Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Annie in the middleLETTER FROM ANNIE

Story contd.

Annie was also starting anew and had embarked on Fever Training with another St Anne's nurse. Like me she was missing the carefree, open air life at the sea-side but was finding the work interesting and satisfying. We were now miles apart in different towns and it was difficult to coincide our off-duty. We agreed to wait until one of us was on holiday to get together. There was no shortage of friends. Our set really bonded during the schooling session known as'Block' and a nucleus of us would be friends until death.

The days were enlivened by lectures from the consultants. One adjured us never to leave furniture polish around as his children had eaten some and had hallucinated for days. Another painted a vivid picture of a typical TB patient - fair, delicate skin, rosy cheeks and long eyelashes and a couple of us had a 'La Dame aux Camellias' moment until we remembered our rigorous medical checks, including a mantoux test.

Yet another described the physical signs of a syphilictic patient with a dropped saddle nose and certain teeth, remarkably similar to the sister sitting in on the lecture. His descriptions of the slow deterioration of the victim ending in GPI ( General Paralysis of the Insane) was so horrific it could have put us off sex for life. Actually there wasn't a lot of it about - sex I mean- in our neck of the woods. The odd (not very) bright young thing who talked about sex before marriage was regarded as being no better than she should be. During my time there were a couple of pregnancies but they were both 'nice girls'.

As Greer Garson proclaimed in 'Blossoms in th Dust',

'Bad girls don't have babies!'

Then too, if you wanted to wear white on your wedding day you had to be 'pure', obviously.

At last it was exam time. Most of us passed and we were deemed fit to go on the wards and pratice our new skills on the patients - under strict supervision. For a months trial that is!

Then off to Oxbridge to visit Maddie and Paul and maybe see Liam and the lad who was to becomeMTL
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kenju said...

HA! "Bad girls don't have babies". You are right, bad girls had abortions, and good girls had the babies and put them up for adoption.

AndrewM said...

Oh gawd you've gone all centrally justified and missed a couple of spaces. Are you still on the champagne?

PI said...

andrewm: It IS labelled 'Annie in the middle.' The problem is combining photos with copy. It is very hit and miss - mostly miss. Sometimes I do the copy seperately on Word - then you get two seperate posts.
I know you mean it kindly but you have to accept the fact that I am a techno idiot. Sadly the champers is no more.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

"mantoux test" ???

MTL ???

French??? Greek???

Oh, olden days. I get it. I guess. No I don't.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Is that you on the left, Pi?

R. Sherman said...

Hi, Pat. I pop in daily for a look see.

It's too bad, young people don't have more of those lectures, these days.

Great Photos, as always.


fjl said...

Yes it was quite an episode to get "knocked up" then. Still is now really, it's just that society pretends it's accommodated the girls. So may hypocrisies beneath the surface.

PI said...

Hoss: Sorry. A Mantoux test is a test for TB. You have a scratch on the forearem and if a blemish appears you are positive which means you have been exposed to the disease and therefore have immunities. If you are negative you are given a vaccine - BCG to make you positive. Hope I've got that right - it's probably different now.
MTL is my husband who wishes to remain anonymous (my true love).

Sam: Yes. I can't get in your comment box, so just lurk.

Randall: so glad you adjusted your comment box.

fjl: It must have been a frightening experience to go through.

AndrewM said...

I do mean it kindly, but as you occasionally use words that I don't know the meaning of 'separate' and 'separately are spelt with two 'a's.

Spellin apart, you're doing very well on the techno front. If I ever move on from lurking I'll be coming to you for help.

Carry on.

PI said...

Andrewm: Dammit - I always have trouble with sep...ate. Feel free to ask for my help.(Large smirk!)

fjl said...

Not really. The good outweighs the bad. I do think there's still abit of the old hyspocrisy about though x

Guyana-Gyal said...

That's why I knew I couldn't be a nurse. I'd have every ailment. I'd call in sick everyday. They'd tell me to leave.

Oooh Pat, MTL...romance, romance...

PI said...

Andrewm; 'La Dame aux Camellias' is the classic tale of the courtesan who has a tragic love affair and is dying of consumption, similar to 'Camille' - the film - with Greta Garbo.

fjl: Hypocrisy is alive and well in Whitehall.

GG I couldn't do it now - not in hospital. I'd drive them mad telling them how it used to be.
Romance - I remember those two young creatures then look at the two of us and smile. The youth and beauty may be gone but the romance is still there.