Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Mary, my mother
Maybe it is because I had an illness as a child that I clung to my mother. She was over-protective of me. She was a good mother. I think I was a spoiled child. I am extremely grateful for my mother but at the same time I see that she made it difficult for me to become a mature adult. How complex human relationships and experiences can be.
When I was two years old my father was supposed to be watching me while my mother went to have her hair done. He took a nap on the couch. I was playing with the big ringer washing machine, moving it around on its wheels when I pulled it backwards and fell down the basement my father had been excavating in our house. The machine came down on top of me. I had bruised bones but no broken ones. Subsequently I developed osteomyelitis, a disease of the bone. Abcesses would form on my bones in my left arm and on my right hip. My mother said she took me to every doctor in Salt Lake City trying to find what to do for me. One doctor said he needed to amputate my left arm. I'm glad she didn't decide to go to him. She found a doctor who said he would treat the abcesses as they formed by lancing them and letting them drain, the most conservative treatment. That was Dr. Osmond and I went to him for many years from the time I was two until I was 15. That was when antibiotics were being used and they were a boon to me. I was not sick all the time only for a few months out of a year. I was able to go to school and keep up most of the time but when I did have a flare up of infection I was in bed and in pain for weeks. I have felt intensely how difficult it was for my family to deal with an ill child. This was during the depression. My father needed to earn a living. My brother was four years older than I was. It was a time of struggle. My little sister came along when I was seven years old. My condition affected all of us.
I am especially glad for our extended caring family of relatives. We had very good aunties.