Who has never had the flu? No one that I know of. All the hyped-up remedies and prescriptions they have us taking now is for the birds, there are too many to count. How many of you took the flu shot this year? I did and have for years. I have been fortunate during my almost sixty years to be afflicted with little sickness. But if the flu “this” year counts, I thought I was a goner. Mine started out as just a whisper of a cough and a slight heaviness in my chest, nothing to give me a clue about what I was to encounter in a few more days. I know I called on Jesus to take me home at least three times a couple of weeks ago when I had it. I don’t think I hurt as bad as I did for those three painful days in my life. It felt as if someone was pulling me apart, slowly had they attached my ankles and wrist to pullies and began pulling slowly. The pain started as deep, uncomfortable, but bearable. After a day or two, it was as if every joint in my body was screaming and the fever was unreal, 103.4 on the worst day. Too late for the docs to do anything about it. I could not get warm, even with a heated blanket and blankets atop of that. The residual days were bearable, but still took about two weeks to feel half-way human. I said all this because when I was a kid, we got smeared from head to toe with Vick’s Vaporub when the first cough of the season started. I can still feel the mini-moms rubbing Vick’s all over my chest, and my back, just to have mom come along and stick globs of it up our nose in our mouths and rub our feet with it at night when we went to bed. Covering our heads with towels over boiling water to breathe in the steam. I guess the vaporizer is a great invention, especially since one can add the Vicks to that as well. Other medication in the cabinet was that nasty, black draught syrup, God help us all if anyone was constipated. When Spring time, it didn’t matter, if you had them, knew what they were, how you got them or not, you got pin worm medicine. Daddy made sure of that every year, which reminds me of a time when little sister Cindy came in the house with purple slobber all around her mouth. Mom and Dad where frantic trying to figure out what she had gotten in to. When finally, little brother Randy told dad she had been in his car and had gotten the worm pills out of the car pocket. I guess she thought they were sweet, none the less, she lived through it. Mom always had a bottle of Bayer, baby aspirins in the cabinet. They were orange and we liked them, sometimes just for the heck of it because they were sweet. My dad didn’t believe in going to the doctor, one would have to be almost dead to go. Anyway, this story is gross, just so you know. One of my uncles used to keep some of his pigs on our farm. Since we lived out there, we usually took care of them for him. One afternoon, Buddy and I were feeding my uncles hogs. He had a small barn with his feed stored there. To have known us back then, we were always barefooted. Anyway, I step in the little barn to grab a bucket to start feeding when I stepped on a double-edged axe. My left foot was sliced wide open, I can see the blood running everywhere. There is no telling what that old axe had on it to get an infection from, but that’s not the half of it. There was an old tin cattle trough used to water the pigs. Inside it was mossy, pretty much green and probably had wiggle tails in it (baby mosquitoes), which were probably the least of my worries. Buddy runs over, helps me to that old trough, sticks my bloody foot in that gross, probably stagnated water and began to remove the blood. I remember he took off his shirt, wrapped my foot with it and helped me hobble back to the house. It was about a quarter of a mile from the house. I get home and my mother is livid. I was afraid to see her, because I knew what the remedy for that was. She took me outside, washed it out with the water hose, it was still bleeding profusely. After rinsing and rinsing, here comes the bottle of rubbing alcohol, talk about anticipating the worse, it was! Mom packed it the best she could and wrapped it real tight, blood was still trying to come through the home-made bandage. Not long after the incident, dad is home from work and mom tells him that she thinks I need to go and have some stitches put in my foot. Dad takes me outside and Oh My GOD! He takes out the packing and shoves my foot into the sand. “Now it will stop bleeding”. Of course, after a while, it did stop bleeding. I can look on the bottom of my left foot and still sport a tightened scar, one that I can still feel when I walk because of the way it healed. I guess I was one prone to accidents, because I was the one that always seemed to test the fate of Tetanus. Again, probably that summer, I was climbing over a wooden fence inside one of the pig pins “of course a nasty pig pin” and a nail that was sticking straight through on the other side of the board, tore a whole in my left inner thigh, I still sport a widened scar there too. This isn’t to mention the time when I was four years old, I was climbing on top of the cabinet to get a glass to get a drink of water, when I slip into the sink with that glass in my hand, breaking it and slicing my right hand to the bone. Sliced badly enough that mom ran me from the house where we lived to the clinic. I can still feel her holding me tight and feel the jog as she is running. I can still hear her heavy breathing and out of breath talk she is giving to Dr. Pate. Today, and for the last 55 years the right side of my right hand is paralyzed with the inability to even bend my right pinky finger. I guess that could be a good thing since I’m 48% British, and none would be the wiser if I liked to drink tea from a cup. LOL….. Sometimes, I wish it had been removed, but oh well, it’s just a reminder of youth now and occasionally continues to poke me in the eye when I’m combing my hair. To end this blog on a somewhat funnier note, for you all, not for me, especially at the time. My dad used to raise game chickens (fighting roosters), illegal today and probably was then too. Anyway, I was to go gather eggs in this hen house, separate from the regular chickens. Now, here’s the fun part for y’all. I come running out of the hen-house as fast as I went in, for one of the fighting roosters has decided I am his target for a fight. I wish I could have this on film as it is in my mind. This rooster is on top of my head, flogging the begeebies out of my forehead, blood running down my face, into my eyes when thankfully, along comes Buddy, seemingly my savior in misadventure. I am running, and this darn chicken is on my head. Buddy is trying to knock it off of my head with a stick. Can you even imagine? This must have made for some great comic relief somewhere, but of course I bear the scars from that as well, right in the middle of my forehead. I lived, the rooster lived, and I can still see Buddy today with a stick chasing me with a rooster on my head. I guess it’s a wonder I lived to be grown.
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