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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ohhh, You'll Be Fine

My parents did not believe in doctors. The sooner you got over the idea that there would be medical attention, the better – unless, of course, you couldn’t stop the bleeding.

Then we’d see about going to a doctor.

They weren’t ogres, after all.

I’m not sure where they got this idea, that healthcare was optional, but it prevails in me, still. Do you think you can walk on it? Does the affected site appear to be gangrenous? Does it hurt when I do this? You can? It doesn’t? Are you sure?

What in the world are you complaining about, then? Get back to work!

I have a number of theories based on a number of their theories. Of course, that’s all part of the book. Having been sworn to secrecy (by myself) until the damn thing is published, what I can tell you is that you should never admit to having any sort of pain around my father.

He’s not a bad man.

He’s a funny man.

Or so he would have you believe.

“Your throat hurt? Come ‘ere, come ‘ere.”

For cryin’ out loud! Don’t go! He’s going to offer to stomp on your foot.

Why? Oh, you know – so that you’ll forget about the pain in your throat…

He wouldn’t really stomp on your foot – he’s not that kind of guy. But he is the kind of guy that will offer to do it, and sometimes that’s all it takes…

My mother had her own pet theories regarding how to cure illness, one of which centered around the belief that you are never too sick to get up and clean the house.

Bear in mind, of course, that I’m not talking genuine disease (although I do have distant, fevered and perhaps imaginary memories of vacuuming with the mumps). I’m talking about colds, headaches, stomach upset. These kinds of illnesses may keep you from going to school, but they will not dismiss you from helping out around the house, missy.

I mean, you weren’t just planning on laying there, getting better, were you? No, no, no. That’s not what we do! We’re working people, for cryin’ out loud! Get up! You can lay there when you’re dead. For now, we’re going to need some help drying these dishes.

Yes, yes. Don’t get me started on the need to “dry” dishes.

The lessons of our youth carry forward, of course; and while I’m not above calling in “sick” to work (purely for mental-health reasons, you understand),should I ever become truly, honestly sick, you will not find me doing nothing.

Now that I think of it, that’s probably a sickness in and of itself.

Wonder what Dad would say about that…


Hindleyite said...

I told my doctor people keep thinking I'm a cricket umpire. He said "How's that?"

:( Groan

darsden said...

Too funny Pearl, that is why I am still walking with a square knee cap. As long as I can drag a leg or push leg infront of the other there is No need for a doctor. When we got hurt as kids (and now really) we have the ability to laugh it off...cuz thats what we got, unless the blood was spurting in heartbeats, then we only got 3 laughs and a bandaide! Good Times!

Irish Gumbo said...

"Ah, c'mon walk it off! You'll be fine!"

"But dad, I can't move my leg!"

"....Ah, c'mon get up, you'll be fine!"

I think your dad and my dad must have been talking. He also liked to do the "Does that hurt? No? How about this!" and then proceed to give me a pinch or a poke. Smartass.

Of course, the acorn didn't fall too far from the tree...:)

(and I appreciate your concern on the "Zoo Station Blues", thank you! Don't worry, Ima not going to do something stupid!)

mbuna53 said...

Step away from the vacum ma'am. I said STEP AWAY FROM THE VACUM MA'AM. Put down the dust cloth and go lay down. You'll get better sooner if you rest.

I never understood my parents obsesive need to make us kids "dry" the dishes. Put them in the rack and they will dry just fine on their own, thank you very much. I had more important things to do, like going out and playing kick the can.

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

my mother was of the mind frame "if your not running a temp above 102 or bleeding from an un-natural place? your going to school" so get your ass up.

adlibby said...

My parents too! I remember one time I was having a full-blown asthma attack, I'm talking laying on the ground gasping for air like a fish out of water and they wouldn't take me to the ER!

"Honey, just rest. You'll be fine." WTF?! ... and eventually I was. But I always wondered if they were secretly hoping to cash in some life insurance policy and sail away to Key Largo or somewhere.

Under the Influence said...

Man, I would go to school sick before I would stay home and clean the house while sick! At least at school you could lay your head on the desk.

Gyppo Byard said...

The great Tommy Cooper used to do the following gag:
"I went to the doctor, I said 'Doctor - it hurts when I do this [raises arm].' And the doctor said 'Well, don't do that then!'"

Wordver: conswers - the answers to profound questions profferred by fortune-tellers, insurance salesmen and priests.

Sweet Cheeks said...

We never went to the doctor unless absolutely either. My brothers were always injured and got pretty good at taking fish hooks, slivers, etc. out of themselves...horrible now that I think about it.

Pearl said...

Hindleyite, oh, rats. I don't know what that means!!

Darsden, I'm surprised we're still upright. :-) Lousy parents!!

Oh, Irish, you just did a wonderful impersonation of my dad...

mbuna, I HEAR you and yet it doesn't register. It's too late for me, but my son seens less afflicted with the need to keep moving. Gender based? Generational gap? Who knows?

Mouthy Irish, my mother would've let you stay home, but you would've regretted doing so! Who knew that she raked the carpet?!

adlibby, oooh, there's a thought. Never considered the insurance money!

Under the Influence, admit it! You just wanted to see your friends!

Gyppo Byard, my dad said the exact same thing, is that where he got it?! He had a million of 'em... The one I heard most often:
Swimmer: You can't just kick me out of a public pool for that! Everyone pees in the pool!
Life Guard: Sure, but from the high dive?

Pearl said...

Sweet Cheeks, I once saw my mother remove a nail from the bottom of my brother's foot with a needle-nosed pliers. :-)

Ian Lidster said...

In a world of whiners today, I must say I admire the attitude of your parents. But, maybe that's just because I'm getting old.

EskimoBob said...

So no more excuses: Headache shmeadache. I'll be referring husbands and boyfriends to this - you ladies did it to yourself.

Pearl said...

Ian, we don't do whining in my family. Unless it's about someone trying to replace butter with margarine. THAT will not stand.

Eskimo Bob. Shit. I knew I shoulda thought twice before posting that one.

darsden said...

Pearl the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I forgot about 5 years ago I was fishing and caught a bass and myself with a treble hook. The hook went under my finger nail. Did I go to the er Hell No, I stiffen my botton lip by biting it as I yanked the hook out along with my nail..but hey I saved like 500.00 bucks...LOL I no longer fish with those types of hooks.

Douglas said...

Great. I gotta read this about malingering when I am practically on my deathbed with the flu. Sheesh!

My parents had a simple rule. If you could answer whether you were sick, you were well enough to go to school. I was allowed to stay home only once, when I had Scarlet Fever. Trust me, that was no thrill.

I learned, however, once I was in my teens, that you could leave the house and go toward school. You might not actually get there, though. And no one had to know as long as you were good at forging notes.

Daisy said...

My family was totally the opposite - forget vacuuming with mumps (that is CRAZY btw), my mum bathed me in calamine lotion when I had the chicken pocks. Actually put me in a bath full of calamine lotion. Every hour. Yeah, I'm a full on hyperchondriac now.

Michelle said...

My friend told me she once removed stitches from somebodies back because she didn't FEEL like driving all the way to the doctor!!! I'm all like WHAT??? Yeah, just take a scissor, cut and pull!!!!


I've been having bad back pain. I called my runner friend who is a doctor. She said don't worry. It the pain is not getting worse its fine!!!



Jeanne said...

This is weird: I don't remember your being in my family, but you must have been, because we had the same parents. The doctor, the cleaning, the incessant dish-drying. Wait! Are you really my sister Rita, traveling incognito and living is bracing Minnesota while the whole family thinks you're basking in the Florida sun?

The Retired One said...

Are you my long-lost given-up-for-adoption daughter? Because, I did that to my poor girls. The only way they could not go to school for being sick was if they produced body fluids. If I witnessed the body fluids, then, well, maybe...just maybe I would say OK.
(I am a nurse. I know all the tricks, damn it!)
But I never made them clean when they were sick.
Dry the dishes when they were well?
Of COURSE! How else can we use the dish towels that my mom gave ME to dry the dishes when I got married?

And to think now, we don't even want to unload the dishwasher....

BTW, don't even get me started on going to the DENTIST! I grew up as an Air Force brat...those AF dentists never used any novacaine or any painkillers of any kind. Believe me, I NEVER told my parents I had a toothache,because I did NOT want them to take me to the dentist.

Pearl said...

Darsden, I want to go fishing with YOU, girl! Just let me know when you're casting!!

Douglas, say it ain't true! You? Skipping?! My son, btw, had Scarlet Fever between 6th and 7th grade. They took pictures and he's now in a medical book somewhere! Sick as a dog for almost two full weeks. Yuck.

Daisy, I had dreams about stuff like that! Where your mom showed up with a glass of OJ and a comic book... :-)

Michelle, would you believe that me and my boyfriend cut off my cast (broken arm)with a steak knife when I was 22? Wheeee! :-)

Shhhhhhhh! Jeanne! Don't tell Mom!

Retired One, I am still drying my lousy dishes. :-) With towels I embroidered myself! Oooh, that's me: Laura Ingalls! Regarding the Novocaine, I almost always (ALMOST!) turn it down. I can't stand being numb. I am so grateful for the GAS now. :-) Love the Gas...

darsden said...

Com'on down Pearl. Frick it is 81 degrees today. Yep, you guessed it shorts and a/c day. Good day to catch some bass and throw them back...yep, I am a catch an release girl :-) Is that why I am still single...hummm!?!

La Belette Rouge said...

My dad was a Christian Scientist for about 15 minutes and forever after that he was convinced all illnesses were not worthy of medical attention but he never bothered with prayer or any spiritual interventions. He just advised sleeping it off. I broke my ankle and he suggested I needed a nap and not a visit to the ER. He eventually took me.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I just have an inbuilt reluctance to go to the doctor's come wait may. A typical consultation starts:

Me: "Hello Doctor"
Doctor: "It's about time I saw you. What can I do for you today?"

and at some point will include:

Doctor: "Are you still in that damned job?"
Me: "Yes"
Doctor: "I'm not surprised you're ill then."

Sandi said...

We were in the middle of nowhere in the motorhome, I was eleven and had just went off the back of my ATV. according to my mother....I was not conscious, my eyes were moving independent of each other and I began to puke up blood.

My father insisted I was fine, I just had a headache and the blood I was puking was pomegranate seeds, I had eaten the day before. He fired up the motorcycles and off he went.

Well thank God I have a mom, she pestered him for the rest of the day, and finally when I spit fresh blood after puking he took me to the hospital. I was there for a week in the ICU.

This may explain a lot of my behavior in the past twenty some odd years. Brain damaged and left to die in the middle of nowhere .....

My dad is still the same way, He didn't learn a lesson.
"walk it off."
"take some Motrin."

The scary thing is I find myself uttering the same words....

Not The Rockefellers said...

My Mom thought putting Ben-Gay on whatever ailed ya would just make it all better.

Sadly, not hemorhoids as Grandpa found out.

I think he still holds the Sr. Worlds REcord for the 100 yd dash.

Good Times.

Peace - Rene

word verif - shogie

a sharp boogie. One of the crystalized ones.

fingers said...

Yeah same with my Dad.
If I told him, 'It hurts when I do this,' he'd just say 'Well don't do it then...'

SUEB0B said...

My family was the "only a flesh wound" kind of place, too. So when I met my exBF, who went to the doctor for antibiotics for every cold, I was baffled. He actually got MAD at me for not offering to drive him to the doc when he had a cold. Oh, please.

Braja said...

Don't tell me you dry dishes....

Maryx8815 said...

That sounds like my grandfather!!!!!!! Okay so I grew up in my grandparents' house. But jeeeeezzzzzz.... sounds exactly like him. When I was a little girl, and I hurt something or I didn't feel good, he'd tell me - Ohhh let chop off your toe and you won't know about that pain - or he'd say something like - ohhh it's okay we'll go buy you a new one at PEP Stores - and that would make me so mad I usually forgot about my aches and pains.

Still love him so much though!!
He taught me so much in my short life!

That Baldy Fella said...

Must be a dad thing. Mine once chopped off the top of his finger while DIY-ing and stuck it back on with sellotape. His standard motto is, "S'alright, be alright."

Mrs Pouncer said...

I am a doctor's daughter, which means I never received any medical attention whatsoever, and once infected the whole class with impetigo. My father suffered from appalling hypochondria, and his patients' symptoms would often take on a ghastly mobility, causing him chest pains, breathing difficulties, vertigo, etc etc in the course of a single morning. I often think it would've been nicer to have had an accountant or insurance salesman as a father, but I would've missed the Codeine.

Christine said...

Ah, just this morning Punkette was complaining about the seam at the end of her sleeves. I offered to put a scarf on her. "How would that help?!?" she protested. "Then I'd be complaining about the scarf!!!"

"Exactly" I retorted. "Then when we get to school, you can take off the scarf and you'll have forgotten all about the sleeves."

ps...I said you have a fabulous blog the other day... there's a badge and everything.

Susan said...

Tape an aspirin to it!

Pearl said...

Darsden, catch and release. :-) Did that a bit myself as a young 'un!

La Belette, ah, the Christian Scientists. Your ankle was in "error".

Kevin, my job gives my anxiety and hangovers, usually in that order. Is it too late to go back to subsistance farming?

Sandi, that's awful! Sounds like an ex of mine, whose mother stopped at the grocery store while he laid in the backseat with a leg broken in two places! Yikes...

Rene, good ol' Grandpa!!! (My mother believed in the Steaming Hot Washrag...)

fingers, you gotta admit your dad's got a point...

Sueb0b, I've known people like that, whose lives come to a screeching halt when they have a cold. I'm baffled by it.

Braja, would you think less of me if I hinted that I've been known to dry a dish or two? :-) Actually, I do only if I need the room so I can wash MORE dishes... They've got these new things called "dishwashers" that all the kids are talking about, so I'm thinking looking it up on the interwebs. Not that I'd have the space for it, but it's nice to stay on top of technology.

Maryx8815, I think it's really amusing the Grandpa offered to replace whatever hurt by going to a automotive parts store. :-) He sounds like fun!

That Baldy Fella, my dad was fond of muttering, "rectum? damn near killed 'im!" I've never understood what he meant by that.

Mrs. Pouncer, my father was a salesman for Pall Mall, and so while we were sorely lacking in Codeine, there were always plenty of cigarettes.

Christine, excellent example of re-direction! Good job!

Pearl said...

Susan, that's a great idea, especially in this economy!

The Logistician said...

"My parents did not believe in doctors" is a great opening line. I saw your site linked to Douglas' Boomer Musings, and since he spends lots of time on my site, I thought that I would check out his audience. Funny stuff, and entertaining. By the way, Minneapolis is a great town. I was once there with my girlfriend from the area, and we stayed at that classic old hotel downtown overlooking the river, and watched 4th of July fireworks.