Grit Blogs > Country at Heart

Childhood Illnesses

Country at HeartI always wonder why children get sick, and that's probably because I was one sickly little girl. Seems like every germ, virus, bacteria, or parasite that came along, they apparently saw my poor, frail body as a likely camping site ... and camped, they did.

Now, what ailed me as a child? Just about everything, but these in particular. Tape worms: My mother made some kind of weird concoction with a taste that I can't describe and with ingredients that I have no earthly idea what they were. However, to make a long story short, whatever was eating my food, this medicine finally poisoned them. Thanks, Mom, for the "whatever" medicine.

I have to make a confession here. I'm not sure that I believed that any kind of food-eating worms ever lived in my intestines, but I know that a lot of Southern kids, especially in poor, rural areas were plagued by these parasites. Supposedly, they eat your food and as a result, the child is always hungry and malnourished. Of course, I was always starved anyway, but to say that I believe I had worms, I'm not sure. I do know that I was always sick in my stomach with something, so, perhaps they were tape worms after all.

Then, there were ring worms. Seems like we're in the "worms camp" on this blog. It's a strange-sounding ailment, but they aren't actual worms like fishing worms. They are round patches of white, flaky, irritated skin that form in a round-ring shape on the scalp. Have no idea what causes it, but at one time, my head was full of them. And, again, Doctor Mom made up some kind of scalp salve or perhaps she bought something or used something that she got from Lucky Heart Cosmetics. Wherever she got her "medicine," its continual use eventually cleared up my scalp.

I've already written about winter sickness such as colds and their accompanying nuisances such as sore throats and runny, stuffy noses,

My tonsils got infected more than I'd like to remember. Have no idea why they did, but there was no remedy for that. I just had to live with it until I outgrew it.

health records 

Photo: iStockphoto.com/ScantyNebula

At school, we students took a series of shots. Seems like every time we turned around, our teacher told us that the nurse would be coming on a certain date to vaccinate us. I don't think any of us kids looked forward to that day. I, for one, couldn't figure out why that sweet, old, gentle nurse, Mrs. Turner had to stick us with so many needles, but I guess she knew what she was doing. But even as many times as she stuck us, whatever she stuck us with didn't prevent those yearly winter plagues from visiting our house.

Now, I understand that those shots were for polio, diphtheria, and whatever national or international plagues that were going around