Lilianne Tang Accident
On November 9th, our family received news that Lilianne was hit by someone who was driving under the influence early in the morning in San Luis Obispo (SLO). The man driving also had a suspended license. https://ksby.com/news/local-news/2018/11/09/driver-on-drugs-hits-injures-pedestrian-in-san-luis-obispo-police-say
After she was hit, she went to a hospital in SLO, but they were not able to treat her injuries there due to the severity of them. She was then airlifted to a hospital in Fresno and as of November 20th, has undergone a total of four surgeries. One surgery was for a broken tibia/fibula, two involved a bowel resection, and the last one was for her broken pelvis. Because of this and the hospital stay, the family is asking for donations. All donations will go straight to the family. Alexis Chang, Lilianne's sister, is the beneficiary and will be withdrawing the donations as Lilianne goes through this process. We have also been giving updates. If you would like to see these updates and her process of recovery, click the "updates" tab!
Thank you! We appreciate all donations! Any amount helps!
I remember when I was in the hospital, I often dreamt about myself doing very regular things, like walking, running, driving... and it would feel so real even though I knew that it was all a lie. Although I’ve made significant progress in my ability to walk again, I still have dreams where my injuries are no longer a limitation. These days, I’ve been losing a lot of motivation to continue on with physical therapy because I feel like I work so hard but I’m not where I want to be. Some days, I get really sad because I fear that I will never be 100% again. But most days, I find joy in the smallest things - feeling the warmth of the sun, sleeping through the night, lighting a candle, crying from watching so much good TV, painting... - and I’m reminded of my own healing again.
Life’s been rough and my body has gone through soooo much. I can easily become impatient in my recovery process because I so badly want to walk without any assistive devices again. I want to be able to stand tall and not feel like my back is going to break out on me. I want to be able to sit on the floor and cross my legs again. I want to be able to go out without having to plan whether my body has enough stamina for an outing. But my physical therapists do a great job of reminding me just how much trauma my body went through and how amazing it is that I am where I am. Although I am still learning to find peace with this truth, I am so very grateful for all the blessings that revealed themselves to me these last 6 months.
On May 20th, I’ll finally and enthusiastically be able to return to work! I won’t be moving back to SLO just yet. l’ll be telecommuting for one month before I do so. Shout out to my incredible, supportive, and loving supervisor & boss, who have been very thoughtful and intentional about my transition back to work, for making this happen for me. I’m so excited because I’ve been super eager to work again, but also because this experience has given me so much new perspective that I want to bring into my work. Cheers to reimagining new possibilities for me! Thank you all for being on this journey with me
Despite communicating these feelings to the PTs I worked with, there was no change in my therapy. It became increasingly difficult for me emotionally and mentally as well. I felt so lonely and bored at home, frustrated that I wasn't making the same kind of progress I was making at Rancho Los Amigos. There was a point where I believed that I would never be able to fully recover because I had lost so much hope.
Thankfully, my orthopedic doctor also submitted a request for physical therapy to my insurance and I got to check out a different facility. During my evaluation alone, I already knew that it would be a much better place for me to continue with physical therapy because of the question they were asking me. They were really focused on understanding my body's current capability - what activities are difficult for me to do and what my goals are so they can help take me there. During my evaluation, I learned that my body needs A LOT of stretching because my muscles are very tight - it's affecting my body's ability to stand straight and to effectively do exercises that will strengthen my muscles. After my evaluation, the PT was able to tell me what their game plan for me was and I just felt like they had so much more experience than the previous place I was at. I've had one official session with them so far and in that one hour alone, I've done more different exercises than I've done in the total 4 hours I've done at the previous place. I feel a new sense of hope and I have so much motivation to work hard at my recovery, especially when I have a PT who is so invested in my case. It is wild to think about how much I've had to advocate for myself throughout this process in order to get the care that I need.
My lower back has been hurting a lot recently - it's been about 3 weeks now. I'm not sure if it's because I'm sleeping on the couch and it's too soft (my mattress is too hard on my body) or if there is something else going on, given that my hip was screwed into my lumbar spine during a surgery. I did an x-ray last week and the orthopedic doctor said it LOOKS like one of the screws might be hitting a nerve, but he's not too sure. So I did a CT scan last week just to be safe and I have a visit this Friday to follow up on this. Hopefully it's nothing serious because I am not sure I can handle another setback at this point in time :(
Aside from all the PT and medical stuff, I have spent a lot of time at home reflecting on my life, binge-watching show after show (One Day at a Time, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Good Girls, Workin' Moms, Russian Doll, Always a Witch, Manifest, Pen15, Game of Thrones, etc.), reading, and organizing my life (like my personal finances for example). I am hoping to start vlogging again, so we will see how that goes. Thankfully, I have a lot of great friends near (and far) who come over to visit and to spend time with me. I always love the company because it's soooo nice to (re)connect with people and focus on something other than my disability. I've been trying to challenge myself more by going outside of my comfort zone, so I do things like: standing longer and as straight as possible to fix my posture and stretch out my body, leaving the house with only my walker and not the wheelchair to get used to walking more and sitting in actual chairs, going out in the rain, riding in a car longer (I went to San Diego this past week to visit the Flower Fields for the super bloom and had a cute little photoshoot there even though the dirt and gravel made it soo inaccessible), etc. Also, it's been quite an eye-opening experience navigating public spaces as a person with a disability - endless stares, straight up disrespect, inaccessibility, and so much more.
This might be a little ambitious but I really hope to return to work by May 20th, because that'll conclude the 6-month disability leave that I'm on. Also, I just really, really miss work and I am so eager to be back to serve our students and the campus community. I feel like I've missed out on so much these last 4 months, especially at a time when I was just starting my career. I am trying not to compare myself to others and to not internalize capitalist notions of productivity and self-worth, but it can be really hard when I don't know many other narratives of what this is supposed to look or feel like.
All in all though, I am in good spirits. I feel such a huge range of emotions on a day to day basis, but I am processing through them all with myself and with those I love and trust. If you've made it this far, thank you so much for sticking with me through this journey and for your continued support. Sorry for the long update! It's just been so long and I wanted to give you all some juice :)
Happy spring! Hope you all are blooming~~~ <3