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  • October 14th, 2008 | 3:37 PM
Tuesday memory challenge

Today's memory challenge is inspired by the fact that I am trying to cram in all sorts of doctor appointments into my busy days while I still have the better health insurance.

So I am thinking about getting sick and going to the doctor when I was a child.

When I was sick, the throwing up kind, my mom brought out this small child-sized pale pink bucket. That was my sick bucket. Easy enough for me to carry around and small enough to fit next to me on the couch. I was sick a lot so that came in handy. Anyone who has read Hugging the Rock might remember that Rachel also had a sick bucket.

When I was sick, the next door neighbors would bring me fried prawns and fried won tons from their restaurant. It shoudl have be the worse thing in the world for my stomach but it always made me feel better.

I remember going somewhere when I was very young to get, what was it, the polio shot or sugar cube or something? I remember being held over my mom's shoulder and waiting in a very long line.

I remember getting the measles and staying all alone in my room except for my deaf cousin Danny who was the only one who would come in and play games with me.

I remember the face of the pediatrician I went to but not his name. But I remember he had great vitamins he would give me when I went in for a visit. When he retired my mom made me go to her doctor, Dr. Byers. I hated him. I really did. He was a pear-shaped man with dark hair and dark glasses but that wasn't why I hated him. I hated him because he always pointed out all the ways in which I wasn't like my mom. And I really hated that he was the one that pierce my ears with one of the very early ear piercing guns. He marked my ears with a pen and he still screwed up and made them lopsided.

Okay, your turn. What do you remember about doctors and being sick when you were a child?
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 9 comments — Leave comment )
October 14th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
I remember my Mom always making me tea and toast...oh and gingerale.

I remember being in the hospital for over a month with a staph infection in the bone of my foot and IVs and blood tests and this really long needle they stuck in my foot to drain the liquid, oh and being spanked for crying during a blood test... (that would have been the stepmother, not the mother with the tea and toast!)

I remember being taken for surgery for my ears, tubes, or repair of the eardrum...it was a more than once occasion....but I remember my mom brushing my hair in the hospital. That was a really soothing moment that sticks out in my mind......
October 16th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Yikes on being spanked for crying during a blood test! You have some really vivid memories.
October 14th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I remember a Dr. putting me on thyroid medication (my mom had hers removed), only to find out I never needed it.

I also remember having to get a shot in the hip for some reason. We had to go to a hospital a bit far from my house. When they gav it to me, they hit my bone. Oh, the pain!!

Ooo. Another one. I remember a nurse calling me in for my turn. She called me Val. I distictly remember my mom correcting her, "Her name is Valarie." I still can hear her tone of voice (it was her mantra when I was growing up).
October 16th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
ooh, that detail about your mom and your name is so very telling!
(Deleted comment)
October 16th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
ah, I knew you would remember. thanks!
October 15th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
I remember the gagging feeling in the back of my throat when I was finally allowed to wake up. I remember being unable to breathe, and unable to move and panicking because no one was there and there were all sorts of machines that went "beep beep" and I didn't remember anything past leaving the barn that morning.

I remember doctors looking sombre and saying "well, we don't know, but we highly suspect..." and I remember nurses trying to be bright and cheery, and trying to cheer up a terrified 10yo who'd been abandoned in the hospital.

I remember waking up from a nightmare in the dark of night in the ICU unit, and my brother Mike being right there and telling me I was safe and he'd never let the monsters of the dark find me. I remember the feeling of calluses against my hand as several family friends sat and read to me, or sat and talked to me, or stayed overnight.

I remember the sound of clack, clack, clack that sounded so loud in the unit after the whisper-soft step of the nurses. I remember that sound heralding the arrival of my Mother.

I remember waking up, hearing my Mother's shrill voice arguing with the doctors and screaming something about how they'd 'destroyed' me and 'killed' her daughter. I remember the one nurse, a former Marine, telling my Mother to shut the hell up or get the hell of her ward. I remember my brother saying that she was the reason he'd decided to go into the Marines.

I remember the ghost-like images of my skeleton on a light box, showing the beating I'd taken. I remember there being big words that I still don't understand, that all boiled down to 'chronic pain'.

But most of all, what I remember is the pity. The pity that 'such a bright child had been injured so grievously'. I remember the pity that my Mother got from others because of my injury.

And I remember that Marine, who told me that I could live in that pity, or I could get off my ass and prove them all wrong.

I still have trouble with that.
October 17th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Wow....I knew you would have a lot to say with this challenge.

This is the one that stuck out for me:

But most of all, what I remember is the pity. The pity that 'such a bright child had been injured so grievously'. I remember the pity that my Mother got from others because of my injury.
October 15th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
I had terrible fevers that came with delirium. Crazy delirium. Asking my mom to try to help me slow down my mind is one of the keenest memories of my childhood. The sense that maybe I was just a little mad...
October 17th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Yikes! Fevers sound scary. Being aware enough to ask for your mind to slow down is a lot for a child.
( 9 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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