When I was 6 years old, I was hospitalized because of an earache.
It was a very weird experience, and I don’t remember the particulars too well. But I did get a Chatty Cathy out of the deal.
First, it was a small, almost private, hospital, with private rooms.
In the middle of the night, I had to pee.
I started to get out of bed and in doing so broke a glass and cut my foot on the glass.
A nurse came in, yelled at me and told me that I was not allowed to get out of bed.
She was very scary (to 6-year-old me).
I was terrified.
So I bled all over the bed and eventually peed it too.
You can imagine how happy they were with me the next morning.
But at least, I had the self assurance to not feel a bit guilty.
I knew, it wasn’t my fault.
They’re the ones who told me I had to stay in bed.
If I had the vocabulary I do now, I would have said, “Fuck ’em.”
While in the hospital, multiple times a day, I had to have mega doses of penicillin.
In the butt.
At that time, I did not know the secret of how to get a shot painlessly.
So I just bared my butt and gritted my teeth and took my medicine (so’s to speak).
Until just before I was being released, and I decided, it was enough.
No more shots.
The next time they came to give me a shot.
I was not in bed.
I was locked in the bathroom, hiding behind the toilet.
Nothing would persuade me.
They eventually had to take the door off to get me out.
And I still had to get my shot.
And then when I got back to school, my first grade teacher (Miss Dorothy) said she heard I had not been a “good” girl. (The price you pay when your grandmother is best friends with the other first grade teacher (Miss Maynard), who clearly could not keep her mouth shut.)
I explained to her that I was a good girl, but I had simply had enough shots.
Again, if I had had the words they would have been,
Probably just as well I didn’t have those words at that time.
I don’t think Miss Dorothy would have approved.