Dad never worried about transporting his kids in the back of his pickup truck until I went flying through the air one day.I landed face first and smashed my mouth. I was five and my permanent teeth were on their way through my gums, recently vacated by baby teeth.
My childhood ended that day and years of torment at the hands of dentists became my lifelong experience. Two things reminded me of this lately, one being the panoramic X-ray of my mouth during a recent dental visit, the other being the MRI I had yesterday.
The X-ray showed all my root canals, caps, crowns and fillings as well as the permanent bridge that the anesthesiologist is careful to note before they knock me out.
The MRI showed a tear in the tendon in my right shoulder. I fell again three days ago, landing on my right arm. I’ve had the pain in my shoulder, for over a year, but falling down doesn’t help.
My osteopathic surgeon, who has been patching me up for some time (you must have a hell of a garden he tells me) thinks I will improve with PT, so, this morning when I was at the hospital to have blood drawn for my physical, I signed up for several sessions.
Next week, when I have my physical exam, I will discuss my penchant for falling down with my GP. However, I’ve been falling down all my life, often landing on my right arm or very hard head.
The second thing that happened to me when I was five was a poor old dog chained up in GA summer heat, attacked me when I tried to pet him. The attack was followed by a series of rabies shots. (The neighbors disposed of him before the authorities could test him for rabies.)
The third, fourth and fifth things were tonsilitis, appendicitis, measles (both kinds), mumps, and several episodes of pneumonia.
Most of the ailments I experienced as a child have been eradicated or ameliorated, at least by sensible parents, who following rules and regulations put in place by caring and educated people, learned to use child restraints in automobiles, have their children inoculated, follow traffic safety laws, and demand communities enforce dog licensing with requisite shots for rabies.
When I was younger there were fewer laws, and/or lax enforcement. However, poisonous air and water including DDT in food, lead in paint and auto emission pipes, arsenic in water, and asbestos in the air, were the norm.
My parents cared about their children, but adults were more ignorant before the 1960s. I thought we had made progress overcoming ignorance, so what happened?