This post is brought to you by Heather.
When I finally arrived (more than 12 hours later than expected), Mom was in OT. I didn’t want to intrude, so I waited in Mom’s room until it was time to head to meet Mom in the dining area for lunch. Mom sat beside Leo, who held her hand when he thought she looked stressed, and with Mary, Mike, and some woman who I believe was called Denise but I actually have no idea. Mom ate half of her mushroom soup, a couple of bites of yogurt, and had an uninspired taste of everything else. After lunch we headed back to her room and I gave her a hug. Immediately Mom started crying but couldn’t articulate why she was upset. She would cry for a minute or two, calm down for thirty seconds, and then cry again. This went on for around five minutes, until I mentioned that we were going to have a lot of fun this weekend and could dance around to Christmas music. To that Mom responded “Then why aren’t we doing that?” Since I didn’t have a good answer to that, I found NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” and danced with Mom in her room – we even managed a wheelchair twirl – and got some big smiles during the dance. We listed to a couple more songs and then Mom said she wanted to go for a walk so we toured the pool and the physio area, doing four laps before I realized that Mom really only turns left and wasn’t (I don’t believe) intentionally going in circles.
After our laps I got Mom into bed and read her a chapter of Anne. She was getting really tired and had just had such a long work out as she Bam-Bamed all four laps without any help from me, that I let her have a little nap. She woke up 20 minutes later and we had a quick Skype with Allan (during which I got a big smile out of Mom for calling Allan an idiot when he didn’t know how to use the video call on his Skype). Mom said “hi” and “bye” to Allan with a bit of Klingon in between.
After our call with Al, Ranjan came by and put Mom back in her chair. Once she was settled, we skyped with Cam and Cam got a few whispers from Mom and a lot of smiles. Then it was off to dinner with Leo, Mary, “Denise,” and Barb and her entourage. Mom gave Leo many more smiles (Larry, you’d better hurry back as I think you have some serious competition) and we were all amused as Mary yelled at her daughter for bringing her a present. Mom ate almost all of her mushroom soup, feeding herself for most of it, but not much of anything else aside from a few bites of strawberry ensure. The nurse had mixed Mom’s meds in with the Ensure pudding, which I think was a bad idea given the pudding’s colour, texture and smell. We really had to force Mom to eat the couple of spoonfuls mixed with medication, and I can’t blame her. The pudding bore far too strong of a resemblance to human waste.
Mom was getting uncomfortable near the end of dinner so we went back into her room and eventually I was able to track down Ranjan to get Mom changed and into bed. Once she was settled I read her some Chicken Soup, Picture Book Bible and Anne 2. Mom was closing her eyes a lot so at 7:00 I started to head out, but then Mom was looking as though she was getting into Houdieno mode. I was beat from a long flight, early morning, and lack of food, so I headed out anyways, but not for before I got a few mischievous smiles out of Mom as I explained the alarm was on and now was no time for acrobatics.
Thanks so much to Carrie, who brought Mom a beautiful Christmas tree to light up Mom’s room. Not only was it the talk of all the nurses, but Mom really enjoyed looking at it. I read her the note Carrie had left on the whiteboard and Mom took the whiteboard and placed it very carefully on the chair with the tree, obviously very much appreciating the gesture.
I am looking forward to getting to spend more time with my Mom tomorrow and hoping I can keep it together when I say bye to Leo as its his last day tomorrow. It was very obvious from the brief time I saw them interacting that he has been a true to friend Mom while they have been together at rehab, and our family will be forever grateful for the kindness he has shown Mom.