As a nurse, I make a pretty good potted plant.
Mom has a bad cold, and she's in the worst part of it today. I sat with her a couple of hours tonight and did next to nothing. Earlier, Suzanne took her to the doctor and got all the medicine she needed and tried to get her to drink a milkshake. I mostly just sat and tried to think of ways to be useful. That's not easy when the person doesn't want anything.
She doesn't feel like eating or drinking, even though both of those activities are spelled out on the printed instructions they gave her. I know how she feels about eating and drinking with a really bad cold and clogged nasal passages, though. I've been there, and I didn't listen when people told me what I needed to do. I just did what I felt like, and I think that's all we're going to get out of her, for a day or two at least.
It's hard to watch someone who's so sick she doesn't even try to disguise it. That means she feels as low as she can get. As one who sometimes tries to pretend he feels better than he really does, here I was confronted with the one person who can always see through my act. And she wasn't even trying to act, so it had to be bad.