Saturday, December 4, 2010
12.1.10- Half Way Home
One month after the accident, Rachael is continuing her rehabilitation progress. She recently moved downstairs to a new room right next to the gym where she spends a lot of her time. The new space is shared with 2 other patients and signifies a stable condition. Rachael is breathing on her own for most of the day and is ready to put the vent, that was helping her breathe, aside for good. Thanks to her efforts and the care of family and the staff at SCVMC, she is getting stronger everyday.
The doctors have said that the projected date for Rachael to return home to Carmel is January 4th. And while Rachael is half way home from the hospital, she has a long road ahead of her. The goal at this point in her recovery is learning how to become as self-sufficient as possible prior to her release date. Not an easy task.
As strength returns very slowly to her arms, Rachael now focuses on regaining some dexterity in her hands. She can move her thumb every so slightly now. Her hand dexterity is critical for her to be able to do just about anything. Her wrist control is improving along with driving skills and she usually only runs you over in her motorized wheelchair now if she means to.
When I asked Racheal what trying to use the keyboard again was like she giggled in frustration saying, "It's like trying to get one of those stuffed animals with the machines with the claws that open every time you think you have it."
The last time I visited Rachael she said something that stuck with me. When I asked her about how we were doing communicating her story with the blog she said sarcastically, "What is with all the smiling photos? I am not happy."
While Rachael may not be happy about her situation, every time I visit I still see her determination and strong will. I see moments where her smile shines through and her positivity persists. She is still the light. But this story is not just about the smiles and successes. It is also about the challenge of what she is going through.
One of the toughest things of late has been hearing the doctors and staff coach Rachael all day long about how the rest of her life is going to work. It is a bit overwhelming to hear the information over and over again and the realization of the situation as it currently stands in the professional opinions of the staff. The dreams still remain, but understanding some of the facts of what it will be like to be back in Carmel at first are hard to swallow.
Racheal is faced with a difficult task. She must balance a fine line between keeping the hope alive of a full recovery someday at the same time as accepting where she is today. In order for Rachael to make progress she has to deal with the task in front of her and the information given to her, and work toward her goal everyday.
Looking into options for vehicles was one of the scenarios she faces today while keeping the dreams of tomorrow in tact.
***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***************