HOME VISITS BY DOCTORS WERE THE NORM IN THE 1950'S AND I REMEMBER BEING SEWN UP ON THE KITCHEN TABLE.

in medicine •  last year

Understandably Doctors seldom make home visits in this day and age unless patients are too frail and ill to attend a surgery, but this wasn't always the case!!.

I remember in the early 1950's , as a three year old, riding around on my tricycle in our garden. Chickens were kept at the top of the garden, beyond the vegetables. ( common in those days, rationing was only just coming to an end). I had a 12 year old uncle who sought to give me an extra large push!!. Unfortunately this was to be into pretruding chicken wire, which went straight through the side of my lip. The local Doctor was called or more likely fetched, as few people had phones in those days . On inspecting the minor injury he asked for my mother to clear the kitchen table for me to lie on, whilst he inserted two STITCHES!!

Another medical situation which had an impact on my memory was regarding a young girl called Molly, next door, aged about 12. On one particular day she was out in the garden literally groping around. She was unable to see anything as a long bandage had been wrapped firmly around her eyes. My mother came into the garden and was talking to Molly's mother about the problem that required bandaging to this extent. This prompted the girls mother to unwind and take off the bandage, and the sight revealed was quite horrendous. Around the girls eyes was extremely puffy, sore and scratched. Her eyes were very bloodshot and yellow puss oozed from the corners, much of which had dried crusty. I'm sure there may have been some treatment for CONJUNCTIVITUS in those days, but clearly the dreadful itching, and scratching associated with it, could only be prevented by bandaging.

We are so lucky to live in an age where medicine has progressed so much!!

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