inspired by the tales of "life in the old days" my dad told while a FOM joined us for dinner last night, i found myself sitting at the dinner table with mum tonight, and thought i'd ask something conversational rather than focus on my food or other matters like i usually do. so i asked her if she misses her childhood, and instead she ends up asking, and telling me a bit about mine, of which i have but sketchy memories.
mum talked a fair bit about a time when i was seriously ill and spent a few weeks in hospital with a constant fever. apparently the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. meanwhile i wasted away on a drip diet. it might have been some sort of liver condition, and supposedly i had some samples taken from my bone or marrow for testing as well. "was it a spinal tap??" i asked incredulously, horrified at the pain that must have involved (and making a rather non-medically informed association between that term/procedure and the image of someone sticking a needle into the back of a small child). mum wasn't sure what exactly was involved, but it sounded pretty serious anyway.
i asked her if she was scared that i would die. she said that our local doctor, who actually lived in the bigger city where i was hospitalised, would visit on his way home every day to look in on me. and he wouldn't dare say anything -- she thinks because the hospital staff had no idea why i was sick, and thus no hope that i would get better. i was discharged after a few weeks (not sure why), barely able to walk when i got home, and eventually i got better (again, not sure why).
i only really have one image of me being in hospital at that time, and there's not much pain or suffering associated with that image. she says it's good that i don't remember. the other thing she said which kinda struck me was that usually when kids have fevers that high for so long, there's a real risk of brain damage. but i've turned out to be, in the words of yogi, smarter than the average bear (that's my paraphrase of what mum said :p).
with that last comment, she left the table to attend to housework, and me to sit and soak it all in.