Big 50 Volume 13: Childhood Illnesses

Oh I had ’em all.  Some of them I don’t remember, some of them I remember all too well.  But I was a SICKLY child.

My Grandma tells me that when I was just a baby, before I turned 2, I had gastroenteritis so bad that she thought I was dead.

I can remember having mumps, on two occasions.  I remember having one mump the first time, and then both mumps the second.  Mump is a funny word you know.  Mump.  Mump.

Apparently I’ve had both measles and German measles (Rubella).  I don’t remember the regular measles at all, but I do remember having German measles.  I remember feeling sick and my  mother coming into my room to get me up for school and the look of shock on her face when she saw me.  I remember looking down at my chest and seeing this weird rash.  I think I must have been about 10, it was definitely before we were lined up to get the Rubella vaccination, which was at about 11 or 12.  I remember the girl in line before me having a complete and utter meltdown and having to be strapped to a gurney to get her shot.  I was scared and when I got in there, the doctor jabbed me and I said “Is that it?”  I had been sure they were going to torture me or something from the previous girl’s antics.

I got the chicken pox at 12 and I remember it REALLY clearly.  Because I woke up on Christmas Eve with the chicken pox.  You never, ever forget having chicken pox at 12 on Christmas Day.  Especially if your shitty little cousins spent the whole day chanting “You’ve got CHICKEN COCKS!!” at you.  I remember being in a lot of pain with the chicken pox.  We were staying with my great aunt and uncle, and I remember sleeping a lot of Christmas day with their new kitten curled up asleep beside me.  It’s like she was comforting me.

The worst thing about chicken pox though is it means you can get shingles… and I got shingles as an adult, let me tell you, that sucks worse than having the chicken pox at age 12 on Christmas Day!  My God I’ve never known pain like it.  I thought I had spinal cancer.  It really freaked me out.  I hope I never get it again.

As well as illnesses, I hurt myself a few times rather spectacularly.  At 5 I stood on a sewing needle, the eye end punctured my foot and broke off, and then buried itself deep into my foot.  It went in just below the ball of my foot, and the surgeon removed it from an incision beside my little toe.  I still have the scar 33 years later!  I also stacked my bike once and ripped open my left knee, and have to have stitches.  It was full of dirt and rocks and crap too.  And I can just remember being about 6 and having some kind of pinched nerve in my hip that left me paralysed from the waist down for awhile.  Must have been scary for the adults in my life.  I just remember being carried everywhere like a baby.

So what about you?  Have you had any spectacular or memorable childhood illnesses?  What about accidents and injuries?  Did you have annoying younger cousins who made fun of you for it?

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November 28, 2010. Big 50, children, illness. 2 comments.

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