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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When You Were Small - Hospital Memories



Okay yes I know I said the next post in this series would be all about first holidays, not hospitals.  But I am sick right now, an awful annoying head cold/flu which has been gifted to me by Mr Socks, who coughed and barked and blew all the way to sharing it.  So being sick, I don't really want to think about first holidays, being sick I want to feel sorry for myself, so being sick, I got to thinking about hospitals. 

Now again I know, most normal people when they think about hospitals have sad memories, and yes, I also know I am lucky not to have these, never having to be in hospital until the delivery of my first daughter.  That being said though, I have a couple of very distinctive memories about hospitals from when I was small.  The first one is around my Mam's stay in one, and my Dad getting us fish and chips from the chipper every single night.  It is a pretty distinctive memory, but alas not the one which I am going to share with you here.  The memory I am going to share with you, is all about jealousy!

Not 120 Socks I hear you say - but alas every now and then even I have bad thoughts, and on this occasion, the bad thoughts were all about my big sister.  You see, when she was younger, about 10 I think, she had to go into hospital to get her appendix out.  I am sure she did suffer, even marginally with this illness, but I don't remember any of that.  What I remember are the presents - the colouring books and crayons, the large bottles of Lucozade, the puzzles, the sucky sweets with flavours of blackcurrant, strawberry, lemon, orange, lime, you name it, she got it.  Every day for what seemed like an eternity, more prizes were brought up to her. 

What did I get?  Not a dot, not a sweet, not a sip from the large bottles which went up daily, I got nothing, a big fat nothing, and as you can imagine this had a devastating effect on me.  I started dreaming about going into hospital, being knocked down by a car and everyone around the bed crying over me, pouring lovely drinks down by throat, willing me to sit up so I could draw them a beautiful picture - my sister at home bored, sweetless, drinkless, presentless - the list was endless!

Looking back, I'm wondering if I had been given even one sweet from the packet/packets which went into her hospital locker, anything by way of compensation for being the well one, would the memory have stayed so vivid?  To me being in hospital foolishly seemed like the best place ever, probably cause as a child I never got there.

Like most things in life, it is all about which viewpoint to look at any given situation.  Years later, my son went into hospital as he was having problems walking.  Thankfully, it turned out to be a temporary issue with limb development, but I remember being so worried, and him being so delighted that he had to go everywhere for about 3 days in a wheelchair, his sisters pushing him up and down the hospital corridors, all of them laughing, having fun. And yes, he did get colouring books, and drinks and sweets, and cards, and thankfully, he also got better. So we all got really lucky, and I will always be grateful.

I know there are sad memories out there, and I know mine is a silly one, but if you do have a childhood hospital memory which you would like to share, well you know what to do.  In the meantime, I will go back to nursing my head cold - cause being sick is no fun at all!

16 comments:

  1. Hmmm, probably too many to mention!
    1. Big brother scalding penis with a steam hose still gets us rolling in the aisles. Nurse moving the offending object about with a glass rod the high spot.
    2.Me, at eight, attempting to explain to a nurse why half my finger was hanging off - 'We were playing bombs.'
    3. The utterly terrifying London Hospital where my mother spent some time, and it must have been late in the year because it was always dark when we went up to visit. Very reminiscent of a Dickens novel. And like you, my father could not recognise an oven, but no fish and chips for us. 'Aunt' Hetty came to cook. Nightmare.

    Do you know, I could go on all day. I think we had a major injury a month!

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  2. Sounds like a brilliant book - gosh poor bro - and bombs at age eight, only u Titus, only u! Big old hospitals in th dark of winter, scary places for sure. Thanks for all of them Titus:)

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  3. Haha. Jealousy over the girl with appendicitis...love it! I had my appendix out when I was 22 or 23. Not fun. Your sister deserved all the junk your family fed into her! ;-)

    The doctor who discovered my failed organ was FREAKY. He told me he loved me, I was so beautiful and reminded him of his daughter. I thought about calling the cops, but was in too much pain to care. LOL. In the end, he saved my life...can't be mad about that.

    This was funny! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Another great post Louise. I don't rememember my very first time in hospital. I was too young too remember it now, but apparently , according to my mother the nurses spoiled me so much that she could get "no good" out of me for ages after I came home. I wish I could remember because it seems that although I was quite sick I had a great time in hospital.

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  5. Gosh Krystal - wat a story - operation, love, the cops, amazing! But u know they say the operation is worse the older you are, so my childhood jealously still reigns!

    LOL Castletonian - my daughter had a short spell in hospital and she loved it, other children to play with all the time, meals at regular hours - it made me feel like a rotten mother, even though I know I wasn't one:)

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  6. Haha, Louise. They do say surgeries are more difficult when you are older, but I wasn't THAT old. ;-)

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  7. I took an overdose when I was three.

    And all I spoke about afterwards was the yummy chips I got in hospital.

    Explains a lot, eh?

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  8. Fab post Louise, so funny!

    My memories are not so good, the main one is when I went to visit my dad in hospital in my school uniform, it was the middle of summer and I had no school I also had no clean cloths to wear as everyone at home was busy visiting him, I remember other kids making fun of me, so I joined in tellin them "sure I cant wait for school, it's the stationary I love...suppose I'm bit of a nerd." I didn't want to tell them the truth, that I knew my only friend in the world was dying and that I had no clean clothes, I could not have bared their pity, but being the but of jokes..that I could handle and turn in my favour.

    Onwards

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  9. D'oub - word fail me! Overdose and chips in the same memory.

    Ah Michelle, I got real upset reading this. I fully understand why you lied, I think my own childhood caused me to lie, or rather hide the truth often. Funny I am useless at it now! Sounds like you were a pretty terrific kid and I am sure your Dad would have known that only too well. Yes and onwards:) X

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  10. Gosh this post and the comments have me thinking. I was about five and my brother four when I slammed a door on him catching his finger which was decapitated. The panic! The fear! Mine, I mean. He was in so much pain and shock he couldn't even scream when I tried to stick it back on. Fortunately, we were living in Belfast then where there was mo shortage of surgeons who were capable of "sticking" him back together properly. If it had happened in Dublin, he'd have lost it. Strangely, or wisely, nothing much was ever said to me about it.

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  11. One up side of the troubles Caren I guess - der isn't too many of those for sure!

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  12. this could be your best post yet
    look at the word count of your comments!
    i too was taken into hospital at the age of thirteen,appendicitis.
    i remember being outside the theatre doors and being given the needle 10, 9 , 8 , 7 ,6 counting down to oblivion.
    i woke up feeling hot and many fans were employed.

    pre cutbacks we got full breakfast, two course lunch and three course dinner.
    the nurses were great except for one who while very pleasant in the company of others threatened me with the remark "if you press that call button again i'll break your fingers.
    apart from her it wasn't a bad experience.
    wonder what its like these days?

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  13. Get well soon Louise.
    I loved your story and could picture you so annoyed at being ignored.

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  14. I am so relieved to read that is was Mr Socks that gave you the cold-thing and not me through some trick of the ether. I had a shocker - and as a person who rarely gets colds I felt particularly cruelly treated (and then had to fly for 14 hours). Mine is nearly gone and I hope yours is too. Marius ladled tea-lemon-and honey into me which did the trick, I am sure!

    Hospitals are now all too familiar to me (try three on three different continents in 6 months) so I am declining your invitation to share, thanks all the same.

    Isabel xx

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  15. Thanks Riggerscam, I knew someone would have a nurse story eventually - but sounds overall like you had a reasonably good time.

    Thanks Trich, easy to picture me annoyed as a young child - sometimes I wonder if I have changed very much.

    Still down with this blasted flu, but appreciate all your sentiments. I fully understand Isabel, I don't think I would want to share either. Right now my only ambition is to get out of bed and possibly clean/tidy my house. Crazy how even silly illnessess can curb one's lofty ideas!

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