7 thoughts on ““Mom Just Slipped”

  1. Something like lack of breath. Her Quack-Doctor, the one who prescribed valiums in the 5- 10- and 15-mg amounts – so, J, he kept asking me if the tranquilizers he prescribed for me while you were in Vietnam lying about being in The Rear and safe, and when I said not really, Doctor. He just upped the amount – I poured the mothers’ little helpers down the loo and flushed. Rather liked the European water closet…the rattle of water cascading down the pipe rather charming I thought. The hole with the footprings between not so much…but that was Toulon, and getting French Foreign Legion recruits to dump between the lines difficult enough. I always carried American toilet paper in my camera bag when ashore in Mediterranean countries. Too few banana leaves. Back to mom: when the Quack finally convinced her her blood gas numbers were too far off norm – infantile paralysis and resulting scoliosis had pushed her spine into her lungs since forever, and she always was short of breath when chasing one of her miscreants about the house threatening dires and all, both Dad and I concurred and off she went to the hospital where she caught pneumonia. To this day I am pretty sure doctors and hospitals are places relatively healthy people go to get the ration of deadly germs and viruses. But that’s just Uncle Lud telling me to Sit Tight.

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    • No Body, especially The Ill, want sick people around them.
      Even if sick and ill are (and they are not!) synonymous. I have nothing but admiration for those who work the wards and ride the ambulances. For U. S. Navy Hospital Corpsman who passed Fleet Marine Force (FMF) med school – and they do enroll the occasional Marine, I expand my admiration past counting. My favorite “Doc” made me promise to kill anyone who would try to dress him in a Navy uniform at his funeral: “I will be buried a Marine!” he asserted. Thank God he lives still and I do not have to fulfill, yet, that grisly promise. He crawled through 200 meters of mortars, artillery and machinegun fire – going both ways – to get to my position and tend my several wounds. And then he lent me his beautiful – and oh, so mean – bride as my Jacksonville (Fla.) U.S. Naval Hospital surgery ward head nurse. She never tried to wake me in my semi-private (yet never did acquire a second patient in those six months) room but kicked “The rack,” or twitsed a big toe to get my attention. Yes: those who fight for the living in a place of healing have my highest accolades. The nurse who lodged her hypodermic needle in my triceps muscle at US Naval Air Station, Sanford (Fla.) when I was a kid gets a free pass: but from then on only Corpsmen could “stick” me. Last time ever I looked at the injection site, though.

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