I am 7 and a bit. We have a black and white TV but for some reason it is not working. Or we don't have the correct channel. I don't remember. Either way every Wednesday night we go next door to the home of the Mathurs and watch 'I love Lucy' on their TV. Oooh that Lucille Ball, she is so funny that I shall not complain about being forced to have a short afternoon nap when I could instead be playing some made up game again. A nap that allowes me the luxury of staying away past my daily bedtime of 7.30pm just to get a weeks quota of funny.
Today my stomach hurts. But instead of complaining I go and have a nap in the hope that the pain shall fly away with the sleep fairies. We eat dinner at 7pm, properly at the table, no wasting is allowed and we discuss my day at school. My stomach still hurts but any complaints to avoid the food on my plate will surely mean going immediately to bed, without Lucy or Desi to giggle about as I fall asleep. Nothing is worth that.
After dinner its time for 'I love Lucy' and we troop next door. By the end of Lucy my stomach ache is unbearable. Could that be because of all the laughing? I don't say anything till we get home and my mother is tucking me into bed. She soothes me by stroking my forehead, murmuring words of comfort about how a good nights sleep shall help and its probably just something I ate. Goodnight, I love you, come and call me at night if it hurts too much.
It hurts too much. I am wide awake and standing in the doorway of my parents room. It is definitely still night. Then we are in the car being driven to the hospital. It is still dark and I am doubled up in pain. Turns out my appendix shall burst and spread gangrenous goo throughout my body if they don't operate immediately.
I have surgery early the next morning. I do not remember anything about the surgery or my stay in hospital. But I remember feeling like a martyr while recovering; behaving as if I am the first ever person to experience pain or undergo surgery. The raw red scar is proof enough of the extent of my vast surgical experience. And of course from teacher-student games (which just seem silly now) my dolls and I have quickly graduated to doctor-patient as our favourite game. I am sure my experience will add more than a smidge of reality to the situation. Will my friends be impressed by my knowledge of words like appendix and scalpel and operation theatre? Can I get a stethescope for my birthday? Will I grow up to be a doctor?
Sadly the answer to all three was no.