My mom was never one to go running to a doctor, for herself or for me. For instance, although I went barefoot constantly and was always stepping on nails and glass, I never had stitches for an injury until I was middle-aged.
The summer I turned seven years old, though, I became sick enough that Mother took me to see Dr. Croxdale, our family doctor in Iowa. I don't recall whether I was vomiting at the time; I do remember feeling weak and listless, and I remember Mother giving me a sponge bath as I lay on my bed, to get me ready to see the doctor.
The good doctor had me admitted to a hospital, and I do recall vomiting frequently during my stay there. I was put on intravenous feeding. I was in a room with several others, one of whom was a middle-aged lady in the final stages of cancer.
Uncles came to visit me, bringing Grandma along. Everybody looked so solemn, and I really didn't have the energy to wonder why.
I received cards in the mail, many of them with little girls' handkerchiefs enclosed; I still have a couple of those hankies.
Tests were run; mother told someone I had been vomiting blood and I heard a nurse, snickering, say, "She didn't vomit blood."
After four or five days, for no reason at all, I began to get better; I was brought tea in a cute little brown teapot and broth in a cup, and it all tasted so good!
After eight days in the hospital, I went home. We never knew what ailed me.
We made our usual autumn campout trip to the Iowa State fair not long after I went home; my parents kept reminding me to take it easy and not run or jump.
My illness may not even have been anything that major; perhaps I would have done as well at home as I did in the hospital, who knows. The only special thing that was done for me, as far as I can remember, was the intravenous feeding.
Since that time in 1951, I've only entered hospitals for my two pregnancies and some elective surgeries.