After a month in the hospital with surgical complications & a lack of will to live (among other things), she's back home.
For about a week or so, my Mom was what I'd call herself in the hospital. More or less alert, missing a great deal of time, but able to have a conversation in a way she hasn't in probably more than a year. And yes, she still obsessed over things, still slipped away mentally from time to time and her short term memory was practically non-existent, but I had a Mom.
And I still had to be careful with her. I've been lulled into a trap by this persona before, something dark lurking underneath, waiting to use my lowered guard against me. But I still tried to take it for what it was and interact with her more than I've been able to in a very, very long time.
Then she finally came home. And all bets, all gloves were off. Within the first half hour of being home, while I tried to get her clothes changed and get her in bed, she told me I was a mean son of a bitch. So, you know, warm fuzzies all around.
Mom, as I'd like her to be, hasn't reappeared. The Mom I've been experiencing for the last few years, a sort of hybrid between The Grudge ghost and the twins from The Shining, that's who resides with me once more.
She remains unwilling to want to thrive. She outright resists survival when it comes down to it. Some wounds can't be healed with antibiotics, gauze, or stitches. But still, for lack of a better plan, we try to keep her going. We've had several conversations, our core family members, about what happens next. It's time to be realistic. One of my siblings, after a particularly stark conversation when the reality of where she was at at that particular time hit them, said it best when they said, "When did things get so damn complicated?"
Each day we play Mom's version of chess where she tries to outmaneuver whatever we're doing to keep her going. And then we regroup and try to dig a new trench and work around her blockade.