Chats With Charlie: Part 1: As The Year Turns

I can't recall who suggested that I should take things further between Charlie, Betty and Shawna. This is where that 'going further' starts.

If you aren't sure what I'm referring to here, read this story:


Chat session initially between Charlie and Betty, December 27, 2017, starting around 9:30 PM Central Time:

cheerfulcharlie03: Hi, Betty, I thought I'd give you a shout. I hope your cousin gave you my email info at some point?

bettybelle2001: Hi, Charlie, it's good to be able to talk with you. How was your Christmas? Yes, Shawna gave me that info as soon as she came
home from the fair that night, I added you to my friends list right away. She said that you helped her to have a good time there.

cheerfulcharlie03: Christmas was pretty good, we returned home just in time for an awesome Christmas meal. There were two really big turkeys, at least thirty pounds each, a huge ham that was about the same weight, lots of veggies, many of them done with Christmas extras like a bit of sugaring, four big pumpkin pies, four apple pies just as big, and lots of ice cream! I ended up with plenty of presents from family members and several of my friends. It was a great Christmas! Tell Shawna she's welcome.

bettybelle2001: It sounds like it was a very good one for you! That's excellent. We had a fairly quiet one here, there isn't a lot of family. My father is over in the Middle East dealing with some crisis or other. He was a single kid, and my mom only has one sister. You met my cousin Shawna at the fair a few days ago, I'm really glad, she came back home in a happy mood which was great!

At this point, at 9:44 PM, a little pop-up appears, asking if Charlie will allow someone else to enter the chat. He sees the name and agrees.

sweetshawnagirl: Hi, Betty. Hi, Charlie. Hey, Charlie, thanks for doing stuff with me at the fair last weekend!

cheerfulcharlie03: Hi, Shawna, I'm glad that I was able to help you to have a good time there. How was your Christmas.

sweetshawnagirl: I was over at Betty's place for Christmas. Mom, dad and I decided to spend the day with Betty and her mom.

bettybelle2001: Yep, I'm glad Shawna was here, it would have been a lot more boring if she hadn't been. We're both only kids.

cheerfulcharlie03: Only as in neither you nor Shawna have siblings?

sweetshawnagirl: That's correct, Charlie. Except for Betty's dad who couldn't be with us, that's all the family that we have.

cheerfulcharlie03: I'm truly sorry to hear that, girls. We have a really big family, with dozens of cousins and other relatives. Hmmm... that gives me an idea, I'm going to talk to my mom and dad about inviting all of you down here for spring break if our schedules match. If they don't, we can arrange to have you visit here once school finishes for the year. How does that sound?

sweetshawnagirl: Dozens of cousins? How the heck do you get them all into the house at once?

cheerfulcharlie03: It's a really big house, over a dozen bedrooms and plenty of extra spaces where people can put sleeping bags. We also have
heated barns if extra space is needed. After big events like Thanksgiving and Christmas, most folks stay overnight.

bettybelle2001: Just how many cousins are you talking about, Charlie?

cheerfulcharlie03: Well, just counting just the first cousins, the count at the last get together here at Christmas was 92, but my Aunt Amber is
pregnant again, with twins this time; both are girls according to the latest ultrasound. The babies are due in mid-March.

sweetshawnagirl: Holy... that is a LOT! Are you sure that your family will be happy to have other people show up on a visit?

cheerfulcharlie03: We're easygoing people for the most part, Shawna. Just be polite and respectful, and everything will be fine.

bettybelle2001: Shawna is right, that is a heck of a lot of people. That must make family events rather interesting.

cheerfulcharlie03: I have to go, girls. Mom is telling me it's time for me to get ready for bed. I'll chat with you again soon. Bye!

sweetshawnagirl: See ya, Charlie: Have a good night!

bettybelle2001: Night, Charlie.

Charlie signs out, then heads to the bathroom where his mom has drawn a bath for him. He bathes, dries himself and goes to bed.


Chat between Charlie and Dr. Penny Farthing, a psychiatrist seeing Charlie bi-weekly, at about 4:20 PM Central time, December 29, 2017:

PrettyPenny91: Hello, Charlie, how are you doing today?

cheerfulcharlie03: I'm all right, Dr. Farthing. Thanks for agreeing to do this visit online, I'm not sure what happened, but dad took the truck to the back fields today and my sister's car wouldn't start when we wanted to leave earlier! It's being checked over by a family friend.

PrettyPenny91: That's fine, Charlie, we try to make sure that we can help our clients in any way that we can. This is one of those ways. So how
was your Christmas? I hear from Becky that you've made a new friend recently, perhaps more than one.

cheerfulcharlie03: Christmas was really good, Doctor. We had most of the family here, which means the crowd were almost 130 strong.

PrettyPenny91: Wow! That's a big family, for sure. I'm glad to hear you had a good time. Anything else happening with you?

cheerfulcharlie03: Not a lot. I did chat on Wednesday with the girl I met at the fair on the weekend. I also got to chat with her cousin, Betty. Betty has MD also, specifically Emery-Dreifuss like me, so it gives us a bit of common ground, I guess.

PrettyPenny91: How did that go, Charlie?

cheerfulcharlie03: It was actually nice to talk with them, we didn't get to chat for long, mom called me for my bath and I went to bed after that.

PrettyPenny91: How did you feel while talking with them? Anything interesting happen while you were chatting?

cheerfulcharlie03: Actually, yeah. See, both Shawna and Betty, her cousin with MD like me, are single kids. They don't have anyone else in their generation in their family. I thought that sucked, so I said I would look into having them come here at some point. I still need to ask mom and dad about it. If I can get their approval, the girls will come here either for spring break or when school finishes.

PrettyPenny91: Wow! That's rather generous of you, Charlie, especially as you have only met these girls. Hold on a sec, I have a call.

Penny answers phone in her office, talks for a few minutes, then ends the call and returns to the chat.

PrettyPenny91: Sorry about that, Charlie, but that was an emergency call, I'm going to have to go. I'll talk to you again in two weeks.

cheerfulcharlie03: Thanks for talking to me, Doctor. Have a Happy New Year.

PrettyPenny91: You, too, Charlie. Bye.

Dr. Farthing logs off at 4:43 PM. Charlie stays on his computer playing games for an hour or two until he is called to supper by his mom.


Chat between Charlie, Betty and Shawna, starting around 8:30 PM Central time, December 31, 2017:

cheerfulcharlie03: Hi, Betty, Shawna, how are you two doing? Are you girls looking forward to the new year?

bettybelle2001: *sigh* Charlie, with each day that passes, I get more and more frustrated. I think I remember Shawna telling me a few days ago
that she told you that, according to the doctors, I'll be in a wheelchair within six, maybe seven months.

cheerfulcharlie03: I do understand, Betty. Doctors here are giving me at most a year before I end up in a wheelchair. I hate it! HATE IT! I wish this had never happened! Like you, every day it gets harder and harder to do things for myself, I have to rely on others a lot now. I was able to talk with my psych on Friday; my sister's car wouldn't start at all so I had to chat with Dr. Farthing online this time.

sweetshawnagirl: Well, at least you have a support system in place between the psych, your other doctors and your family, Charlie. I wish the
doctors here weren't such idiots! Betty has to travel for over an hour each way for her medical and psych appointments.

cheerfulcharlie03: We don't have to go very far for appointments, it's only a fifteen or twenty minute drive to the clinic in Red Oak. If my sister's car hadn't picked that time to suddenly stop running, I would have been in Dr. Farthing's office, not chatting with her online.

bettybelle2001: I hate it, too, Charlie, oh, gods, how do I hate it! I can't remember how many times I've wished for the MD to just disappear!

cheerfulcharlie03: Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe it. So many times recently, I just want to sit here and scream until I'm hoarse.

sweetshawnagirl: I'm not sure what I can do for you guys, I can't even begin to understand what you are going through.

bettybelle2001: Just be here to talk to us, Shawna. Sometimes just having someone to talk to can make a difference to us.

cheerfulcharlie03: I agree with Betty, that's excellent advice.

bettybelle2001: Cheerful? Are you able to be cheerful with the MD looming over you nowadays, Charlie?

cheerfulcharlie03: Mmmm, this was the nick I decided to use when I set up my email account seven years ago, Betty.

bettybelle2001: Ahhh, so it was your account long before the MD came along and you decided to keep using it after the MD hit?

cheerfulcharlie03: Yeah, I'd been using it for so long by then, it didn't make sense to just throw it away at that point.

sweetshawnagirl: Well, maybe it can encourage you to try to look at things in a more positive and cheerful manner, Charlie.

cheerfulcharlie03: I suppose I could do that. I have to go, mom wants me to have my bath before we settle down to ring in the New Year.

bettybelle2001: Have a good night, Charlie. And Happy New Year!

sweetshawnagirl: Night, Charlie. Happy New Year!

cheerfulcharlie03: Happy New Year to both of you. Bye!

Charlie signs out, goes for his bath and has an enjoyable time bringing in the New Year, eventually falling asleep across his sister's lap.

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