Exposure can happen to anyone, but tends to cast a spotlight on me (and anyone within my proximity) on a regularly scheduled basis. The posts in this chapter show various forms of exposure from mild to well-done.
Below is an explanation of how I started out:
Complications accompanied my unveiling due to being RH-negative while Mom was RH-positive. Dr. Rhodes announced he doubted Mom and I would make it; he’d do his best to save Mom. He did a good job since we both survived.
At eighteen months, I weighed eighteen pounds, and I wasn’t short or premature. Extreme skinniness plagued me until my mid-forties when I plumped up to just thin. I’m now well past the just thin point.
David appeared a year-and-a-half after my grand entrance; a welcome relief. His mellowness and my outgoing manner conspired to make me look like a bad seed. While not his fault, I’m not taking the blame, either.
Shortly before I turned four, I was bedridden for six weeks. Dr. Canaday said I had rheumatic fever. Dr. McCann said I had spinal meningitis. Mom thought it was a mild case of polio because I limped slightly that summer. If I didn’t shake, I screamed. When my head was raised, my stiff body was like a board and didn’t bend. The same held true when my feet were raised.
Don’t worry, I got well. This was God’s way of preparing my parents for what lay in store. Not that I remained sickly, but I sort of became more of a trial than a tribulation.
My earliest memory (almost four years old) is lying on my Bochi’s sofa in her television room, covered in blankets. This was during my six weeks of bed incarceration. Dad and Mom’s whispers floated in from the kitchen. I knew what they were up to.
I hid under a blanket and burrowed my face into the back of the sofa. Dad held my head and arms while Mom crammed a second teaspoon of medicine through my clenched teeth. The first dose coated the side of my face.
In the spring, I rested outside on Bochi’s glider with a blanket covering my legs. Noisy school kids poured out from Margaret Murphy down the block. Occasionally, a cluster glanced up at me on the porch. I didn’t want them to know I was deficient, so I threw off my blanket as fast as Mom or Bochi replaced it.
I never sat on the sidelines again, though many times it became clear I should.
Now it’s your turn: What is one of your earliest memories?
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