|Location:||zurich, switzerland (406 m)|
|Text:||53 194 kilometres on the road
the typical sterile hospital smell always makes me a bit nervous. it reminds me of my fragility and causes a slight feeling of unease; nothing detectable, just a faint current, lingering around in my belly.
i had entered the hospital in high spirit: today i would give up the crutches and walk out on my own feet, a free person again. but during the process of making new x-rays, and the following hour of waiting for the doctor, doubts came up and slowly started to dissolve my optimism.
"what if's…" started to map out worst-case scenarios as i read through the mornings paper without absorbing the words and their meanings.
the doctor was a young stern man who didn't make much effort to reassure me… until he had read through my report:
"ooh, you are the guy from africa? you fell with the bike?"
"have you heard about me?" i replied surprised.
"sure, everybody in this hospital knows about you! how do you feel?"
he was very friendly now and we talked and joked a lot while he twisted my legs, pressed some bones and checked for pains. there was no pain.
"looks good," he said with a satisfied smile, "i think you can continue without the crutches now. leave them in the corner and come here".
there i stood on my two legs, no crutches to support me and unsure what to do. i gingerly put my left foot in front and, after hesitating a bit, tried to put pressure on it and make a first step. there was no pain but i almost sunk to my knees.
my first couple of steps were very instable and i realized just how much force i had lost in my left leg. it felt very awkward. but since the doctor assured me that i could do nothing wrong i forced myself to ignore the strange feeling to just go on; step by step.
i left the hospital limping like a three-legged dog, but with a huge smile on my face. people who passed me on the side walk looked at me in surprise and gave me encouraging smiles. the sun was shining despite the clouds and the rain.
i am walking again!...
…and soon i'll be riding bikes again!