Issue 2.34 – The Sniffles

“Do we have any more boxes of Kleenex?” Charlie sniffled as he rummaged through the hallway closet where Hazel stored the linens and household paper products. “I’m not sure. I went through two boxes last week and it’s not something I regularly stock up on.” Hazel coughed. Charlie harrumphed. His entire head felt swollen and the headache wasn’t helping. “I suppose we have no canned soup either?” Hazel made her way into the kitchen to try to head Charlie off before he became even more frustrated. “Again, I’m not sure dear. I’ve been in bed for the past week and a half with this. I haven’t been keeping track of what we’ve been getting low on.”

Charlie took a seat in his favourite chair and grumbled. He hated getting sick. Worse, he hated getting sick when Hazel was sick because she couldn’t play the role of nurse for him. He was going to have to deal with his congestion with toilet paper, which was too rough on the nose. He liked the new tissue that had lotion in it. What an amazing invention that was!

“I don’t feel as lousy today,” Hazel explained. “If you’d like, I can go downstairs to the tuck shop and see if they have any Kleenex and soup down there.” Charlie shook his head. “Nah, I already looked. Seems like there’s been quite the demand. They’re sold out.” He looked up at Hazel with watery pleading eyes, “You’d have to go out to get some.”

Hazel looked out the window. The snow was falling and there was ice stuck to everything. “It’s not the best day to wander out,” she said hesitantly. Charlie responded with exaggerated coughing as though he was hacking up half his lung. “Oh, I guess I’ll just have to manage then,” he practically weeped. Hazel rolled her eyes. “Dear me. You’d think you had the plague.” “Yes, and you gave it to me!” Charlie complained. Hazel made her way to the door. “I’ll head down and see if anyone is heading out today. Maybe I can get them to pick us up a few things.” Charlie let out a wheezy groan, “Oh thank you. Thank you so much, dear.”

Hazel didn’t have much luck finding anyone downstairs. The activity rooms were empty and even the dining room was quieter than usual. She returned upstairs to find Charlie snoring in his chair with a roll of toilet paper on his lap. “I’m going to have to call Catherine,” she thought aloud.

“I’m not coming all the way out there for dad’s special Kleenex and soup!” Catherine retorted. “Well, I’m not feeling great either, and I’m in no shape to walk over to the store today,” Hazel tried to explain. Catherine continued – “Mom, the roads are a mess. It took me an hour and a half to get home from work this afternoon…and they even let us leave early. I’m not driving all the way out to Edmonton. Isn’t there some kind of service that you could call…a pharmacy or something…that would deliver soup and Kleenex?” Hazel wasn’t sure. “I’m not trying to be difficult mom, it’s just the store is literally a block and a half away. I can get out there maybe tomorrow, but not tonight. Can you wait?” Hazel agreed reluctantly.

If only Catherine understood what a pain her father was when he was ill. The next 24 hours were going to be trying indeed.

Even the simplest tasks can seem like epic quests when one is not well and without immediate transportation. When supports are limited, it makes it even more difficult.

Have you been in a situation like this? How did you resolve the issue? Are there services in your community that could help? Share your ideas and resources with us and our readers!


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