"I'm good," she told PEOPLE on Tuesday, five days after her son was put in a medically induced coma after crashing his BMX bike in Las Vegas. "Last night, not so much, but we talked to the doctor, and he made me feel so much better."
TJ was diagnosed with pneumonia on top of his crash injuries, but the antibiotics seem to be working. "He seems to be a little better," Barbara said. "His oxygen rate is a little better. The doctor was so reassuring."
But make no mistake: "It's killing me," she said of her son's struggle.
"It's very hard to see him like that. He doesn't know where he is," she said. "I'll say, 'Mom's here, squeeze my hand,' and he will sometimes. Not always, but sometimes. He knows when Mom is here, he knows when his girlfriend is here. He squeezes her hand. It's not all the time."
Aside from being Mom, Barbara is also acting as gatekeeper to her son's hospital room. And while she jokes that too many people are seeing the MTV host – or interested in seeing him – she's not surprised about the outpouring of support.
"He's got friends from all walks of life," she said. "He's got friends from the business community. He's got friends from the biking community. He's got friends from television. He would never burn anybody. He has a very high moral code. And I'm not saying that because I'm his mother. If I didn't think that, I'd tell him in a heartbeat."