July 8, 2020

I think mom played sick today, in the style of a child faking sick so they don’t have to go to school.
Today is Wednesday, the day she has breakfast with her former coworkers, now all retired. Yesterday, she asked several times what the plan was, and I explained each time that we’d leave here at 8:10, get coffee, and I’d take her to the park where they meet since eating in a restaurant is just not safe. Then one of her friends would bring her home. Yes, it’s all prearranged. No, she doesn’t need to worry about how she’ll get home. She never seemed confident in the plan, and once even mentioned maybe not going because we’re in the depths of a near-record-breaking heat wave. Wouldn’t it be too hot to sit outside? Not at 8:30 in the morning under shelter in the shade.
My dog got me up to go outside at 4 a.m. and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was reading in bed when mom got up at 6:30 and came to my room to report she was ill. She said she ached all over and felt like she was coming down with something. No fever. We have not, to my knowledge, been exposed to anyone who has COVID-19, but my nephew and his fiance didn’t think they had either and they both got sick. With cases on the rise in our state it’s wise to be take extra precautions because you just don’t know when or how you’ll be exposed. Maybe we were and now she’s sick. I got her some Tylenol and told her I’d check on her in an hour.
An hour later I woke her up and asked how she was feeling. She looked and sounded like she didn’t feel well at all, and that’s what she reported to me. I texted her ride home from breakfast and told her mom wouldn’t be there today.
Then I went back to bed. I was tired. I’d had maybe two hours of sleep when my dog woke me up and by 8 a.m. I was ready to get some more sleep.
When I woke up mom was sitting on the couch just as chipper as if she’d never been sick a day in her life. In fact, she didn’t even remember telling me that morning she’d been sick.
She’s done this before, claimed she had body aches and didn’t feel well when she she didn’t want to go somewhere. I think the issue was being nervous about going to breakfast. These are women she’s been having breakfast with weekly for about two decades. But, the location is different. She doesn’t remember the park even though she’s been there several times, and she’s not driving, so she might be feeling a loss of control that makes her anxious. I get it.
I hope by next week she’s feeling more confident. She seems to be declining in recent weeks: more forgetful, weaker with less stamina, seems to be having more trouble following the story line of a television show. People do sometimes decline very, very fast. And maybe I’m a fool to hope she’ll regain some of her confidence and mental abilities. But I can’t help but want to wrap her in a protective bubble and try to get her brain closer to normal functioning.

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