Saturday, 10 May 2008

Harry remembers the dentistry, and Matron Downs

Your message brought back some memories.
I recall Matron Lodge although I had not remembered her name. I remember the nurses making sure that none of us boys made the slightest mess of our beds until she had done her morning round. I also have memories, now that you
mentioned it, of the dentist. I remember most vividly having an extraction and spitting blood and bits of tooth whilst bawling away. I must have been seven or eight at the time. Since that day I have been terrified of going to
the dentist, even when I knew that I had no dental problems and would not require any work done.

I was pleased to hear that perhaps Matron Downs may add to the blog as I was a patient when she took over. I wonder if she recalls the two boys that tried to run away. As it was a long time ago my memories of it are a little vague but I would love to hear an account of that day from one of the staff that was there that day.

More memories of late 1950s and photos from Cynthia

In one blog someone mentioned the hole in the plaster beds for toileting purposes. This reminded me of what was probably my first day at MHMH. I was doing a 'bottle' round on ward 2 (largies). when I got to one boy lying face down on a plaster bed. He informed me he needed help with his bottle: so red faced I grovelled under the bed clothes to offer the required help. To my frustration I could not find the appropriate appendage. By this time the whole of the ward was bursting with repressed laughter which exloded as an older nurse shouted down the ward for Richard to get back in place on his plaster bed at once and use the bottle himself as he was quite capable of doing. This apparently was his usual party piece for all new nurses.Needless to say he never did it twice to the same nurse!

Another thought I have was much later, when as theatre nurse I had to attend the dentist once a month when he made his rounds of the ward. I had to carry a hideous treadle machine to which the dentist applied his drills and brushes in order to 'treat' the patient.All I can remember is the dentist shouting,' Faster nurse, treadle harder!' I just hope that the treatment was de-scaling and cleaning and not for fillings! Poor children.

Here are some more photographs which may jog some memories. The first one is me (Cynthia) with an ex-patient on the playing fields where all the beds were pushed to for visiting time.

The second is an ex-patient with Zoe Weddall's rabbit Sandy,which as theatre nurse I had to groom and exercise daily.(As you would expect!).

Finally number three. Someone mentioned children having head bars when their disease was high in the spine and they could not be trusted to lie still! Poor little things. The girl on the right has one of these attachments.

As you can see she was a happy little thing and didn't seem unduly worried with the restriction. I did wonder if Yvonne may remember this girl as she was still at MHMH when I left in 1958 and as you can imagine had some time to go before discharge.

The Lost Children of Craig-y-Nos blog

I've added a link to the Lost Children of Craig-y-Nos blogspot, run by Ann Shaw, which has been running a while now, and from which I've had a lot of help. It has a similar purpose to ours, but deals with a rather different hospital, in a different social context. The blog also has a link to us. Well worth a visit.