The following is a re-write of some memories I published about five years ago. A young mother confessed she stewed about whether she should get her two kids vaccinated. She told me this story convinced her to get the vaccinations. I hope I change a few more minds today.
When I was a little girl, I got sick a lot: headaches, colds & flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, lots of upset stomachs. Of course, just about anything, except headaches went through the whole family. Looking back, I’m sure even the headaches more than likely spread to at least one other person.
I was almost always itchy. Sometimes Mom taped Popsicle sticks to the inside of my arms, to keep me from scratching. Julie and Johnnie were all itchy, too, because of allergies. Dr. Regan didn’t believe in allergies, when I was little, he said I just had Noxzema and a runny nose and just needed my tonsils out. That’s why Mom sewed pockets on all my clothes; before I left the house, she said, “Do you have your Kleenex?” I never left home without a pocket full of Kleenex, each one folded in quarters.
One time I got super sick over at Uncle Frank’s house. When I breathed in, I was sure my insides looked the same as when somebody sucked in instead of blowing out on a balloon. I just layed down in the way-back of the station wagon, all the way home, no talking or singing, just trying to breathe tiny breaths, so it would hurt less. Mom took me to see Dr. Regan.
“See,” she said. “This is the way she gets sometimes. I think she has asthma.” Mom had the same look on her face when she was thumping her finger on a newspaper showing Dad something in the Sunday newspaper. Dr. Regan Continue reading