Another in the doom and gloom series. It should probably be titled ill-health or sickness or something.
Like every other kid I went through the gamut of childrens’ illnesses. I also had a mother who would NEVER, by which I mean, absolutely NEVER give me a note to stay away from school.
‘Nicky was away with a cold and a note, I want one,’ said little me. ‘NO,’ came the reply.
It got a bit more serious though. I got tonsilitis. More than once. Twice? probably three times. At which it was deemed I should have my adenoids and tonsils taken out.
At the time, in the 60s, it was all the rage. Do you know anyone who survived that era with their tonsils intact?
All duly ripped out, I went home. I wasn’t feeling too good so I was allowed to sleep in my mum’s bed. Comfort zone I guess.
I felt sick so she brought me a bowl. As you do, when you are feeling sick, you try and vomit whatever is making you ill. So I started vomiting blood. Lots of it. I was pleased with myself, as the bowl filled up. I thought I was doing the right thing. This was a washing up bowl by the way. A very large one.
The ambulance came and I was rushed back in for an emergency blood transfusion. My parents stayed all night, thinking that I wouldn’t wake in the morning. That’s what they told me anyway. All I knew was that I woke up with a needle in my arm connected to a large red bottle with blood slowly dripping back into me. That was the second year of school, say around age five.
Having recovered from that, the next year I had a bad tummy ache. Whoosh! Into the ambulance again, this time with appendicitis. True to form, this one had after-effects too. The surgeon was proud of his work. He had made a very slight incision leaving the tiniest of scars. But then he had to re-open it when I got gangrene. My poor dolls were subjected to being painted yellow on their abdomen from then ever afterwards.
Like all young people in their teens I had sprained limbs. The first was when I was playing England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Japan, Touch. Remember it? Maybe not.
The seven steps that we jumped from were rather impressive. There were only a couple of us who could jump from the top. Elizabeth and I. But one day I jumped and fell awkwardly. Maybe I fell badly. Maybe my eyesight had already started to go and I couldn’t see where I was jumping.
Someone rushed me off to sick-bay, ie carried me. Parents were rung. And it was off to hospital again. My parents told me it was a tip fracture, I guess they meant one of those greenstick things. Off school for weeks yet again.
After that, jumping from the steps was banned at my school. Ha! This was 40 years ago, probably not allowed to jump two steps these days let alone seven rather high ones.
When we went ice-skating from school, I sprained a wrist. Simple in the scheme of things.
A trip to a play somewhere, a fall in my rather nice black suede boots. Bad lighting? Or bad eyesight? Again? But another sprained ankle and another plaster cast.
And then – playing squash in sixth form. Crashed against the wall, (never could do that manoeuvre where you get the ball close to the wall and return it), struggled up, off the court, got a lift to the bus station and back home. This time it was a ripped ligament with 17 (I think) stitches. Third time for a leg in a plaster cast, a wooden rocker, a knitting needle to poke down the cast for the inevitable itching, and even more time off school.
At least I missed mock ‘A’ levels.
One adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy + blood transfusion
One appendectomy + gangrene + re-opening of original incision – six stitches, scar, very visible even now 40+ years later
One tip fracture (?) – right ankle – with plaster cast
One sprained ankle – left – with plaster cast
One sprained wrist – right – with crepe bandage (I can do a great job with crepe bandage even now)
One ripped ligament – right ankle – with stitches and plaster cast
That’s probably not much for 18 or so years.
Old person’s aches and pains next up ……