Chapter Twenty- Four:
Dr. Lionel Phelge had just got out of bed on a Thursday morning. As usual he was feeling groggy due to drinking a couple of shots of Southern Comfort along with taking the zopiclone medication that his doctor had prescribed to help Lionel sleep as he went through his grieving process over his loss of Edith.
For the first half hour upon awakening Lionel felt like he was trying to navigate a ship through some heavy fog. In a robot like fashion Lionel got the coffee maker set up and poured himself a large glass of water. It was time for Lionel to take his morning medications. The older that Lionel got the more meds got added to his list. He took Proscar for his enlarged prostate. He had an uncle who died from prostate cancer. He also took enalapril and a water pill for his high blood pressure. For the painful arthritis in both his knees and his back, the professor took Tylenol 3 three times daily.
He was also prescribed a cocktail of antidepressants by his psychiatrist. These included cymbalta, prozac and amitryptiline. The amitryptiline also helped with his back pain and his trouble falling asleep at night. As Lionel did not respond as well as expected by his current regimen of antidepressants, his psychiatrist added the anti -psychotic med, Abilify as an adjunct. Likely due to the large number of pills that Lionel took he found himself feeling excessively sleepy during the day time. A few months ago he went for a sleep study at the hospital. Lionel’s sleep was monitored all night while he was hooked up with electrodes. During the next day he was asked to take short naps every hour to check for other possible sleep disorders.
Approximately, a week after the sleep study Lionel had another appointment to meet with a sleep disorder specialist. The sleep doctor informed Lionel that he definitely had the condition known as sleep apnea. This was to be expected as Lionel was about eighty pounds overweight. The doctor also told Lionel that the daytime sleep study showed inconclusive results but that she could not rule out the possibility of narcolepsy. The appropriate treatment plan that the doctor selected was that Lionel use a CPAP machine when he went to bed at night. She also prescribed the stimulant medication Ritalin for use during Lionel’s waking hours. Lionel now had so many medications to take that he put all his medications in a little blue travel bag.
After Lionel Phelge had taken his morning medications, he went to his kitchen to make himself some toast. After the toast popped his coffee was ready to pour. Lionel took a knife out of the drawer and spread marmalade on his two pieces of toast. He then walked the short distance to his easy chair in the living room. As well as being a voracious reader, Lionel was an avid fan of audiobooks. He was sixty years old now and found that his eyes became tired after about a half hour of reading. To satisfy his hunger for reading material that would not over work his eyes, Lionel discovered audiobooks. He found that he could add at least an hour or two more reading to his daily routine if he listened to audio books. He was presently listening to the audiobook version of The Two Towers from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Lionel had just finished packing his pipe with Borkum Riff tobacco when the phone rang. Lionel picked up the receiver.
“Hello, could I speak to Lionel Phelge?” asked the caller.
“Sir, this is Rick Jennings, the supervisor at The House of Hope Community Rehabilitation Center. Your son, Garry went missing yesterday evening. Is he, by any chance with you?”
“No, I haven’t seen or heard from Garry in about a year. The last time I talked to him on the phone was when I told him that his mother had cancer. I’ve haven’t heard from him since,” answered Lionel.
“I’m sorry to hear that sir, but if he happens to call you or drops in at your home could you let us know? We’ve already reported Garry to the police as a vulnerable missing person.”
“I certainly will, Mr. Jennings. I have your phone number on a business card. You’ve now got me very concerned,” said Lionel.
Lionel sat down and lit up his pipe. He made the circling motion with his fingers as he held the match to the tobacco. He had to admit that he hadn’t given his son, Garry, much thought during the last few months. Garry has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been residing at The House of Hope for about a year now. Lionel had tried to contact Garry with the news of his mother’s passing. Lionel left a phone message for Garry at The House of Hope, but Garry had not returned his father’s phone call. As Lionel puffed on his pipe he now realized that he had more things to think about than just coming up with a sabbatical research project for Dean Sanderson.