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Archive for September 8th, 2014

Mondays with Melitas – September 8, 2014

WHAT THE DOCTORS PRESCRIBED                                     SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

 

Once upon a time I was 12 years old, and it was summer, and of course I was in San Juan Capistrano spending the time with Aunt Mae and Titán. My little sis, Vivian, was not there because I would spend so much of the summer there, and remember, she was Momma’s girl, and she’d stay home in Fullerton to keep Mom from getting lonely.

 

Several days a week Aunt Mae would drop me off at Doheny Park Beach where I would spend the time stretched out on the sand gathering some rays, and then I would get into the surf to ride the waves — no surf board, it was body surfing. The basic thing. Well, you didn’t need to be hauling a surf board around, and in that era they were mighty gigantic. Duke Kahanamoku, the great Hawaiian swimmer and hero in the 1928 Olympics, rode surf boards 15-20 feet long. OMG there’s another story. I can’t allow any more of it to creep in.

 

By the way, I have a faithful reader, who thinks I write some tall tales, and she does not quite believe them — she has even asked if I don’t make up a lot of this stuff, and I have to assure her that if it is in my story, it’s the truth; and JOAN, again — this is a true story. Believe me!

 

With the question of my veracity out of the way, we’ll get back to the beach. I was going to describe “body surfing,” but maybe another time for that. Do you see why I have such a time staying on the straight and narrow story when all these memories spring out at me and take my mind off the beaten path?

 

One morning I woke up with an horrendous pain in my right ear, so Aunt Mae had Doctor E. there in a matter of minutes. She could not stand to see her “Queenie” (her nickname for me — which I have never revealed until this very moment) suffer. The Doctor poked around, and then brought out this enormous needle, then proceeded to put it into my ear and puncture the ear drum. Oh, joy!

She was not about to go along with the small town quack, and wait for me to be pain free, and she saw that I was not doing too good, so she bundled me up, and off we raced to see the specialist, Dr. Currie over in Santa Ana.

 

Dr. Currie took one look, and said, “Mae, get back into your car right now, and take Melitas over to Saint Joseph’s Hospital. I will meet you there. We have a serious problem. She has a mastoid infection, which may call for immediate surgery.” Little did I know about all this. I was suffering, I was in a daze so getting into the hospital, being examined, then to a room (private) was all a blur. They told me later that not once did “Queenie” cry. Now that’s what I call a “little trouper.” Well, JOAN, maybe there were a few whimpers.

 

No operation. Dr.Currie would be there first thing the next morning. In the meantime, I was being monitored frequently, and I was so fortunate to find an Angel who hovered over me for the next 12 days. Her name was Sister Georgiana. I know she was Heaven sent. She babied me, she kept me clean, she fed me, she massaged my back, legs, and arms —she was there all through the day for me. She was so beautiful. I thought of her as the “Mona Lisa.” (JOAN, maybe that Mona Lisa part IS stretching it a bit.)

 

The doctor came in the first morning, felt behind the ear, and without saying anything about “operation” off he went. The mastoid is firm to the touch when healthy, but soft and squishy when infected. This went on, and I was so fearful. I would ask Sister Georgiana, “Operation today?” She would answer, “No, not today.” And I didn’t get any breakfast until the doctor came and left. This went on each early morning. The only thing that changed, was that Sister would come in right after the doctor left to tell me. The mastoid was obviously firming up. I was feeling much better, all due to the constant care from Sister Georgiana. And my folks, Viv and Aunt Mae and Titán being there with all their love helped me no end.

 

After 12 days, and NO surgery, (thank the Lord and pass the ammunition) Dr. Currie signed me out, and off we went to Aunt Mae’s. Mom and Viv came along to help with my recovery. The doctor gave Aunt Mae and Mom instructions to carry out, and prescriptions to administer, and that is where I am going to leave this up in the air.

 

Bottom line — I have a sneaky feeling that all that time spent body surfing and playing and laying around on that beach with sand everywhere, and I mean everywhere — ears to be sure — was the culprit as to why I spent a perfectly good summer in such bad shape.

 

There simply has to be a Part 2 to this tale. You will hear about one of the prescriptions. I could just KISS that Doctor. He told Aunt Mae to take me on a little vacation. Vacations were her forté.

 

 

MELITAS FORSTER                                                 MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

 

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.


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