Early Memories (§2)

It’s the same for all of us – we  don’t remember our lives from day one, or from anything soon after.  I think my first memory comes from when I was about two years old.  I’m told that a problem developed on my left leg, just above the ankle.  The whole leg swelled up and the doctor was called.  He didn’t seem to think it too much of a problem, but by the time my leg turned black and I couldn’t bear the weight of a sheet on it, it was time to call another doctor.  This time osteomyelitis was diagnosed – an abscess on the bone – and an ambulance was called to take me off for an emergency operation.  Thankfully I remember nothing of all this, except that my first dim memory is of being in hospital – I know not where – and feeling very sad as my mother had to leave at the end of a visiting time that I really can’t remember well at all.

The only other thing that stands out in my mind from that episode is a little vignette of being loaded into the back of a car to go home with my leg in plaster.  I’ve no idea whose car it was for we certainly didn’t have one.  I remember it was black, but then weren’t they all in those days?  Someone kept saying   “Mind his leg!” as presumably it wasn’t easy to tuck anyone with a leg in plaster into the back of a car – even a two-year old.

One of those two doctors clearly saved my life, for there’s no doubt that severe blood poisoning would have done for me had I been left another couple of hours.  Doubtless my parents expressed their gratitude: I clearly wasn’t in a position to.  The doctors’ practice was on Plains Road, near the top of Portchester.  I believe the two main doctors there at the time were Dr Archer and Dr Foy.  I recall that Dr Foy had a daughter, Vivienne, who was a contemporary of my brother, John, who’s five years older than me.

They say that as you get older, into your dotage, so your early memories become clearer.  That’s a phenomenon that I’m quite happy to wait for – I’m in no rush. At the moment my earliest memories are very foggy, but if I allow myself a few moments of reminiscence, they do start to take shape.

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2 Responses to Early Memories (§2)

  1. Ray Green says:

    Hi Brian,

    Interesting what you come across in the interweb… Scanned a couple of pics of your dad a few weeks ago.
    Above – Dr Foy’s daughter John’s age was Vivienne. Married a fellow ACHS pupil I think, called Pearson. She was my country dance partner at ACHS and it was the first time I ever came across an asthmatic, with the ‘puffer’.
    Is John still in Hong Kong?


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