Issue 2.39 – No Laughing Matter

It had been a very relaxing Christmas at Catherine’s house. Charlie enjoyed playing cribbage with his grandsons and sharing stories about courting Hazel back in the day. The boys were grateful for the history lessons, and appreciated getting to know a bit more about their grandparents.Hazel left the organizing, meal prep and hosting in Catherine’s capable hands. It was a little hard for her to give over control, having served as the “bringer of Christmas” for most of her adult life. She wasn’t sure of Catherine’s fancy silver and gold decorations, the starkness of the white tree, white linens and white place settings, nor the apple walnut turkey stuffing. Catherine had a less traditional way of doing things, and Hazel was learning that it was ok to do things a bit different. Afterall, everyone had their own tastes and made their choices, and Hazel was in no shape to complain.

“Mom, what on earth is wrong with your leg?” Catherine asked, watching her mother hobble up to the door of the Manor. “You’ve been limping around and wincing all Christmas.” Catherine took the last of the bags out of the trunk. Her dad, already paces ahead with his boxes, was busy holding the door with his back.

“Oh, it’s just been giving me a bit of grief lately,” Hazel sighed, making her way inside. Catherine watched as Hazel took painful steps over to the elevator. “Dad, can you make sure someone looks at her leg this week?,” Catherine whispered to Charlie as she passed by the door. “She’s been like that for weeks, honey. Maybe just growing pains…growing old pains that is,” Charlie chuckled to himself. Catherine just rolled her eyes as they headed up the elevator.

“I’m going to be by later this week,” Catherine said as she entered the suite and set the bags down beside the credenza. “I want to start off the new year right and make sure I drop in weekly to visit with you two.” Charlie took his coat off and made himself comfortable in his favourite chair. “That will be nice Catherine. I just hope you’re not spying on us. We have a lot of top secret things going on…classified information here at the Manor.” Catherine was not appreciating her father’s sense of humour. She watched as Hazel limped over to her bedroom. There were definitely secrets, she thought.

“Mom, here, let me help you,” Catherine said, heading over to Hazel who was trying her best to get up onto the bed. “Why don’t you at least take your coat off first? Maybe get into something a bit more comfortable, mom?” Hazel nodded. “That would be nice. Would you mind helping me out of all this and handing me my housecoat? It should be hanging on the hook by the door,” Hazel said pointing across the room. Catherine made her way over to the door and found the green velour housecoat. It had seen decades of life. “We really should get you a new housecoat mom,” Catherine said making her way over to the bed where Hazel was struggling to take off her socks. “Why, I like the one I have?” Hazel snapped, straining to reach her feet. “Mom, stop! I can help!” Catherine gently took off her mother’s socks. Hazel’s left foot was cold and spotted with age. Catherine went to take off the right sock and noticed her mother’s foot was about twice the size as the other. “Mom, what’s going on here?” Catherine lifted up the pant leg to see that the swelling extended all the way up the leg, past the knee. “Mom, this isn’t good. Something is wrong!” Catherine started to panic. She never was very good at handling these sorts of things.

“Dad!” Catherine called over to Charlie. “Dad! Can you please come here?” Charlie grumbled and made his way to the bedroom. “Mom’s leg is swollen…maybe double the size it should be. I’m going to take her in to the hospital.” Hazel scoffed. “It’s just a little sore from all the walking. It’s been swelling up like this for days now. It will be fine.” Catherine shook her head. “No Mom! This isn’t right. You need to get this checked out right away! How did no one see this before? Are they even watching you here?”

“Who would be watching us, Catherine?” Charlie asked.

“The spies!” Catherine retorted with a snark, giving her father a taste of his own humour.

It can be difficult to address issues when they arise, especially if everything is reliant on self-reporting. Hazel had not seen the need to make a fuss about her condition, and it took a visit from her daughter to identify that a problem existed. Even with Charlie in the same suite, the situation was left unattended to. Some people simply do not want to complain.

Catherine will likely take her mom into emergency. What other considerations should there be? Do you have any advice for our characters? Please share your comments and thoughts below.


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