“Karl Weston”, he said as he answered the phone, “Yes, this is Doctor Weston. How may I help you?”
He reached for the scratch pad on his desk and jotted down a few quick notes while the caller spoke. He asked a few questions during the course of the conversation and added to his notes.
“Very good”, he said, “I will get back to you shortly.”
He was considering the notes he’d taken when there was a tap on his door.
“Dr. Weston? Mr. Webb is here for his 3:15 appointment,” his assistant, Nancy said, “Shall I show him and his family in?”
“Yes, Nancy, thank you.”
Karl reached across his desk to pull out Barney Webb’s file. He had just taken out his notes from the last appointment when Nancy showed Barney and his daughter, Chloe into his office.
“Hello, and welcome,” Karl said, getting up to shut the door. “Have a seat, please, and how are you today, Barney?”
Barney looked at him in mild confusion.
“I’m Doctor Weston, remember me, Barney? We talk on a regular basis. I am your Doctor.”
Barney continued to look at him. “Tooth?” he asked and proceeded to open his mouth wide.
“No, Barney, I’m not your Dentist,” Karl said patiently, “I’m your medical Doctor.”
Barney looked at him blankly and then looked away to stare out the window. He continued to look out the window, disengaging from the conversation altogether.
“How is everything, Chloe?” Karl asked Chloe.
“About the same,” she said, “He has his good days and bad days.”
“Are there any changes in his behavior?” Karl asked.
“He’s quiet like this for the most part. Oh, he did start crying out of the blue on Tuesday – that was different.”
“You know emotional outbursts can be part of this disease,” Karl reminded her. “Has he had any problems with anger?”
“No,” she said.
“Does he get up at night?” Karl asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Has he ever left the apartment?” Karl asked.
“No, thank goodness,” she sighed, “I hear him when he gets up. I’m a light sleeper. I usually put him back to bed with no problems.”
“Have you and David talked any further about what you will do when you can no longer watch him alone?” Karl asked.
“A little bit,” she said, “He thinks the insurance he has at the bus company might help cover the cost of an aide. He’s checking into it.”
“Okay, don’t hesitate to ask for help, Chloe,” Karl said, “You don’t have to do this alone. I’ll ask Nancy to put together a list of numbers and contacts at the various agencies for you. It will at least give you a place to start.” He turned back to Barney. “Okay, Barney, will you get up on the examination table for me? I need to check your vitals.”
When the exam was over, he talked to them for a little longer and then saw them out. He stopped to ask Nancy to work on the list of agencies in the community where Chloe could turn for assistance when her Dad’s condition worsened.
Image courtesy of Pinterest