That Saturday afternoon, 1st April 2017, I invited my son to play football. We were planning to do so for several days since planning to visit the grandparents. After the afternoon nap, I invited him, having dressed up already, when he replied he would not like to join… My wife also rather offered to go for a walk instead, which I declined. I insisted, somewhat offended as well. So childish…
I remember I did not say goodbye to the family as we only went for a little “kickabout” on the field a few hundred meters away. I never expected to regret that. We got in the car, my son was holding the steering wheel in my lap as we drove up, the sun was shining, the temperature was good, everything was perfect. There were only a few kids playing on the field, when we arrived and pulled up. I remember deciding not to take on my textile ankle brace, as “it will not be a serious game anyway”. I warmed up, I stretched, no signs of pain, whatsoever. We played a little and were warmed up, when some new boys came on the field and invited us for a game. We accepted. My son grew tired after 5-10 minutes or so, and he joined his mother who came over by then. They watched us from the stands. Another 10-15 minutes later, I asked him, if he wanted to come back, but he rather decided to go with his mother to the playground. They left.
It then crossed my mind: this may be enough of playing, I should join them and leave.
The next I know, 5-10 minutes later, something happened. A cracking noise. Blackout.
I have no recollection what exactly happened. Only that I am lying on the field with my leg towards the sky ending in my ankle joint. My left foot in an unnatural position, turned totally inside, which looked like 90 degrees. I remember my first reaction was denial. „This is not happening! This cannot happen to me! This cannot be my leg!” The second was asking for help. With kids and few parents around me, who were witnessing the pain and the frightening sight my sprained ankle meant, I immediately realized, I had to do this alone. This was the third thing that crossed my mind. My foot cannot stay as it is. Under a rush of blood and adrenaline, I took hold of my dislocated foot and placed it back, screaming something, then tore off my boots, my socks, and laid my left leg down on the artificial grass. I calmed down. Upon small movement of the leg, I realized the problem was big: as when I tried to lift it, the foot would remain stuck to the ground.
I remember my wife coming over a few minutes later, and she could not believe it was true, either. Once the ambulance arrived around 20 minutes later, when the medical staff tried to put me on the bed, they already told me, it was broken. Simply because as they wished to lift my leg up, the foot would not move along. My ankle was broken. Definitely. I used to be so proud that I had no broken bones in my life. For 35 years this was true. The myth was over. Men tend to think of themselves as demi-gods until something like this happens to them, when they are forced to realize they are also fragile human beings, after all.
This was my moment of Truth. I always say: nothing ever happens by accident. Was this an accident? I know I will only find out later why certain things or events happened to me. There is so much I will have to learn now…