In my 12th year, I was involved in a stupid accident. A colossal truck was too close to me as I cycled home. This caused me swerve the bicycle. The whole thing happened in an instant: I used my left foot as a stabiliser and my heel fell hard. The impact threw me from the bike onto the road, where I laid in the dust. I was relieved that I survived, but could not straighten my left leg. The truck didn’t stop.
An X-ray showed that the topmost piece of my shinbone, the “tibial plateau,” had splintered, and I was taken to an operating room where a surgeon wrenched the pieces of bone back into place. The leg was wrapped in a cylinder of plaster and I was instructed to return in the fall. The journey of recovery started only after that plaster was taken off. It was as if my knee had undergone a metamorphosis: it had turned bulbous. In comparison, my thigh appeared to be malnourished. My knee wobbled when I tried walking.
When I think of that summer of convalescence (the journey of healing and recovery after illness), I remember afternoons at home reading and doing physiotherapy exercises—at first tentatively, then with more confidence. The…