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.

19 thoughts on “Unforeseen Circumstances

  1. Rummuser

    Today’s unforeseen circumstances for me is to see your post up earlier than scheduled time! I wiped my feet before I came for the visit though. Great story. Does No.2 still prance around? What did the little one say?

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – I am fortunate to have all my siblings alive and well. Brother No 2 is now a grandfather and enjoying retirement.

  3. Delirious

    I have to admit that I saw that ending coming, and I worried all through the post that your poor grandmother would catch the scarlet fever!! The best laid plans…. lol

    And yes, I remember “Four in the bed and the little one said…” 🙂

  4. Grannymar Post author

    Delirious – Granny was made of sturdy stuff 😉 and she she came through unscathed.

  5. blackwatertown

    Interesting to think of the evidence being concealed beneath – or on- the soles of his feet. It reminds me of the film of The Pillow Book, in which writing was hidden on the skin between the subject’s fingers (and toes too I think).

  6. Baino

    Takes me back. I remember the “District Nurse” and childhood quarantine in the days when measles and mumps ruled. Somehow I managed to avoid the chicken pox until I was 35 years old!

  7. Rohit

    Your post reminded me of a drama I saw on ITV recently about the Spanish Flu epidemic in Manchester and how the city’s chief public health advisor died saving thousands of people. Its really sad that sometimes things just happen to be completely different to what we would expect. Who would have known this misdiagnosis would have such an impact. Truly unforeseen!

  8. Alice

    Great story! Turned out as I expected it to. As for checking my feet, surely it couldn’t be me who carries the infection as I’ve been out of touch for more than a month! I’m back now, for a while I hope! Hope Conrad and y’all figure your predicament out soon.

  9. Padmini Natarajan

    Folks are complaining that my blog is landing up in their Spam!! It may be mea culpa…but I ran the scan! So there!

    Grannymar–I get RR’s, Delirious, Paul’s and Val’s blogs in my Inbox. Not yours though I have ticked all your options. Is this due to unforeseen circumstances? (BTW I get comments after mine alright)!

    I really think you should sit down and write your autobiography. Much of it is already in blogs…you just need to put it together and fill in the links. Go Marie GO!

  10. Grannymar Post author

    Blackwatertown – The feet do not peel until the patient is well on the road to recovery. Brother No 2 showed no lack of energy or illness the whole way through.

    Baino – My aunt was a “District Nurse”, both at work and on holiday! She stayed with us several times in any year and we were all submitted to her beady eye for inspection of hand & toe nails, ears and our hair for head lice! Thankfully she never found any of the problems she was looking for. 😀

  11. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – I suppose it was because we were a large family, that we seemed to suffer from the full range of childhood ailments. Thankfully we all survived to tell the tale.

  12. Grannymar Post author

    Rohit – Welcome to the LBC group. I do hope you enjoy playing with us each Friday.

    The scarlet fever episode happened about sixty years ago, long before doctors checked and diagnosed everything by way of blood tests. See my reply to Blackwatertown above, and you will see it was not a misdiagnosis.

    Alice – the problem seems to be at Conrad’s blog. I have been careful to run several scanning programmes on a more regular basis to keep my toes clean.

  13. Grannymar Post author

    Padmini – Guess where I found you this morning? Yes in the spam bucket, and I thought you were a vegetarian! 😉 I am sorry you have such difficulty picking up my blog posts, time for a chat with Admin Elly I think.

  14. Maria

    I think my feet are clean. What a memory of illness and finally a return to health. Poor brother 2 who carried not only the scarlet fever bug, but I am sure was the butt of many a story from then on.

  15. Grannymar Post author

    Maria – We all teased each other endlessly while we were growing up. It sure prepared us for adult life, and gave us many a story to tell.


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