Monday, July 27, 2015

Why My Mom Sent Me To The Vet In Yerington

Why My Mom Sent Me To The Vet In Yerington

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, 1956 and 1957 were not my best childhood years. In 1956, at age 8, I came down with rheumatic fever and was on total bed rest for a whole year.  When I returned to school the next year, I was required to lay down in the nurse’s office at all recesses for the first six months of the fourth grade. I could see all the children playing on the playground and longed to join them.  When I was finally released to go to recesses, I went absolutely crazy.  I  rejoiced on every piece of playground equipment, until one faithful day when the EVENT happened.  I had waited in line impatiently to have my turn on the slide.  When I reached the top, I determined that I was not going to go down the same old boring way.  No, I was going to hang both my legs over the sides of the slide.  That was fun and different and I was well pleased, until about halfway down one my chubby little legs hit a big round bolt.  It snagged my leg and ripped a ten inch gash in my calf.  When I reached the bottom, I looked down and saw this open wound did not have too much blood but lots of tissue and fat bulging out of it.  I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want the kids to call me baby, so instead I hobbled off the the nurse’s office just as the bell was ringing.

When I arrived at the nurse’s office, before I could even say a thing, the nurse snapped at me, “Why aren’t you in class?”  I couldn’t say anything, so I just pointed to my leg.  “Oh, my God, how did you do that?”  After hearing my explanation and examining my leg, she called my mother to come pick me up.  

My mother immediately came and got me and drove me straight to the hospital where she worked (not my favorite place after a year of illness).  She took me straight to the operating room and set me on the surgery table.  She then left for a season, and when she returned she was wearing a surgical apron and gloves and was accompanied by two other nurses. At this point, she announced to me that there were no doctors available right then, as they were both out of town, so she was going to sew me up.  Total fear seized me.  It was not fear of her sewing me up, as she was a surgical nurse, but the very thought of needles was the most frightening thing in the world.  I had prefered she throw me in a pit of rattlesnakes as to approach me with the dreaded NEEDLE.

To make things worse, she informed me that she was afraid to give me anything for pain, because I had been ill and she was not sure how I might react to it.  Thus the reason for the two nurses--to hold me down.  This was a very, very bad day.  Fourteen stitches latter, I was wore out with pain and frustration, and exhausted from fighting the nurses. I was so angry with my mother, the nurses, and that stupid slide.  My mother gave me a pair of crutches and then announced, she would drive me back to school.  Did I mention that this was a very, very bad day?  “What!  What!  Did I hear her right?”  This was more than I could bear.  I threw a hissy fit.  She finally,relented and agreed to have me lay down in the nurse’s lounge until she got off work.

And so the saga continues…….

I do not know how long I had the stitches in my leg.  To me it seemed like a lifetime.  But the fateful day arrived to have them removed.  Problem was that the doctors were once again out of town and unavailable, but worse so was my mother.  She was at a hospital association convention.  So she calls me and announces, “Chere, it is time to have your stitches removed.  I have made arrangements with Dr.------ (I can’t remember his name) at the veterinary hospital on Main Street.  He will be expecting you tomorrow after school.  So go right there and don’t lollygaggle.”  I tried to protest but to no avail.

The next day, I dreaded the vet visit all day.  And I talked to myself a lot, “Who ever heard of sending a person to a vet?  Does she think I’m a dog?  Does he even know who to treat humans?  I’ll probably leave with fleas!”  I was so ashamed, I did not want my classmates to know where I was going.  In rebellion, I did lollygaggle.  I was hoping he’d be closed when I got there. No such luck.  He was eagerly awaiting me.  He was pleasant enough, but the whole time had a little smirk on face, like he was quite amused at this event.  He sat me on one of the examining tables. He gloved up and pulled out a pair of scissors and a pair of tweezers.  Rythmatical he pull the stitch up, snippid the stitch, and pulled it out.  “How many stitches do you have?” he inquired.  “Fourteen, four inside and ten outside.” I answered.  “The four inside will dissolve on their own,” he informed me.  “Help me count.  We’ll take out the ten outside ones.”  The tug of each stitch coming out didn’t seem so bad.  I think he had me count to distract me a little.  I rather like this vet.  But I still wasn’t going to let my siblings or classmates know I was treated by the vet.  Not until today, that is.

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