Daily Archives: August 5, 2011

Unforeseen Circumstances

It was in the hand of gaelikaa to come up with the topic for today.

Unforeseen Circumstances

My inspiration came at the misfortune of another. 🙁
Conrad was having problems on his blog.  It was sick.  It caught a bug.  A bugger of a bug – excuse my French!  He would clean his house blog, all would appear well for a time and then suddenly re-infect.  In my usual non techie fashion I asked a question.

“Would one of us who visit regularly, unwittingly be the carrier?”

“I am checking everyone’s dirty feet at my welcome mat right now, although I don’t think it is any of my regular readers.”

The words dirty feet brought back a memory from my childhood and gave me my tale for today.

When we were five in number, long before my sister was born, I think it would have been about 1951 or 1952.  Our ages ranged from nine to eighteen months.  Four of the five children were showing signs of being ill, so the family Doctor was called.  Unlike today, where every visit to a doctor is treated in isolation with no regard to other illnesses or family traits, our family doctor looked at things in the round and checked everyone in the household.  Not known for his bedside manner, he certainly made up for it with 5***** Diagnosis.

Scarlet Fever was the culprit this time.  All but brother No 2 showed the symptoms.  He on the other hand was his usual bouncing bundle of noisy energy.  What to do?  The normal procedure at the time was to move the patients to the nearest fever hospital.  Mammy and the Doctor went into secret conclave – they sat in the kitchen with a pot of tea.  It might be easier to isolate brother No 2.  Would Granny be willing and able to take him for the duration?  How did mammy feel about barrier nursing the four of us at home?  Was there anyone who might help her?  The rooms would need to be fumigated when the patients recovered.

Not everyone had a phone or a car back then.  We fortunately had both, granny had neither.  Somehow arrangements were made and Brother No 2 went to stay with Granny.  My father had a sister who was a district nurse in England, not far from the border with Wales.  She was consulted about the barrier nursing and what it involved.  You know how it is, you hear words like ‘Scarlet Fever’ and ‘Fever Hospital’ whispered, yet have no idea what is actually involved or required until it hits your own doorstep.  My aunt had leave due, so she offered to come over and help mammy nurse us back to health.

The Doctor was almost part of the furniture until my aunt arrived.  “All into the one room!” he suggested.  Lets push that big bed up against the wall make it up cross wise, then the four of them can go in together.  The headboard and footboard can act as bed sides and nobody will fall out.  I told you, the bedside manner was out the window, but boy was he good at his trade!

So we were four in a bed and the little one said……

The routine quickly developed and I have no idea how long it went on for,  I was five, I remember all of us being in the bed, and mammy and my aunt wearing white hospital coats and face masks when they came in the room.

After a couple of weeks my aunt decided that she should go over to Granny’s house and give her an evening free from child care.  She would bathe my brother and wash his hair etc before she put him to bed.  This she did.  As she was drying his feet she noticed that the soles of his feet were peeling.  The final stage of Scarlet Fever!  Brother No 2 was the carrier of the bug, the one who brought it into our house in the first place.  Mammy and the Doctor had decided to isolate him because he showed no sign of being ill.  He had gone through the whole thing while still on his feet.

So you see why it is important for Conrad to check everyone’s feet and footprints.  I sure hope he sorts out the problem real soon and the playground is declared free of all unforeseen obstacles and circumstances!

Visiting time is over now, so tip toe over and take a peek at what Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Magpie 11, padmum, Ramana, The Silver Fox Whispers, The Student Diaries, Will have to say on our topic.  Today our group grows ever stronger with Noor and Rohit joining us for the first time, I do hope they have fun in our playground.