Sis and I were never taken to the Doctor for any illness’s…chronic or otherwise. I suppose we had received all our vaccination shots right after being adopted from Korea. We got the standard immunizations before starting grade school. If we got sick or injured, we were pretty much on our own.
From about the age of 8, I started to get bloody noses frequently. I could always feel it coming on with a warmth deep in my nose and the trickle soon turned into heavy bleeding until a huge clot would come out and it would stop right after the clot let loose. One day it happened during lunch time in the school cafeteria. I was eating a roll and my nose started to bleed and all the other kids would yell “Oooh! gross!” I’d hold my nose and if I couldn’t get a tissue right away, the clot would fall out into my hand and through my finger tips. This always grossed the other kids out more. It got really bad over the next several years where my nose would bleed on a daily basis. I guess it never occurred to Mom that this might have been abnormal and that it should get looked at. She would take me into the bathroom and have me bend over the sink and whack the back of my neck with a karate chop. This must have been some weird old Japanese wives tales or something because it never worked. Maybe she just got pleasure out of whacking me on the head. Now I had a bloody nose AND a headache.
One summer while my parents were on a trip to Europe, my sister and I stayed with our neighbors across the street. Aunt “C” was a radiology technician and had some medical background so by the third day when my nose had bled up to 4 times a day, she finally took me to her family Doctor and I was sent to an ENT specialist. The weak vessel in my nose was cauterized and I was given antibiotics for the bad infection that had been brewing deep into my sinuses.
I was terrified of telling my Mom that I had gone to the Dr. and had received treatment for it. I was sure she would yell at me. Surprisingly, all she said was that I was a “trouble maker” for causing such an inconvenience to Aunt C. To this day, I’m not sure if Aunt C had given the medical bill to my parents. I suspect the bill was paid by Aunt C. I only think this because if my parents got the bill, I would have gotten into a lot more trouble.
One weekend, sis and I were playing outside and as my sis was monkeying around, she stepped onto an old heart shaped plastic chocolate box and cut her big toe real bad. I remember her being in pain and ran to the window and told Mom that she had cut her foot. Mom responded with, “What do you want ME to do about it?!” I helped sis as much as an 8 year old could. We wrapped it up with some old rag swatches that we found in the tool shed. Her toe really needed stitches but that was not going to happen. Luckily, sis was a quick healer and we just “sucked it up”. All our injuries were nursed by ourselves.
Another time was when I got hurt badly when I was walking along a rock wall trying to chase the neighbor’s little chihuahua. I fell off the 6 foot wall and scraped my left shin down to the bone and my right thigh had the skin taken off from mid thigh down to the top of my knee. I lay there on the ground holding my leg and rocking back and forth until the pain subsided. I don’t think it even dawned on me to tell my Mom about it. I went into the shower and washed all the gravel out of the wound and held a washcloth between my teeth while I tried to hold back the screaming from the pain. I cleaned it as much as it could with soap and water. The wound wasn’t closed with stitches, it healed open and left a big scar to this day.
I think because of the lack of “healing kisses to help the booboo’s” growing up, sis and I learned how to be loving towards our children and kissed every hurt/injury they received.
If anything, the negative experiences that I have had growing up has shown me how “not to be” towards my children.