Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What illnesses do you remember from your childhood?

What illnesses do you remember from your childhood?

My parents kept a very nice record of my medical history through the early years of my life, so I have a great source to use in researching those childhood illnesses I do not remember. As I got older, the record-keeping fell by the wayside, but there were a few illnesses and injuries that stick out in my mind.

One particular fall, I was sick with bronchitis or the flu or something that kept me in bed. I remember being very sad about it because it was Halloween and I was not allowed to go trick-or-treating.

I also remember one year, probably in the summer, when I had an ear infection and my Aunt Susie had to put drops or something in my ear. I know she was doing the right thing but it was NOT something I enjoyed. Felt totally weird and I remember jumping like she had given me a shot.

But the one that sticks out the most in my mind is the day I wrecked my bicycle. The neighborhood I grew up in has a road that made a big loop, so I would often ride my bike around the loop. One end of the loop had a small hill that you could coast down (or pedal hard to go faster). The loop had a slight curve and was within sight of my house (just over a tenth of a mile away). Well, being the adventurous boy I was, I decided it was a perfect spot to try riding a bike with one hand.

Needless to say, it did not work out very well. I remember trying to pedal, go down the hill, and turn, all with one hand on the handle bar. I must have over-compensated for the curve because the wheel went wobbly and I went over the handle bar. My Dad said he heard me scream and came to get me. I do not remember much about the accident or the events immediately after, but I apparently lost consciousness at the time of impact.

I do remember me getting patched up in my bedroom. I had a patch of road rash on my shoulder and probably a scraped knee or two, but I remember my Dad constantly checking on me to make sure I was not going to sleep. I am sure I had a concussion, but no bones were broken and I only had bruises and scrapes to deal with.

I did eventually learn to ride a bike with one hand, but it took me a few years to get over that wreck. And to this day, when I feel brave enough to try, I have a hard time trying to ride with no hands.

While I had no broken bones during my bicycle accident, my son did manage to break his leg during a recent trip down a slide. He has healed nicely and shows no signs of any lasting damage beyond hesitating to go down slides.

- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

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