Saturday, July 27, 2002

My Worst Physical Experience and Other Memories

Melanie from "The Topics Blog" asks, "What was the worst thing that you have ever experienced physically?"

This question takes me back to my childhood, reminding me of my earliest memory, favorite TV superheroes, and when I knew I'd gotten bionic parts.

All right, then. Here goes. What follows gets a little personal, and maybe a little gross -- consider yourself warned.

My Earliest Memory

This event happens to be my earliest memory; i.e., the earliest time when I realized I existed. And what a doozy it was.

I was three years old and I had received an operation to repair a hernia in my groin. A problem arose when I had an allregic reaction to the catgut stitches that the surgeons used to knit me back up. The area got infected and, before I could get the stitches out, they needed to get all the pus out. I remember this scene vividly because when they pushed to squeeze the pus out, the pain was excruciating! I remember screaming and crying because it hurt so bad. I felt helpless. Now, whenever I hear the word "excruciating," I think about this experience.

After the experience was over, the hospital people gave me a Batman colorforms set: a sort of "consolation prize" for "being so brave".

TV Superheroes

In addition to Batman, some of my other favorite TV shows growing up were Shazaam! and The Six Million Dollar Man. Sometimes, my Mom would safety pin a towel on my back, and I would race down the steps to our front door and cry out, "Shazaam!", just like the main character did on the show. Then I would go around looking for problems to fix, bad guys to beat up, and so on. At other times, I would play with my Steve Austin, Six Million Dollar Man, action figure. It even had a magnifying glass so that I could look through his right eye. The "real" Steve Austin, portrayed by Lee Majors, had a bionic eye.

I Have Bionic Parts

I remember after coming home from the hospital, we had a family reunion of some type at our house. Well, I was just so proud, having come off the operating table, that I went around telling people that I, too, had bionic parts inside me. And I was just about to show someone by climbing up in one of the trees in front of our house, when Dad caught me. From that moment throughout my childhood I was not allowed to climb any trees. I thought Dad just didn't believe, but now I realize that he did want me to go back to the hospital so soon after coming home.

I cannot remember, but maybe a jump like that is what led to my hernia operation in the first place.

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