Sunday, November 21, 2010
11.18.10 - The First Bite
After 19 days of not eating a bite of solid food and talking very rarely, Rachael was able to do both with great joy. Due to her tracheotomy, which helps her breathe easier, she was not able to do these basic things for nearly 3 weeks after the accident. A new valve combined with her determination gave her another victory on her road to recovery. When I asked her about what it was like to speak again she said, "I started getting to speak this week... it feels good. It is nice to be able to talk and make fun of everybody... helps keep my mind off things."
Rachael's days are long, full of a busy schedule of doctors and nurses coming in and out of her small, window lit room. Sometimes they are there to run a basic test and explain things to her and sometimes there are just there to check in and say hello. If you would like to visit, Sundays are best, as those days are often more flexible with nothing planned. Weekdays from 4-6pm are also a good time to pop in for a chat.
For her first meal Duncan, her father, brought some soup from the hospital cafeteria. Rachael described her first meal as, "some weird soup contraption... a turkey, ham cracker thing." Rachael and I both agree that is it nearly impossible to take a flattering image of a person eating so you can just picture her smiling as Duncan serves up some soup, spoon by spoon. Maybe a Duncan's Pizza from the Cachagua General Store (named after her dad) will help with our unphotogenic food dilemma.
Another huge triumph is that Rachael, with the help of her nurses and family, is able to get into her new 'sports car' as Duncan calls it. She is beginning to cruise around in a motorized wheel chair and heading down to the gym to "lift some weights and get all buffed up," she says. She was able to go outside and feel the light on her face and the fresh air on her skin. Being able to eat and communicate is a huge step in the right direction and Rachael is looking forward to continuing her progress everyday.
"Thanks to all my friends who have been coming by and sending their love. It helps... It helps a lot. I do love looking at the pictures and the colors, because this room is definitely... ugly. But it is better than the Stanford room with the crooked television that looked like it was going to fall off the wall." - Rachael Elizabeth Short
***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***
***************You can view Rachael's photographs at www.rachaelshort.com***************