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This is my mom, Ms Nelda Marie Baker. Happiness for her is a strawberry milkshake, hanging out with her granddaughter, and telling me about old times with her sisters. She's second from the left in that one.

I haven't cried much in the last thirty years of my life. It's taken some pretty emotionally tough moments to get a drop from me. I'm an introverted math teacher. Stoic much? Part Vulcan? Maybe. Heartbreak of different types have crept up on me a few times that I don't want to get into, but last night I got some good news for the first time in a week and I just fell apart for a minute. It was a rush of relief and some tears followed. Aiyun came running from the bedroom and was ready to share some needed hugs. She's been super supportive this weekend.

The good news? I finally got through to the doctor that's assigned to my mom last night at about 1:30am (9:30am Bellingham time). Dr. Carter listened to our story and understood the situation from all perspectives. She agreed that mom needed to stay at the hospital for another day of observation and we needed to make sure we gave mom the greatest chance of success in her new adult family home. This is going to hinge on getting her proper medication to manage her hallucinations and anxiety. If she goes back to the new home in Everson and flips out again we will be back to square zero with her in the hospital and needing another new home. Dr. Carter agreed that we also need to make sure Simran has whatever she needs at her disposal to help my mom if things go south. That means permission to distribute medication during the day as needed instead of only at night before bedtime.

Mom's primary care physician couldn't see her until Monday morning and refused to alter her medication until she came into the office. At the moment it feels like we just need to survive until Monday morning. Not looking forward to another 1:00am phone call again, but I'll be ready for this meeting with mom's primary care doctor. I've been working under the fear that the hospital just wanted my mom out the door asap, but Dr. Carter gave me some hope. I know I need to assume best intentions all the time, but it's been a challenge this week. I have a feeling it would be a lot different if I were there in person.

I feel like I've lived on my two phones (one with a US number and the other with a Chinese number) this past week. Here. Have a look at my recent call list on my US phone.

My Chinese phone looks the same both on my phone log and WhatsApp connections. Crazier is all the numbers in parentheses here are different attempts to contact the right person. And yeah, that Everson number is a direct line to a nurses station in the hospital.

Deep breath. Next challenge? Let's go...

Had a nice dinner last night. Aiyun took me to a place that reportedly had some excellent duck, but they were sold out of it when we arrived. The beef chunks with mushrooms, fried rice, and the egg soup were all awesome. A nice distraction away from making so many phone calls.

Train back to Hangzhou this morning. Weather feels like today marks the turn fully towards spring. Expecting temperatures near 60 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon. Should be nice for hitting some golf balls on the soccer field. Will probably be on the golf course next Sunday with one of my admin that wants to get out and play too.

Last thing Aiyun and I did before I left Wuxi was to get mom on the phone and chat. Mom got excited when hearing Aiyun say "Hi mom!". Her exact words were "That sounds great being called mom". However, she was a bit disappointed when she asked about our new baby. Umm. Not so much, mom. I had to reassure her that her great grandson Arthur was doing just fine with Moira and Kaleb. Further, she was excited to be reminded that she will get to meet Aiyun this summer. We talked about going to her new home tomorrow with Moira. That was well received and she didn't mention needing to go to the post office. Two days removed and perhaps completely forgotten. Maybe a positive of dementia? Let's hope so. Fingers crossed for another attempt at moving into the new home tomorrow.

Foreshadowing... I've got a blog post ready for tomorrow that has nothing to do with my mom's saga. It's fully a Chinese cultural difference from the states. I hope you will find it as interesting as I do.

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I'm crying as I read this, feeling all the emotions right along with you. Being so far away from "home" is difficult.

Getting older is difficult and I often looked back with a sense of nostalgia at my childhood and teenage years. I loved going to your mom's place every summer, playing at the beach, playing volleyball, watching strange Beta-Max movies, and going in the huge hot tub. I remember one time Christi and I stayed for a weekend. Your mom made us Mickey Mouse pancakes, we went to her Sunday service, and you took us for a ride in your truck; and taught us to hit the roof when a car had one headlight. Memories to cherish and times…

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