I wonder if every human being is as happy about the day they entered this life as much as I am. As strange as it sounds, I almost didn't make it to my first birthday.
Back in the day... because I'm just soooo old now, babies were susceptible to lots of different things. Honestly, they still are, we seem to have a little more knowledge about how germs are spread. That's why that old wives tale about keeping your little one home for the first month (or more) might be a good idea!
As the story goes, my mom and dad brought me home and enjoyed a quite winter with me and my sister at home. When I was nearly 8 months old - so we're talking the beginning of summer, they had company over to the house. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over their new little bundle of joy with dark hair and steal blue eyes. I was an ugly little thing! When I see pictures of myself as a baby, the first thing that comes to my mind is a tree frog with big blue eyes. Not like the pictures you see of these beautiful plump babies sleeping in their baskets with soft fluffy blankets, no no. That wasn't me. I had wild black hair that quickly turned to wild brown hair and eyes that were too big for my head. LOL
Well, somebody kissed me. Not sure who it was and my mom can't really remember. Somebody who had a sore throat. Somebody, who unknowingly gave me strep. Now, as a baby, no one in my house knew that I had strep throat. I was that quiet one who didn't really say anything - even as a baby. I might have cried here and there - like babies do. My parents used to tell me I had this kitten cry, not like some babies that could break glass with the power of their lungs. My mom said she knew something was wrong when I stopped eating. From experience, I can tell you, that I am always eating... I have the metabolism of a humming bird, so I can only imagine the alarm that went off in my mother's mind when I literally stopped eating. As all good mama's do, she called the doctor. Mom and dad took me to the doctor straight away. The doctor was so alarmed, off to the hospital I went!
My little throat was so sore, I could barely swallow. The infection had time to go a-wall in my little body and sure enough, it grew into Rheumatic fever. This type of fever is the body's response to an earlier infection that causes swelling in the heart, joints, brain and skin as well. By the time all this knowledge was secured by the adults in my life, my heart had been damaged forever. Strep is no joke.
This one, some what minor event in my life set the stage for the rest of my childhood. I was the kid who literally was the same weight for almost four years. Didn't grow at all! As a joke, my parents used to tell me I should always grab the nearest stationary object so I wouldn't blow away in the wind. I think that is one of the reasons why I was so good at climbing trees when I was little. I literally was holding onto them with all of my limbs! It held me back in a lot of ways, but also protected me in many others. I prefer to look back at that time as a gift... and so today, 51 years later, I'm here to share that story. Take care of yourself! Take care of your heart and it will always take care of you!