Thursday, November 15, 2012


None of my children have come close to dying.  That means that my life is not like my parent's lives.  They had three children and all three of us took a shot at standing close enough to the line to risk pegging out.

I'm the oldest.  I was young enough when I got it that I don't remember having Scarlet Fever, and Mom always talked about it as if it was significant, but she didn't sound worried when she talked about it, so I don't think it was more than a worry that things might get bad. 

I think the first real shot at the line was when my sister (S-2) turned out to be allergic to penicillin.  Mom sounded really worried when she talked about how the doctor gave her some sort of antidote (childhood memory - very nonspecific), but only gave her one dose when the penicillin shot was a three day one.

That may not make medical sense, but S-2 did have a downturn on the second day and was taken in to the doctor again.  At least Mother reported a downturn and second trip.  I was young enough that my memory of the actual even is very fuzzy.  S-2 alway wore a medical alert bracelet after that.  The repeated family phrase was "her hands swelled up so badly that even with her fingers spread apart, they still touched."  Dad would chime in on the story, and his voice would be worried, too.

Next my sister (S-3) got encephalitis at 18 months old.  The first symptom was a seizure, as she was laying in her prop-up carrier. Mom had just taken her to the doctor for a well baby visit and was visiting her mother.  She looked up, saw the seizure, reached for Grandma's wall phone and dialed the doctor's number.  It was the only time she had ever known the number without looking it up. 

It was very worrying and for the rest of her childhood, when S-3 got sick, she'd run a much higher fever than normal for whichever illness she caught. 

My trip to the line came in the sixth grade, when I fell and hit my head, causing a concussion.  I was in the hospital for three days.  My regular pediatrician was out of town and when he got back and looked at my charts, he said that he was glad he'd been gone while my blood pressure was that low.  I don't remember about a day from the time we reached the elevator in the hospital. 

That's apparently not uncommon.  I wasn't out cold.  I was talking to visitors and making sense.  It's just that the memories weren't going from short term to long term properly. 

So, as far as grave sicknesses and accidents in offspring go, my parents were three for three.  I also had three children and the worst thing I ever had to deal with were a few stitches, a broken wrist, and a possible broken foot.  Well, until D got pancreatitis this year.  But that's because he's a mutant and he's grown.  So I can't claim parity. 

No comments:

Post a Comment