The time I hid

When I was about ten years old, I had an operation on my hip, which was dislocated since birth. I had to have plaster from just above my belly button down to my ankle on one side and to my knee on the other, with a bar across the middle, like a capital A.

This capital A shaped plaster was inconvenient, to say the least. It made me so wide that when I was allowed home from hospital, they had to give me a hospital bed that was set up in the front room and that was were I spent all my time.

I couldn’t walk, obviously. I couldn’t go to the toilet. I had to have a bedpan thing. I couldn’t really sit up because the plaster came quite high to my belly button. I also couldn’t sneeze without a lot of pain in my pelvis so I took to stifling the sneeze until it kind of exploded a bit in my nose, to prevent a proper full-on sneeze that would shake my whole body.

I used to watch Sesame Street every lunch time and my mum would make me a jacket potato with cheese melted all over it. She used to drive me crazy by cutting it into bits then feeding it to me. I was always like, “My arms and hands work fine! Let me feed myself.”

My friend, Ruth (of The Handbags And The Gladrags fame), used to come over most weekends, to cheer me up. This one Saturday she was over and we were going to go out. Someone had made me a V shaped board to sit on in the wheelchair, like an extension out the front, to accommodate my awkward shape. I would have to be sort of slumped down in the chair bit with my massive plastered legs sticking out.

I must have been a bit apprehensive the whole time we were getting ready and one’s childhood is so fraught with embarrassment anyway that it must have just got too much for me. I remember feeling like an awkward shaped peice of furniture being manoeuvred around a corner.

I was in the wheelchair, there was a blanket over me, Ruth was quite excited for the little adventure, my parents has their coats on. We were all ready to go.

And then I just hid.

I pulled the blanket over my head and I hid.

I imagine there was confusion, they probably looked at each other uncertainly. What’s going on? Should we just go out anyway? What’s she doing?

I think they probably tried to speak to me and I think I just stayed silent the whole time. I stayed under the safety of the blanket and refused to look out or to tell them whether I still wanted to go out. They left me in the hallway on my massive awkward wheelchair and waited for me to talk. I didn’t. I just stayed under my blanket.

I think Ruth ended up going home given that I, her best friend, had spent the majority of her visit hiding under a blanket, refusing to speak. I think my parents pottered off to make tea and eventually I must have emerged from my blanket.

And if I remember rightly, we never spoke of it again.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Were you never tempted to try it again? It seemed to be effective.

    Reply

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