The Theory of Neglect

The Theory of Neglect

I come from neglect.  I became an orphan at age 14; up until that time, I did not receive any medical or dental care.  These were not things that were priorities to my mother.  If I did get sick enough to need to see a doctor, she would take me.  Once, I was prescribed penicillin in a bottle with the dosage written on the bottle; however, my mother would tell me to just take a swig every few hours.  My mother taught me or my two younger sisters to brush our teeth; in fact, I don’t think we owned toothbrushes until we were about 8-10 years old.  My teeth looked horrible.  When my mother died and I went into foster care, the Department of Social Services required that the foster mother take me for a full physical and dental exam.  At age 14, the medical exam showed that I had bronchitis and an ear infection.  The dental visit was much worse; I needed to have 3 molars pulled out necessitating two bridges; I needed a root canal and so, so, so many fillings.  Fortunately, today, at age 57 most of those mercury fillings have been replaced with whatever safe product dentists use now.

I was about 10 when I was playing with a pensy-pinky ball in the apartment living room.  My mother told me not to bounce the ball in the house.  I kept doing it; then the ball bounced high and hit the light on the ceiling shattering the cheap glass globe over the bul


b.  The glass went everywhere, I was alone in the room, and a large shard landed inside the front of my left thigh.  Blood dripping, running down my leg, I went into the kitchen to show my mother.  “Good, good for you…that’s what you get.”  And that was the end of her interest.  I went into the bathroom and pulled out the glass and wrapped toilet paper around the cut.  It was an inch long.  I still have the scar.  That was my mother’s general response whenever I got hurt.  “You probably deserved it.”   She always told me and my sisters to get out of the house and “play”, there was a playground on the corner.   One day, I slid down the slide….and, like a stupid kid, was barefoot.  The playground equipment was in sand (well, this was Long Beach, Long Island) and when I came to the bottom of the slide my foot went right into a piece of wood.  I hobbled home.  Yep!  Same answer….well, you deserve it for being barefoot.  And that was it.  She didn’t try to take the wood out of my foot.  Several days later, a red line started to appear from my foot up my ankle and lower leg.  I showed my mother.  Ahhhhhhh….finally, she deigns this enough to take me to the doctor but of course she is annoyed.  The doctor is quite annoyed at her.  Now, she is more annoyed at me, and I’m getting the “you little bitch” look.  Yes, blood poisoning.  Doc numbs my foot with a local and pulls a damn chunk….CHUNK! of wood out of my foot and sends me home with….YOU GUESSED IT!  Penicillin….which I will swig at my mother’s instructions when she remembers.   However, I turn out fine.

She NEVER got the required immunizations for me and my sisters but lied on the school papers.

And here I am, at 57….and I am grateful, amazed and impressed with the amazing machine that my body is.  It has learned to compensate, to be immune, to fix itself from an early age.

I have never broken a bone, had any, any, ZERO! Illness but one flu and several colds.  I have had smooth, easy pregnancies and deliveries.  I have never had the measles, chicken pox…nothing!  (At age 40, my doc said I should get a shot so I don’t get chicken pox or shingles…so I did).

Why?  This is my theory….now, of course, I did not try out my theory on my own children!  Of course, they always received immunizations and good health and dental care.  And, they did get sick…croup, chicken pox, pneumonia, bronchitis, concussions (high school football), ski injuries, etc.

But at 57 I’m very healthy!  My blood pressure is so low, my weight is great and I’m flexible and fairly strong.  I can bend, twist….I feel sad for people in their 30’s with back issues.  Nothing hurts on me.  The only change is my eyesight.  At 50, I started to need “readers.”

I think God made the human body an amazing “machine”; perhaps I’m extra lucky as a first-born.  There are theories that the first-born get the best of the genes from the parents.  I don’t know about that.  I tend to think more so that I’ve been blessed and that God has been watching and caring for me.

Isn’t it amazing and wonderful .



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