Monsters, Dogs, and Construction Paper
I went to bed tonight when I caught myself drifting off while texting with Tammy. I can multi-task with the best of them unless one of those tasks is falling asleep.
Two hours of cover-wrestling later have led me back to where I began. It’s okay, though. I like this time of night. It’s like a warm cup of serenity I’m bade to drink when peace eludes me. Sometimes I feel like something is chasing me and my only recourse is to run. It’s a creature I cannot describe because it’s always behind me and I daren’t look back for fear of losing ground. I only imagine red eyes and long feral claws. Sometimes, the chase lasts for three or four hours; sometimes days, but eventually I outrun the recreant.
Alisha usually asks her mom to spend the overnight with her. I cannot begin to perceive what chases her, but I know it must be larger and swifter than what hounds me. I can only pray her team of doctors teaches her how to keep it at bay or better, to defeat it so it won’t track her during the daytime as well.
Physically, she is a freight train with an endless supply of track. On the 16th, she was free of the ventilator from 9 am to midnight. They took her off again on the morning of the 17th, drew blood gases on her at 11:30 pm, and decided to try her vent free throughout the night. They drew another round of blood gases this morning only to find that when she does goes home she will more than likely be dependent on the ventilator at night. Her breathing musculature is strengthening at a pace none of us expected, but not enough to completely free her from that machine…but hope is medicinal after all.
She got a much needed visitor Monday in the form of a 165 lb. Newfoundland named Jake. Her only regret was that she couldn’t feel him as Tammy used her hand to pet his soft fur. So far she’s been visited by about 10 therapy dogs. They give her so much pleasure. Alisha’s love for dogs is abundant. She has 2 of her own (Howie and Dexter) whom she is hungry to see. If her therapy keeps progressing as it has been, that day may come sooner than not.
Oh, speaking of hunger (boy did I stumble into that segue), seems she and her speech therapist shared a little coffee yesterday afternoon. It was fed to her by a teaspoon, and after each sip the therapist would have her say “ahhh”, but it doesn’t take an engineer to know Alisha was making that sound because she was enjoying the coffee much more than the speech exercise. She also got some applesauce which she proclaimed the best applesauce ever. (Had they given her strips of construction paper to tongue to death, I’m certain she’d have said there was no tastier colored paper available). Today, she received another swallow test and passed so well they decided to give her a tray of soft solids for lunch.
In her Mothers’ words:
“Alisha and I are going to have a long awaited cup of coffee together!! We are so excited about that!! Especially her!
So we had our coffee and we cheered the occasion. It was a great mother daughter occasion. You see we always did that before her injury. We drank coffee on the deck, sometimes in 90 degree weather. Coffee is her drink of choice.
They brought her lunch of fish, Mac n cheese, green beans and pears. Drinks were iced tea, milk and of course, she still had her coffee. She didn't eat a whole lot, but it was the fact that she could eat at all. She was in heaven. I left her for a little while and brought her some vanilla pudding and a coke, (that she has been dying for!). It was perfect. She scarfed down the pudding and wanted more! I had to tell her no, ‘cause she kept falling asleep. There's more for tomorrow. I just have to make sure she gets her favorite mashes potatoes tomorrow. She's been craving them!”
So that’s all for now friends: two days of vocal therapy, breathing lessons, beverage know-how, and eating knowledge. Maybe I was wrong about some monsters. Maybe it's the things we do daily without a thought that are monstrous to others. Maybe Alisha is slaying more monsters than I'd given her credit for.
And always remember: It's a marathon, a sprint!
We can only accepting donations at 2 sites:
Online at You Caring.
Or The Bank of Kentucky, Alisha Mathis Benefit Fund.
You can walk into any branch, or mail a check payable to the Alisha Mathis Benefit fund at:
The Bank of Kentucky
255 Mary Grubbs Hwy
Walton, KY. 41097
We cannot accept donations or tributes at the Caring Bridge site since those tributes only fund the Caring
Bridge operations. Alisha receives none of that money.