Thursday, July 30, 2015

Palangi Crip: What it's like to be without a limb in a foreign country

Turns out I sometimes write things and forget to hit the "publish" button. Then I find them almost two years later and they make me laugh! Hope you enjoy this one, a narrative on my personal experience of having my foot crushed by a van one morning after I first moved to NZ.

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013.  BEAUTIFUL morning. Woke up early. SO excited to get to school. The start of a two-day conference and my first presentation on Wednesday. Took care dressing. Ate pumpkin cookies for breakfast. Practically skipped down the sidewalk to the bus, humming with happiness and anticipation of all the wonderful things I was looking forward to.

Got to the corner, looked both ways. Double laned road--cars were stopped, backed up from the light up the block. Was going to walk between them to the other side (crosswalks do not exist here like they do in America); bus lane was clear. happy happy happy, oh what a beautiful morning! Thank you Father for this day,

Day 1, 8 am: SCREECH. BOOM. What the?! Woah--foot, you do not look good. Also, I can't feel you. Are you still there?
8:01 am: Oh, hi. Oh,  you hit me? With all your kids in the car? What a terrible way to start your day! I am so sorry. It must have been my fault. I didn't see you. Where did you come from?
8:02 am: Uhhhh, I don't know what to do. I can't walk. Foot? hello? Oh boy. I don't live here. I'm not from here. Mom, mom? 
8:03 am: Oh, you can take me to a clinic? Is a clinic like a hospital? Yeah, that might be a good idea. I'm going to be late for the conference.
8:05 am: Um, I just got hit by a car. Can I cry? I must be in shock.
8:06 am: Would you mind if I said a prayer in your car?
8:15 am:  Will my insurance cover this?
8:45 am: When will the shock stop making me feel like crying?
10 am: Woah! Crutches are so much harder to use than I thought! Holy ab work out! 
1:30 pm: Wait, you mean I can't put any weight on it? And I have to sit here with it up like this for how long?
9 pm: Wow, it takes so much longer to change into my pajamas when I only have one foot

Day 2, 10:30 am: I feel so silly. What am I gonna tell people?
12 pm: On second thought, I can handle this. It's not that bad. 
1:30 pm: I am the master crutch-user.

Days 3, 4, and 5: Life is good. Simplifying is good. Canceling everything will be okay--everything happens for a reason. I am so blessed. It's gonna be just fine. 

Days 6-12: Wait a second--my foot hurts really bad. Like, really bad. Are you sure it's not broken? How long does soft tissue take to heal? Is it ever going to be not-black again? Will it ever not be fat?

Day 13: This stinks. I wish that I could carry my own grocery bags. And that I wasn't such a burden to others. And that I could go on a walk. Dear God, I'm sorry for whining. 

Day 14: What is worse than not being able to walk? Having to move while not being able to walk.

Day 18: Look at that person walking up that hill. They are amazing. I can't wait to do that again.

Day 20: Patience, patience, patience. 

Day 22: I JUST WANT TO GO ON A WALK!!!! Also I can't stop dreaming about running.

Day 24: Really bank? Do I honestly have to stand in this line for forty-six minutes? Do you know how much fatter this is making my foot?

 Day 26: I love you foot. Thank you for being such a good foot. Thank you for supporting me and treating me well and being so strong and helpful. Take all the time you need.

Day 30: Wow. Foot without boot is nothing. I didn't realize I had grown a noodle.

Day 35: Foot, you are my best friend. Thank you for being useful again.

Moral of the story: it's not fun to have your foot crushed. Try to avoid it. If the occasion comes to you still, don't worry--you'll make it through. Laugh! And let other people help you! Be nice to your injury, and quit being impatient!  Everything happens for a reason. And at the end of the day, you will be so much more grateful for everyday you are not impaired. Yay for having two working feet! Having a body is a great reason to rejoice!


  1. Oh my heck - I wouldn't have even known what to do being new in a foreign country. Glad you got through that ok!

  2. I love how you talk about your foot in third person! You are amazing! I'm so glad your foot is better! love you