Today the roller-coaster ride is only going down.
After two fairly good, optimistic days -- Mom spending some quality time sitting up and even walking, with assistance, to the bathroom -- when I got to the hospital today she was either incoherent or, at times, outright hallucinating. She said her back hurt, and resisted all efforts to be put back in her chair (which is where she's supposed to be, to help clear her lungs). She said she wanted to go home, got angry with me when I told her that she couldn't do that, and started to get out of bed; I had to call the nurses and have them settle her back down. Later on she became somewhat more lucid, but she would still check out every few minutes.
The physician's assistant -- a guy who, yesterday, was talking optimistically about Mom going to a care facility this week -- came in and said that her white blood cell count was up to a troubling level. But she doesn't have a fever. Her blood sugar is also alarmingly high; Mom has diabetes, but she's always controlled it before with oral medication, yet now every day I visit her numbers are up past 400.
And what I feel right now is...nothing. I have experienced so many wild swings of the good news/bad news pendulum in the past week and a half -- often multiple ups and downs in a single day -- I can't even think. I can't phone anyone, because I'm just too tired to talk. In fact, for some reason I'm finding face-to-face contact with other people painful. I was fully intending to go to church this morning, but then I wound up running late; and it occurred to me that I just couldn't handle people coming at me, asking the same things, offering platitudes or astoundingly stupid comments, the latter of which has been happening a lot. (I actually had someone at work ask me if I was going to move, if anything happened to Mom, "because it seems that you'd be happier in a more arty community" -- I'm not sure if she's trying to hurry me out of town or just being an insensitive ass.)
My pastor keeps asking, "How can we help you?" I honestly don't know how anyone can help, other than continuing to pray for us. What I'd like the most right now is to be temporarily unconscious, which I realize is not a very good answer.