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Sick Days

by Helen Chappell You might have come home from school with a scratchy throat or a runny nose. You might have woken up in the middle of the night running a fever and covered with red spots. You might have had a deep, scary cough that sounded like a whoop. Or you might have lost your lunch all over your third grade classroom, and someone would have to come pick you up from the nurse’s office. On the other hand, you could fake it by holding a thermometer against a light bulb, or complain about a stomachache you really didn’t have. Yes, that happened too. I understand now that kids get vaccinated for measles, mumps and chicken pox, and all the other childhood diseases we suffered with back in the day, and it’s probably a good thing. I recall German measles being pretty serious. I had to sleep in a darkened room and couldn’t do much of anything but lie there in a delirium. I also remember wearing cotton gloves so I wouldn’t scratch myself raw from the itchy sores of chicken pox, and whining because I was so bored being forced to stay in bed and not come downstairs to watch

TV. At that point my mother was so thoroughly sick of me or my brother being invalids, she’d get us dressed and send us off to school just to get rid of us. If we could complain, we must have been well enough to go back to Mrs. Beasley’s boring old classroom that inevitably smelled of wet wool, old books, and that cheap disinfectant that school janitors everywhere used to clean the floors. Usually, by the time cold and fever season rolled around after Christmas, we kids and our teachers were thoroughly sick of each 9

February 2014 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times February 2014

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