Yet another story from my klutzy childhood. It is amazing to me now that I made it out of childhood alive!! Guess what this one doesn’t even have my BROTHERS to blame it on! We lived on a street with a big hill. One summer day the girls down the street were riding their bikes. I think they felt sorry for me because I had 2 brothers and not a sister in sight. Who remembers riding on the handlebars?!? OK, yes the scene is set summer – yep, bikes – check, big hill – yep. I know you want to run ahead of the story but don’t at least not yet.
The older of the girls (I think their last name was Foote?) Thought she would give me a treat. She sat me on the handlebars and started down the hill. Even at 5 or 6 I was a hefty child. (Yes, hefty… that is what I was!) I am not sure how many of my stories you might have read but I can tell you I was not a graceful child – or adult for that matter. My parents thought enrolling me in ballet class would help with my co-ordination – NOPE!
Back to the bike we start down the hill and I start to slide off. My pilot was trying to compensate for the extra weigh of a squirming passenger and now you can run ahead of the story. The bike didn’t have any fenders and the brakes were the kind that you had to pedal backwards to stop. Or just have me stick my leg through your spokes. Yep, yet another incident that makes me glad I made it to my 60’s! I guess my benevolent chauffeur didn’t notice my slipping. By the time she realized what was happening we were both fighting road rash and spokes in my ankle. I was so scared that she was alright I didn’t notice that the bike was now attached to.. well, me! Our hands were raw from gravel. Everybody who was watching was yelling to get my Mom! Who do you think was yelling the loudest… YEP ME!! “MOM!!”
Mom could heal a lot of things with a kiss, this was not one of those times. When we finally got the bike disentangled from both of us. It was clear that the future of that wheel was not very pretty, along with my leg, her hands and I think she lost a tooth from hitting the ground. Mom decided that an office visit to our doctor was in order. Cars were brought around and the sorting began. Her Mom… got her, My Mom got me (she was so lucky that way!) a neighbor stepped up for watching the kids of the Mom’s that were going to appropriate doctors. Which left the neighborly neighbor with my two brothers, my pilot’s sister and her own kids.
I think that the real point of this story is what happened after the calm of a summer day was shattered by our screams. Our Dr. had an office about three miles away – so not a long car ride but Mom was driving – Dad was working (because that is what Dad’s did!) Another lady from our block was holding me so that I would stop screaming… You know I seem to do that a lot in these stories! Anyway we got to the office.
Mom parked in the little parking lot behind the office (one building, one floor, no huge offices back then I guess) Mom knew the office nurse. Who wouldn’t with as many times as we were in there? So Mom ran in told them what happened and one of the doctors came out and lifted me himself. They were brothers – both doctors – same office. He picked me up and we went directly into the X-ray, yep right there. In their office X-ray machine huge thing but there it was. no written order and hobbling to another huge office building to wait in line. No forms filled out first. Gauze was rapped around my ankle before the X-ray in an attempt to keep me from bleeding on the machine. Yep, I seem to bleed a lot too. ANYWAY…Yes my ankle was busted. So cast time. Not one of the new fangeled fiberglass jobs, this was a HUGE Plaster of Paris kind. I think that was actually my first leg cast. Yes, it was put on and taken off right in the office. Orthopedic doctor – not hardly! Mom and the Doctor Bograd(?) were discussing what needed to be done. Cast yes, but the punctures in my leg couldn’t be covered with the cast. In the interim the nurse made a shot NO extra pharmacy trip. She made it from the cabinets that were in the back of the office. Those cabinets contained most of what was needed for everyday use. I was given a tetanus booster and some antibiotics and it must have had something else in it because I stopped screaming. The needle was not a disposable kind. It had a glass chamber for the medicine a sterilized housing and a needle that had also been sterilized. This process was done with a thing called an autoclave. Yep, right there in the office. Not saying that what we have now is better, just different.
I was worried that my friend from down the street would be mad at me for wrecking her bike! So yes, more tears. Blood, tears, screaming, broken bones… Really HOW did I make it to puberty!! They decided that the cast could go on but they would cut a little window in it so that the wounds could be cleaned on a daily basis.
That lasted about a week. Then I started running a temperature when it reached about 102 Mom called the doctor. GUESS WHAT?!?! He came to our house!! With his bag and everything. OK, I am not sure I should put that in the story. Makes me feel really old. To continue, he took a temp (NOT THE ORAL KIND!!) I know it is just my sense of humor but I wonder where else that temp stick had been! He said yes I was sick. When he looked in the little window he saw a couple of red dots. Good news it wasn’t an abscess from the wounds on my ankle. Bad news… I had the chicken pox. No one seemed to remember any body being sick in the last couple of weeks. So I decided I had to gave it to everybody – both brothers and the girls down the street. I think she might have forgiven me for wrecking her bike but the Chicken Pox…. Not so forgiving. Mom then had 3 sick kids one who still needed cleaning with peroxide twice a day. Wow, I guess Mom had it worse than I did. I never thought of that before!
My Mom was also an RN so the doctor dug in his bag and gave her medicine, syringes and of course, Calamine Lotion. The good thing was that at least it was Summer. No loss of school days – DARN!!! Because of the cast I got to stay on the couch, my brothers were in their bedroom. No T.V. – very primitive. After a couple of days when we no longer had temperatures they got to come into the living room and watch black and white T.V. Like I said very primitive.
If you enjoyed the story please let me know. I love writing but I like to know if anybody is reading these! Thank you and may you all be blessed with brothers you can give the chicken pox to!!
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