How did your family take care of minor injuries? Bandaids and mercurochrome. Ouch.
Did you have home remedies you used? When I was sick with a stomach ache, my dad always came home with a cold bottle of 7Up for me. But, he also made us take Blackberry Balsam as a spring tonic. We all hated it!!!!!
What was the typical way to care for a cold or flu at your house? Vicks Vapo Rub on my chest with a washcloth over it to protect my pajamas. And a horrible horrible cough medicine. It was thick and creamy and tan and tasted like vomit.
Were you pampered when you were sick/hurt or told to buck up and deal with it? Pampered. My mom would let us sleep downstairs in her and Dad’s room so she’d be close in case I needed anything. My sister Patti would go over and borrow books and toys from her best friend Patty Peck next door and read to me. She was the nicest to me when I was sick. Once she went and borrowed their ice crusher so I could have it in my fruit drinks and once she borrowed Patty’s furniture and little dolls for my doll house and I never had to give it back!!!
When you got sick as a kid did you stay home, or did you have to go to school? Stayed home. When I had the measles, my mother made me keep my hands above the covers so I wouldn’t scratch them and create scars, but we had a baby raccoon that she would bathe and powder and put in bed with me to help me pass the time because it had to be dark to protect my eyes, so I couldn’t read or color or do much at all. Zippy turned out to be very entertaining, zipping over the side of the bed, under it, then up the other side, like a race horse. Another additional benefit was that I’d put him under the covers and he would extend his beautiful little black-nailed pointer finger and gently scratch each measle, one after another, for hours at a time. Mother never knew until much later and he did a good job as I only have one pock mark on my leg.
Did a parent stay home with you, or did you fend for yourself? My mother was always at home.
Was a doctor visited when you had a minor injury or illness? Doc Murphy would come see us. He made house calls. I had lots of ear infections–some of them close to mastoids–and since he lived across the alley from us, he’d come see me frequently. Once when he had to give me a penicillin shot in the bottom, he gave me one spank first and asked me which hurt worse. It was to distract my attention from the shot but one of those cases where the cure was worse than the disease!
Did you ever have a major illness or injury growing up? How did it impact your life? Once my mother looked down my throat and saw a big growth. She took me to Doc Murphy and he said they should take me to the Mayo Clinic right away. They put me in the car and we drove there—-a 439 mile journey. I remember being irate because a nurse in the examining room told me, “Here, Honey, pee in this pot!” I was outraged and embarrassed as I had never peed in front of anyone that I could remember. Then the doctor came in, took one look and said, “That’s her uvula!” I passed my exam with flying colors and got a little vacation out of it. We stayed in a guest house with a big screened porch that was sorta high up in the air and I got an activity book that included tongue twisters, one of which I remember to this day: “Betty Boughter bought a bit of bitter butter. “But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter. I can’t put it in my batter, for if I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter, but if I buy some better butter, it will make my batter better!” So Betty Boughter bought a bit of better butter and made her batter better!!!