I went to the hospital today with a gingerbread birthday cupake bearing the icing message "HB MOM" (that's all that would fit on it) but no great expectations... but to my surprise I found my mother sitting in a chair by the window. She was awake and alert -- in a pretty glum mood, because she felt lousy, but certainly lucid.
I stayed there for three hours, during which time she had physical therapy -- they had her reaching and doing arm curls, and I was told that they were going to periodically help her stand -- and ate half her lunch (after some energetic coaching on my part -- my boss, who's gone through this experience with a loved one, warned me that the meds they give open heart patients take away their appetites, and they need to be pushed to eat enough food to keep up their strength). This is a huge improvement over yesterday. But by 2:00 p.m. Mom had pretty much had it for the day, and told me to go home. Although she did ask for her glasses and for the magazine I'd bought her down in the gift shop. So I took that as a good sign.
The roller-coaster goes up...the roller-coaster goes down...the roller-coaster goes up...that's how it's going around here.