About an hour later the hospital rang me to clear up some things about the advance health directive (AHD); they had pointed out that mum had specified in it that she didn't want antibiotic treatment or intravenous saline. I told them to rather go ahead with these treatments so as to cure her infection.
I had a meeting scheduled at home for later in the morning and didn't get up to Ryde Hospital until almost lunchtime. Mum was awake after I parked my car and walked to the ward the staff pointed me to. She looked at me with her big, gentle, Yoda eyes - giant orbs in a pale face - and said she was feeling ok. I went out to get a pie and a cup of coffee. I bought a coffee for mum as well, and she had some when I got back to my place beside her bed. I spoke with two young doctors about mum's situation and they said the cellulitis is treatable; the confusion with the AHD had derived from the definitions it used about mum's physical state. Rather than terminal, she was suffering a condition that could be treated. At least I confirmed that it was the 2014 AHD that I had helped mum prepare that we were all talking about.
Later, I spoke with one of the ward's nurses, an older woman than the young doctors, who had years of experience evident in her lined face and accommodating smile. I fed mum some of the lamb-and-pasta with broccoli that appeared soon after. I filled out a communication form that would help ward staff in case of mental deficit such as delirium. I offered mum sips of her cooling coffee. When the visiting hours elapsed I left the ward. It was just before they were to move her bed from its location in the transient section to a more permanent place in the ward.