I called Woodland Terrace at six o’clock their time, as Dawn suggested a few hours ago, to get an update on my mom. A woman answered the phone and said, “Woodland Terrace. This is Marty. How may I help you?” I said that I was calling for Dawn in the West wing and she said she’d get her for me and put me on hold.

A few seconds later the line was answered by a man, who said, “West wing. This is Jason.” I said that I was calling to talk to Dawn and he said that she was either at lunch or in a room with a patient, but then said, “Hold on. Let me look her up.”

About a minute later Dawn answered the phone by saying, “Hello.”

I said, “Hi, Dawn. It’s David,” and she straight away said, “I haven’t seen anything new in her chart, except that the doctor ordered some bloodwork done for altered mental state.”

I asked, “Oh. Does it say anything about what kind of bloodwork or anything like that?” and she quickly rattled off a bunch of meaningless codes, like, “CBC, C7, ABG …” that didn’t make any sense to me at all. I interrupted her and said, “Okay, so just some standard stuff?” and she said, “Yes, it looks like.”

After a pause I said that my mom’s friend had been there to visit her over the weekend and told me that she seemed to be doing much better.

Dawn didn’t reply to that, so I prompted her by saying, “Have you noticed any change in her condition?”

Dawn said simply, “No. Not at all.”

I waited a few beats, but it was clear that Dawn was not going to elaborate, so I said, “Okay. Can you tell me anything?”

Dawn said, “No. No changes.”

I said, “Okay. I was wondering if I could get an updated list of her medications. Is that something you could give me?”

Dawn said, “I can’t do that now.” She said that she was very busy and mentioned something about other patients needing attention in some way. She said that she would ask “administration” to fax me a list of medications. Then she said that she was reluctant to give out any information over the phone. I told her that I understood, but that she’d talked to me before, and that I was, in fact, the only person to whom she should feel comfortable talking to about my mom. She just reiterated that she’s leave a message for “administration” to contact me.

I asked her if she thought that was something they’d be able to get to today and she said she didn’t know.

I asked Dawn if my mom was awake, and if not when did she think would be a good time for me to try to call to talk to her. She told me that mom was asleep now, that she knew that mom was up for “most of the afternoon” and that “they put her to bed just a little while ago.”

I said, “Okay. Thanks, Dawn,” and she said, “Sure thing,” and we both hung up.

I was so flummoxed by how little information she was giving me that I completely forgot to ask her about physical therapy, like I had told my sister I would earlier.