I went and saw my mom today in her new room at the hospital. She was sitting up in bed with only the oxygen mask on and the BiPAP was sitting off to one side. She looked much better and her voice was stronger than it had been on Wednesday. A few minutes after I arrived, the nurse came in with her breakfast. There was a plate of pancakes that had been cut up into tiny pieces and looked like it had two cups of syrup mixed in. It looked so overly sweet, but my mom didn’t seem to mind it. There was also some yogurt and a cup of thickened cranberry juice. Over the next 45 minutes, she ate more than I thought she was. My sister has been comparing her to a baby bird when eating and she definitely fit the description today. There were points when I couldn’t get the next bite to her fast enough, although she was very careful when chewing and swallowing. It was so good to see her eat again.
After she finished, we were chatting and she kept showing signs of mental confusion that threw me off balance in terms of how to respond to her. She kept asking me how “mama” was and if she was worried about my mom. Her mother died in the late 1980s, so I really wasn’t sure how to answer her. Do I tell her that her mom was dead? Do I play along with her and respond as if she was still alive. I wrestled with that dilemma for a few seconds when I decided that the best option was to play along. So I simply told her that “mama” was worried about her and hoped that she was getting better. She looked at me for a moment in a very confused way and I had to wonder if she thought I was the one who was having a mental lapse. Finally, she just nodded and moved onto the next subject. I had never dealt with mental lapses in my mom before and it was very surreal. I just hope I made the right choice to play along with her at that moment. A very short time later she began to doze off so I decided to leave. She asked me if I was coming back tonight and I told her I would see her tomorrow and she asked if she was going with me and I had to explain to her that she needed to stay in the hospital. She asked me why and I told her that the doctors were still very concerned about her breathing and swallowing and if something went wrong that she was in the best place to get a quick response. She weighed that response for a minute and then nodded and we said goodbye to each other. I’ll update again tomorrow and relay what new adventures awaited me on this journey.