Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Patah... Bercantum Seribu" (Life - Not Broken, Just Bend.)

My name is Luqman Hakim and I would like to tell a story about myself. Yes, about me. A story that took place in the year of 2012, an event that had changed me and the way I view my life. That year would mark my second last year in high school if being in Form Six was not my choice. Alright, here how my story goes.

The new year was here. Every time came a new year, there must be some new goals or resolution that one would like to achieve. This and that. For me, my wish remained the same every year. As cliché as it might sound but my wish was always to become a better version of myself, to manage my time better, to become more responsible with all the commitments that I had, and perhaps, to lose weight as well since I had never succeeded in achieving that one.

Wednesday, 4th January 2012. I still remember, I was quite nervous on the way to my first day of school. I guess it was normal since it would be my first day in Form Four. After completed Penilaian Sekolah Menengah (PMR) examination the previous year, I was still clueless on which class I would be placed in that year. Would I be in the science stream class or art stream class? I asked my father once, “Abah, do you think I will get into a science class?” and he said, “I do not know about that but if they put you in the science class, are you sure you can do well in studies? One has to be good in mathematics.” Right, I was bad in mathematics but ever since I was in the primary school, I wanted to be in a science class because I would like to study biology – a subject that was, to me, interesting because we would get the chance to learn about the human structures, animals, and plants. Well, my hope came true when I reached school and I looked at the notice board near the green-coloured school hall, where the lists of Form Four classes were being displayed and I saw my name in the class “4 Teta,” a science class!

On the third day of school which was on Friday, 6th of January, I did not feel  well as I had stomach ache. At first, I felt like skipping that one day but then, when I thought about it, I might as well just go to school. It was not the first time I experienced a stomach ache in the morning before going to school, anyway.

It was a rainy season so, like any other days before, it was raining on Friday too. That morning, after arrived at school, I made my way to my class that was located at the second floor of block B, just beside the school hall and science labs. As usual, I was one of the earliest students to arrive and the sun was still hiding, waiting to rise. Sitting next to me was Haizaitul Shahira, a tall, dark-skinned, almost skinny girl with a long face jaw, bespectacled, and had a hijab covering her head. We were talking about some random topics while waiting for the first class to start.

The first subject of the day was Islamic studies. I took out my Islamic studies text book along with an empty note pad and my stationery pouch from my new light beige-coloured Body Glove bag. When I was about to step out of the class, Madam Lee Peck Choo suddenly came in to give a little talk. A Chinese, short-haired, bespectacled, and probably in her late 30s or early 40s, she was our class teacher. After she was done with her talking, I went out of the class, heading to the Islamic studies room that was located at the upper floor of the workshop building, not far from block B. This was the moment that changed everything.

The rain was not as heavy as when I first arrived to school that morning. The weather was nice, cold, and cozy. I decided to use the nearest staircase beside my class to go to the Islamic studies room. I went down the staircase and as I stepped on the last step, I trembled to the front. That moment went by so fast. All the books and my stationery pouch that I held tight against my chest being tossed in the air. With a quick reflex, I held on both sides of the stairs to prevent myself from falling further. The action that I did all went against the odd and I still fell down. The situation did not get any better, instead, it had gotten worse!

The decision that I made to hold the both sides of the stairs was the same as if I were forcing myself from falling down when my body was already reaching the floor. As a result, I had my left knee twisted into a crack as I slipped down the wet slippery stairs.

I heard “crack.” I knew something was not right. Madam Lee Peck Choo that was standing not far from the staircase saw me falling off the stairs and asked, “Luqman, are you alright?” I could not say a word. I guess, I was too shocked with the situation. I just shook my head, indicating no. She then asked Anaz Fikri, – one of my classmates, curly-haired, fair-skinned, and he had a mole on the right side of his forehead – to help me out. “Can you get up?” asked Anaz, concerned. “I can’t get up,” I replied as I endured the agonising pain which slowed each word that I uttered. My body was drained out of energy. I remember I profusely sweating while feeling scared and anxious at the same time. There are some pupils stood at the balcony observing, some of them thought that I simply fell off the stairs without seriously injured myself but the fact was that something unimaginable had just happened.

Mr. Quek Eeu Len who taught physical education had been called to help me. A man in his 30s, he was known among the students for his looks, had a relatively muscular physique, a pair of thick eyebrows, and could speak Bahasa Malaysia fluently despite of him being a Chinese. Mr. Quek Eeu Len helped me by slowly trying to get me seated comfortably on the staircase. The members of Red Crescent along the members of St. John Ambulance came to the action. The school’s management instantly called the hospital to have an ambulance sent to the school. In the meantime, Ningkan Hamilton, another classmate of mine – big in figure and bespectacled – was instructed by Mr. Quek Eeu Len to get a bag of ice from the school canteen to sooth the swollen part of my left knee. My mother hurried to the school after hearing the news of my accident from the school. My mother presumed that I was just twisted my ankle, she was shocked to see the presence of an ambulance when she arrived to the school compound.

I felt that every staring eyes were locking on me. Madam Lee Peck Choo, Mr. Quek Eeu Len, two medical assistants, a nurse, my mother, members of Red Crescent along with the members of St. John Ambulance, so as the school headmistress and a few other teachers were surrounding me. I had become the centre of attention that very morning. Then, I was instructed by the medical assistants to straighten my left leg slowly, I felt an intense pain on my left knee. After a few agonising attempts, I finally managed to strengthen my leg so I could be lifted by six people to transfer me to a thick white linen to be brought down from the 2nd floor to the ground floor with ease. When we reached down to the ground floor, I was carefully carried to a wheeled bed and then being wheeled toward the ambulance. It was a foreign and I would say, an exciting experience to be urged in an ambulance as a patient for the first time ever in my whole life.

I was brought to an immediate attention after we arrived at the Emergency Unit of Sarawak General Hospital. Immediately after that, I was surrounded by a few nurses and a doctor. I was injected with syringes for a total of six times – for blood sample and natrium chloride purposes. According to the doctor, the result of my x-ray had shown that my thigh bone and my tibia bone had disjoined. After a few discussions, the doctors decided not to conduct an operation on my left knee but instead they had my knee casted. I was relieved.

It is almost impossible for me to tell every single detail in this short essay. There were a few sad moments that I had to endure and few happy moments that I cherished. The saddest moment was that I had to accept the reality that I could not proceed with my Form Four studies, I remember I wept and resented myself for the accident that happened. I thought about the possibility that could happen to me if I had not fell off the stairs that raining morning. Now, I realized that I must move forward to my future and burn away all the sad memory behind.

From the period when the accident happened, I had changed my orthopaedic case for three times. On 30th April 2012, after almost four months, my leg was free from the case and my leg felt lighter than ever. Although the orthopaedic case had been removed, I still could not stand and walk like a normal person. I guess, every good thing takes time.

I went to the hospital two months after for another x-ray scanning. When the doctor confirmed that I have nothing to worry about my knee, words cannot express how happy I was. My left knee was better than before. I was blessed.

One day in the month of October 2012, after months and countless days of waiting, I tried to stand up again. I used all the strength that I had to pull myself up to the chair. Then, I tried to get a grip of the window bar, at this moment I was already standing on my feet by my own. I reached toward the crutches and clutched it under my arms then made an attempt to walk slowly. With His blessing, I succeeded. I was unable to walk for approximately 10 months but in the mid of November I was finally able to walk on my own, without the crutches, like how I used to!

Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Yes, there were many times when I felt like giving up. I cried a lot too. However, I kept trying to stand up to be where I used to be, to be able to do things I used to love again and I did it. It was not a matter of time but instead, it was a matter of myself –

would I believe or stop believing?