Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pneumonia as a kid

When I was ten years old, I came down with a really bad case of pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for about five days. I remember the details of it like it was yesterday.

Before I had to be hospitalized, the doctor in my little-bitty home town seemed to think I had a bronchial infection. A course of penicillin injections were administered which hurt a lot and I really hated them.

X-rays confirmed the pneumonia diagnosis so I had to go into the hospital. At first, it wasn’t so bad. I had to breathe pure oxygen from a mask several times a day and it smelled really funny. I was encouraged to drink as many fluids as possible and really enjoyed having the nurses bring big glasses of orange juice whenever I wanted. (We only had Tang at home, not real orange juice.)

Then one day, I was served Hospital Beef Stew for lunch. That wasn’t so bad except that the old man across the hall had obviously been hospitalized with a chronic case of diarrhea. It was impossible to eat the beef stew with the sounds of diarrhetic voidings echoing down the hall. I was really mad that his door had been left open to ruin my lunch.

Then, on the second day, I got really sick. That night, my temperature went up to 106 and I was throwing up constantly. I couldn’t even keep medication down and was going in and out of consciousness. A suppository was prescribed to stop the vomiting.

Anyway, I was in a lot of pain. I remember the nice nurse asking if I wanted the suppository to be administered by her or by my mom. Though barely conscious, I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me? I don't care! Just make me well!”

I lived.

A couple of days after that, I got to go home and my grandmother, Budgie, took really good care of me. (Mom was a working mom). Budgie fed me lots of grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell’s soup. Tomato or chicken-noodle were the choices. I loved her grilled cheese sandwiches. They weren’t your typical things made from pre-sliced Kraft American cheese. She made them with Longhorn cheddar and mayonnaise. Yum.

All the kids in my class made get-well cards which were brought to me by my mom who was a teacher there. I thought it was strange that they were giving me all this attention while I was away, for I was usually ignored by them when I was there.

Hey, why is it that when you have diarrhea, oral medication makes it stop and when you’re vomiting, the remedy goes up the other end?


At 8:10 PM , Blogger Red7Eric said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Campbell's Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.



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