With all the sickness and swine flu going around it got me thinking about when I was little and sick. I don’t remember being a sickly child but I did have my moments.
One time in the 2nd grade, I had the flu. Instead of waking my mom up in the middle of the night, I threw up in the corner in my room. The next morning, I still didn’t feel so good so I laid with my blanket in the hallway outside my mother’s bedroom door, sleeping and waiting for her to get up. Of course, she wasn’t too happy that I threw up in my room and didn’t wake her (though she said was worried I was dehydrated, I thought it was because I might have ruined the carpet). Getting sick always threw a monkey wrench in her day. Since she was a working single mom, she had to call my grandparents to see if they could watch me so she couldn’t miss work.
Once I ate a whole bottle of Flinestone vitamins because they tasted good. I thought they were candy but my mom called poison control only to find out I would end up being fine. Close call. I didn’t want my stomach pumped. (Rumor has it, my older brother had drank a bottle of cough syrup – twice and had to have his stomach pumped. I also think he was the one who swallowed my Grandma Rita’s diet pills and had to have his stomach pumped again).
When I was really sick, she’d have to run me to the doctor’s office. As much as I wanted to get well, I hated the doctor’s office. The one thing I looked forward to was the little kid’s table with new books to look at and if the wait time was long, I’d go through all the books and be bored out of my mind. The doctor would check my ears, throat, nose and then reward me with a lollipop. Fun times! When we got home, if I was up for it, she’d make me a can of chicken soup and fill me up with orange juice.
In the summer before third grade, I got the chicken pox. Since I had to lay around on the couch for two weeks at my grandparents, my mom bribed me into be good with a new coloring book and maybe some if I was really good and didn’t scratch the chicken pox, I would get to go to the bakery and pick out a donut when I was better.
The worst I remember being sick was when I was a sophomore in high school and I had walking pneumonia. I came down for breakfast and my mom had a worried look on her face so she called the doctor’s office and brought me in. An x-ray later, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to rest and be out of school for a week. I remember my mom telling the doctor that I was white as a ghost and if they weren’t open, it was off to the emergency room we were going. I remember being thankful my mom cared so much. She took the week off from work to take care of me.
When I went away to college, I came down with the worse case of strep throat. Though my mother was only 45 minutes away, she insisted that I visit the university health center to be checked out. When a couple days went by and my symptoms weren’t getting better, I came home and went to the doctor only to find out I also had the flu. I stay home a couples days for a home cooked meal and more chicken soup. I thought to myself that though I was an adult, I didn’t want to ever be far from my mother.
Tonight, I took my son to get his swine flu shot and it brought back memories of all the times my mom drug me in for immunizations. She was always upfront in saying “well, you might be a shot” followed by “if you’re good, you can pick out a Barbie.” It always worked. I can’t wait until Lil B gets his little bribes.