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Illnesses and Treatments

He would try a medication, new on the market, Penicillin MB693 tablets.

When I was 12 years old, I was having occasional days off school with pains in my stomach. A few days after Easter I was sent home from school with excruciating pain in my stomach. I had to walk from Burradon to Annitsford, approx one mile, sitting on the grass verge of the road as the pain ripped me.

On arriving home, my Mother decided a visit to Dr. Craig was necessary at surgery time. After tea we walked to the surgery at Dudley, again finding that Dr. Craig was absent and his lady cousin, Dr. Harper, was taking his surgery. After examining me, she told Mother to take me home and put me to bed. She would visit me next day. The pain was so severe she asked someone in the surgery to lend their child’s pushchair to take me home.

Next day, before morning surgery, Dr. Harper called and told Mother I had acute appendicitis and was to be admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne and an ambulance was on its way. I was accompanied by my Father on this journey, who returned home after being given details of visiting times etc.

I awoke after my operation to find I was bandaged around my stomach like a mummy. It was painful. I spent one week in hospital then was discharged to spend three weeks in bed until Dr. Craig examined the wound and allowed me to gradually leave it. During this time, Mother was dosing me with “cod liver oil and malt” to build me up and prevent infection.

As I grew stronger, I was bored. My friend Ella, who lived a few doors away, had been in hospital and was now at home and confined to bed. Most afternoons my Dad carried me to their house and we spent some time together. I didn’t know why she had been in hospital. I found out later, it was in Wolsingham Isolation Hospital in Co. Durham and she had T.B.

When I was 22 yrs old, I was suffering from quinsy throats. Our doctor now was Dr. Bobbie, as he was known in both villages, being Dr. Craig’s son. My mother administered home remedies, each time I had a sore throat, until she had to send for Dr. Bobbie. He told her he would try a medication, new on the market, “Penicillin MB693” tablets. I took them for three days and felt poorly, and when Dr. Bobbie came to see me he told my Mother to stop them.

That evening I was exhausted and fell asleep on a bed-settee in our living room, Mother watching over me. For some unknown reason, she got some warm, soapy water and decided to wash my feet, to freshen them up. I awoke with a start, terrified, thinking she thought I had died and she was washing me. As I sat up felt something move in my throat. Before Mother could move the quinsy burst and the most foul discharge erupted from my mouth all over the bedclothes. They had to be changed and I was washed. We then had a few hours deep sleep.

Dr Bobbie arrived on Saturday morning saying “I’ve come to lance the quinsy” and was most relieved to find that it wasn’t necessary.

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