Update: Today started with a little better news. I spoke with my father's assigned physician (first time I have had the pleasure. Just my dumb luck calling the time I did, I suppose). My father was more alert than he had been previously, knowing his name and the town he was in. It is the first good news we have had since Sunday.
The Lumbar Penetration also occurred under sedation. Data will be trickling in over the coming 24 hours, but we do know that he does not have meningitis (low probability, but now ruled out). In the evening my father was resting, apparently as well as he has since he arrived, and was not too agitated. Still confused though. They also took an EEG, which we are waiting for a neurologist to review.
Visit: Yesterday I stopped by and visited my mother.
Visits - especially without my father - are a very short affair. Five, perhaps ten minutes. We go through the now-standard round of conversation now: How are you feeling? What have you been doing? How is the food? Are you reading any new books?
The answers are becoming the same: Feeling okay. Some activities, although she does not really remember any of them particularly. The food is "okay". She has some books, but she does not remember the titles of them.
And then she always asks "When can I come home"?
Sigh. The moment. It seems to come now with every visit. I smile and say "Soon Mom, you are working on your memory".
I fill her in a bit with goings-on of The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Na Clann, and then suddenly there is nothing left to say. "I will see you soon Mom". She thanks me profusely for stopping by and always waits by the window as I back out and waves goodbye as I pull out into the driveway.
On one hand, these conversations are not that different than ones we have had in the last year, only shorter in length. So in that sense there is no difference.
But there is a part of me now that sighs when I leave, the part of me that knows that "soon" is "not really soon" and that this conversational interchange is likely to become the same one - or some version of it -for the rest of our relationship.
It is not that I will not continue to go - I will, as long as she is able to engage. But the resetting of expectations around them has become harder than I anticipated.
Reality continues to close in, whether or not I choose to see it.