The Calgarians have taken over. Here is Laurel’s morning update.

My favourite visit already. I arrived with Larry this morning and we both almost walked right past Mom. She was sitting at a table in the dining hall with a bunch of other ladies, and she looked like she just fit right in. We went over to her and I was quickly feeling a little upset, as after Larry said hello and I went to say my good morning she looked completely stunned and out of it. As I had felt on previous trips, I really didn’t think she knew who I was. But, not for long. She seemed to be in a momentary “daze” (no blinking, staring straight ahead) as within seconds she snapped right out of it and looked at me with the biggest, greatest smile I have seen in a very, very long time. A completely new expression I had seen nothing close to on my previous trips. It was the first time I felt that there was no question as to whether or not she knew me, and she seemed so truly happy Larry and I were there. Got lots of hand holding and a continued smile. She looked so great. When Raj arrived a few hours later, he got a similar huge smile of recognition and clear happiness. It was really so cool.

Larry ran me through the basics of the new place, and then he was off for a weekend trip to Nanaimo. I stretched Mom out, and was happy to see she was much looser than I’d seen in the past few months. She was weighed and the nurse was very happy and surprised to see that she had gained a considerable amount. We then went for a “wheel” through the halls. Mom wheeled without stopping from the rehab ward through the cafeteria and all the way down to the entrance by Admitting. I think my hand providing direction gave her a bit of a push at times, but nonetheless she kept at it. At one point I asked her if she wanted to keep going, and she didn’t give me a nod but gave me a eye brow raise and tilt of the head, as if to say “duh, come on.” I got an interesting “i dunno” expression later on, as well.

Back in the room, I used her flashcards from the speech therapist and tried to have her point to the right one of two options. She got the first one right, but then proceeded to either not do anything or just grab the whichever one was on her left. I don’t think she always realized there was a picture on the right. She seemed distracted by discomfort from being in the chair, so Raj got her back in bed and we then tried to get her to choose the right coloured fish from two fishes being held up, and to then give the fish to Raj. She was always able to give the fish to Raj, but she kept grabbing to the left of the fish and missing (and only grabbing the fish on her left). One of the nurses stopped and watched, appearing very interested, and noted that her vision seemed very off. She wondered if it was affected by her getting tired and losing concentration, and suggested giving her a break when that starts. So we put the fish away and just chatted. Mom gave a laughing smile to several of Raj’s jokes, and smiled at a horrible dance move of mine. Was really fun to see.

She began a bit of a late lunch around 12:30, and is enjoying it in bed as she seemed quite tired and had been in her chair since early that morning. Looking forward to more visiting this afternoon!

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