February 26, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 9): Darn Those Measles and other Childhood Illnesses!

Welcome to Week 9 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. This is our third year writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, you can take a peek at the last two years' of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of the blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are just a guide to help if you are stuck.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home.

I've always had health issues and a recent flare-up of a chronic condition got me thinking about all the childhood illnesses I had. I'm sure many of you suffered from the same things - measles, chicken pox....

What childhood illnesses do you remember having as a kid? What about your parents or grandparents? Did they ever share stories of any childhood diseases that our lucky children never had due to vaccinations?

I do remember getting measles. I woke up one morning covered with red bumps on my chest. I was about 7 years old and thought I was getting breasts like my older sister! She called them her boobs and I was pretty excited about having my own until my mother took a look and sighed, saying "You've got the measles" I was pretty disappointed.

Chicken pox also struck our house and I vaguely recall being sick and feeling horrible for a few days.

There was a big polio scare when I was about 8 or 9 and all the swimming pools were closed. Lots of public outings were discouraged, such as going to the movies where there were crowds.

A year later all the schools had their students line up to eat a sugar cube with something on it. We were told by the doctors and nurses giving these out that this would protect us from polio. That was when the polio vaccine was first developed and I think it was live vaccine drops on the sugar cubes that we were given. Later we got injections of the vaccine.

Those are the only big diseases I remember (not counting the migraines I began experiencing at age 10) My Grandmother told me she had rickets as a child. We don't hear much about such diseases any more.

My oldest son had whooping cough as a four year old and was in hospital for several days. He and many other four year olds in our small town all developed whooping cough that same year and word got around that it was from bad vaccine given when they were all babies. True? I don't know.


Shirley Bragg said...

What a good idea to document these out of interest to coming generations if nothing else. Must ask mom what she can remember. Never thought to ever ask her! Thanks for the idea. I can't wait to talk to her on our weekly chat. :)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I think I'll have to get organised and write on this memory -you're right, luckily these days kids are largely immunised against them. I was interested in your migraines at 10 as mine were similar.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Pauleen - yes, who knows how long I'd be experiencing migraines before then - I just remember them from that age on. Horrible things - by the time I was late teens, early 20s I was getting them 3 or 4 times a week.

They didn't taper off and become manageable until many decades later.I hope yours are not too bad!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Welcome Shirley! You will probably learn lots of new things from your mom. I've started recording my 87 yr old aunt's stories - and she tells me things about my mom and grandparents I never knew.

I hope you will join us and begin documenting your own family memories.


Helen Spencer said...

I remember the sugar cubes! I also recall my brother had Mumps very young. At school (in the UK) our left arms were out of action for a week after we lined up for one of those teen mammoth multiple needles-in-one vaccinations. The further down the alphabet you were, the longer you had to wait and more nervous you got!