Monday, June 16, 2008

Whooping Cough

I mentioned to my friend Ann that I had just been re-vaccinated for whooping cough. "Did I ever tell you that whooping cough was the beginning of my downfall?"she asked me. Now in her early sixties, Ann had struggled her whole life with anorexia nervosa.
"When I was born, my brother had whooping cough. It was a very dangerous disease for a baby. I could have died if I'd gotten it. So, to keep me safe, the doctors wouldn't let me leave the hospital and go home with my mother. I had to stay in the nursery for the first three months of my life. I couldn't have any contact with my parents except once a week, on my father's day off, they would come to the hospital and wave to me through the nursery window. Of course, I was so little, I didn't know who these people were waving to me. I'm sure the nurses took care of my basic needs but they were busy with their work and didn't have time to touch or cuddle me. And not much was known then about the importance of cuddling and bonding with babies. Everyone thought they were doing what was best for me."

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