Issue 3.5 – Feelings

Without a vehicle, getting to Dr. Ollie’s office turned out to be nothing but a big hassle. Charlie had attempted to make an appointment with his regular physician, but the clinic was out in Stony Plain, and Charlie was now living on the south end of Edmonton. Coordinating transportation services was a headache, and Charlie couldn’t be bothered. He was overwhelmed lately, which was the reason he was trying to get to a doctor in the first place.

There was a walk-in clinic down the road from the Manor, and so Charlie decided to give them a try. After all, he was just going to talk to someone about feeling the way he did lately. In his mind, it wasn’t anything overly important. Fred had been hounding him for the past few days about “talking to someone” and really, he was only seeing a doctor to get Fred off his back.

“Hello Mr. Robertson, I’m Dr. Russo. What brings you in today?” Charlie tried his best to smile. “Well, my regular doctor, Dr. Ollie, is quite a ways away from me now.” Charlie fidgeted a bit with the zipper on his cardigan. “My wife died a short time ago.” Charlie was having a hard time finding the words for what he wanted to say. Dr. Russo was listening intently, but Charlie was struggling. The two sat in silence in the room for a while. “Did you want me to look at your medication history? When was the last time you had a physical?” Dr. Russo asked, trying to be helpful. Charlie shook his head. “No, that’s not really what I came for today.” Charlie tried to find words. Dr. Russo looked more confused. “I see,” was all the doctor said.

“I’ve been having a rough time I guess, lately,” Charlie finally blurted out. “With memory? Forgetting things?” Dr. Russo offered. Charlie nodded a bit. “Yes, I guess so.” Dr. Russo preceded to ask Charlie a series of questions. He asked about the time of day, asked him to remember a series of words, asked a few other basic questions and scribbled down some notes. “Well Mr. Robertson, let’s follow up in a few weeks or so. Your memory seems to be ok. Maybe we should book a physical as well. Talk to reception on your way out and they’ll set everything up for you.” Charlie shuffled to his feet, put on his hat and did as Dr. Russo instructed. *****************************************************

“How are you doing today Charlie?” Debra asked as he made his way inside the lobby. “Oh, not too bad. Just coming back from a doctor’s appointment,” Charlie said taking off his hat. “Is everything ok?” Debra asked, a little worried. “Doctor seems to think so,” Charlie chuckled. “Fred suggested that I go talk to someone, with Hazel gone and me not handling it so well. I’m supposed to talk about my feelings and stuff.” “And how did that go?” Debra asked. “I’m not really sure. I have a physical booked and the doctor checked that my noggin’ is still working. That was about it though.”

Debra gave Charlie a knowing look. “Did you actually tell him what was wrong?” Charlie shook his head. “I did tell him my wife had died.” “Mmm hmm,” Debra responded, with a bit of disappointment. “Charlie, if you’re going to see someone to talk about your feelings, you actually have to do some talking. Here…” Debra motioned to table by reception. “Take one of these pamphlets. We put this together and it has a list of resources for you. The grief counsellor we use here at the Manor is listed on it. She’s very good, and we have an arrangement with her office for our residents. Please give her a call.”

Charlie took the paper from Debra and thumbed it over. “I probably just should have come talked to you in the first place.” Debra put her hand on Charlie’s shoulder. “No, you did the right thing by trying to see a doctor Charlie, it’s just that doctors deal with the health side of things. They’re not always the best resources for the feelings side of things.” Charlie chuckled a little. “The doctor was very nice, and I suppose he did his best. But yes, it felt weird trying to talk to him.”

“Give the counselling office a call Charlie,” Debra smiled, and headed back to her work. *********************************************************************************** What do you think of this week’s story? Do you have any advice or resources to offer Charlie? Share your thoughts with us below.

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