Archive for May 12, 2014




12 May 2014

 Perfect weather and Chuck parked at his usual spot on the corner. I had to wait in line to talk to him. He’s been missed this past week. Many people, who’ve seen me talking to him,  asked about his health, but I don’t have his phone number, address or any way to contact him. When my turn came I asked, “Hi Chuck, how are you feeling?”

“Oh, I’m better now. I was in hospital twice last week with a lung infection. I have bad lungs to begin with. I called for an ambulance and told them to take me to The East General, but they took me to the General instead. My heart doctor and all my records are at the East General. I waited there about five hours, without anybody checking me. I couldn’t even get a pain pill.

“Last Monday I went to the mall to get some stuff from Shoppers Drug mart, and to have coffee with a few friends. On my way home on the bus I started to feel woozy. I got to one transit station and the elevator wasn’t working. I got back on a bus and went to another transit station; the elevator wasn’t working there either. By this time I was feeling really sick. I got out of my wheelchair and started walking over the bridge. I was yelling, ‘I’m sick. Please help me. Call an ambulance.‘ It took a long time for an ambulance to come. I had a high fever and was delirious. They put me on antibiotics at the hospital. I’ve nearly run out so I’m going to the pharmacy to ask them if they can fax my doctor and get pills for a few more days.

“While I was in hospital they told me that the two pills I’ve been taking for the past seven years aren’t supposed to be taken together. They’re to be taken two and a half hours apart. I’m also not to take them with any dairy products or at the same time as I take my iron pill. That was all news to me. They also want me to start eating bananas for the potassium. I hate bananas.

“When I got home I was talking to a couple of my friends. They said they saw me on the bridge yelling.  I asked them, “If you saw me yelling,  why the fuck didn’t you come over and help me. They said, ‘You looked alright.’ I said, ‘I f I was alright I wouldn’t have been yelling, ‘I’m sick. Please help me. Call an ambulance.’ I really let them have it.”

I said, “Joy and Ghyslain were asking about you.”

“Joy was asking about me? When did you see her?”

“I saw her a couple of times last week. She’s just recovered from pneumonia.”

“Who else did you say?”


“You mean the guy that hangs around the other corner? I don’t like him. He swears at people.”

“Yeah,” I said, Joy doesn’t like him either. He’s always crowding her. He wants her spot after she leaves in the morning.”

Chuck said, “I have to get them to fix my wheelchair. See this gauge here, it shows five bars. That’s fully charged. When I was at the mall the other day it went from five bars to two. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough power to get home. I think the problem is in the hand control. Some times it accelerates really slow, then it’ll go really fast, there’s no in between. I’d like them to replace it, but all they seem to do is tape it up. That’s no good, because the rain gets in.”

Twice while I was talking to Chuck, people with seeing eye dogs walked past. One was a golden lab, the other a full sized black poodle. In both cases Goldie started barking. If she hadn’t been on a leash she would have attacked the other dogs.

Chuck said to Goldie, “It’s okay, girl; special dogs, special dogs like you.

“You see, she understands. She was trying to protect me. She thought the other dogs were getting too close. If I’d seen them coming down the street I’d have made sure she was sitting on my lap. If they started fighting I wouldn’t be able to do anything. Even the excitement would probably kill me.

“I’m only going to stay about ten minutes longer. I’m going to the mall to see about getting more pills. I’ll stop at Subway to pick up one of their salads. I ‘ll also buy some water to take my pill with. After that it’s straight home to bed.