stripped and covered with a blanket. Slowly, one by one the doctors left and so did the medics. They went into the other room apparently there was another recruit there, only that I didn’t know. But as time passed the medical centre grew quieter, gradually it became empty and I was left alone in that cold room lying on the stretcher upon a stainless steel frame. My hands shivered as I stared at the whitewashed ceiling, it was literally like lying on the bed in a hospital waiting for your time to be up (touchwood!) Close to an hour I laid there like a specimen ready for examination, like a lab rat ready to be tested on. The lights remained on so sleeping was out of the question. All I did was close my eyes and think of what was going to happen next. Soon many thoughts floated into my mind.
Was I going to be able to finish bmt? The idea of having to recourse strongly surfaced amongst my thoughts. Would I still be able to go to OCS? What if I have to down pes, that would mean no more command school. At that point in time I knew I had screwed up big time. Of all people it had to be me. I felt so stupid so ignorant, to have want to rush the course. One stupid action and probably coupled with some bad luck landed me in the state I am now.
Initial thoughts was largely on my foolishness but most of it was filled with fear of not finishing what I had set myself out to do since the very first day of bmt. In front of all the sirs and doctors I tried to be brave, and take it like how an officer would take it. But deep down the sadness at the realization of making this mistake was engulfing me. Only after an hour plus did the doctor return to check on me and said what he suspected happened to my knee.
“We suspect you tore your acl.”
“That doesn’t sound good at all.” I thought to myself.
“What would that mean sir?” I asked the doctor.
“Well for sure you will have to oot” I cringed once I heard it but kinda expected it coming, but the next part threw me into a frenzy.
“And if it’s an acl you have to down pes.” He looked sorry, but nothing more than that, heartless and straight to the point.
At that moment I wanted to get up and react, but I was hopeless. I took a deep breath as he left the room and tried holding back my emotions. I closed my eyes and thought hard the words “down pes” echoed within my head.
And for real now.
The fear was immense.
The fear was so real. For the first time since enlistment day.
I was fearful.
I pictured myself being a Clark while my friends all go through their commissioning parade. How I felt I let down my parents, how I felt I have let down you after the pact. I didn’t want to down pes, all I questioned was Why this happened to me. But I couldn’t do anything, but pray for the best, pray that it wasn’t an acl.
I had to remain positive. That was the only way I will be able to pass this test.
Having lain there for a while now finally they got me crutches and I finally tried to get up. It was difficult and I feared touching my knee after seeing how weak it has become. They speed ferry me out of the island and I went past my company line. Seeing the platoon that I was in charge of just two days ago preparing for their field camp next week the disappointment to not complete this bmt with these buddies I had started out with pained me. Unwillingly we left tekong and arrived at changi general hospital. The impatience in me grew as I hope to find out what exactly went wrong with my knee but alas the diagnosis wasn’t known and I had to wait till two weeks later. Today just wasn’t my day.
I called back home to let them know of my status and thank God they didn’t rage nor got overly worried. But for the first time in weeks I was sad I was home or rather I came home feeling down and depressed.
I just couldn’t believe it. I tried settling down and doing things on my own but was helpless like a baby most of the time. I couldn’t stand seeing myself have to be so reliant on my parents. But this is how life is going to be for now. I steadied myself and got ready to go to bed in the hall with the ceiling fan vibrating ever so loudly. I couldn’t sleep no matter how hard I tried. Thoughts of not being able to have a normal national service kept me awake. I slept and woke up at hourly intervals. To scratch the incessant mosquito bites and think about what was to come. Above all thoughts I had since the start of this nightmare till the time I woke up at 5 in the morning.
I still wondered: of all people, why me?


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