Saturday, 2 January 2010

Injections and illnesses

This photo shows me with our neighbours, Judith and Carol Webster, sitting on their doorstep at 101 Jalan Wijaya in about 1966. I wonder if anyone else remembers all the injections that we had to have during our time there? I think they seemed worse for kids. I certainly remember having a few and I remember that your arm would ache for days after and you couldn't sleep comfortably on that side. I think we had injections before we went and then some during our stay there. I remember sitting in the waiting room and some of the kids were crying. Alan went in and kicked the doctor so hard that he limped for a week! I think one of the injections was BCG which stopped tuberculosis and there were other injections for, I think, polio, cholera and other diseases that they expected you to pick up in the Far East. I can always tell people who have had this injection because of the sliced-sausage like scar on their arm! For all these injections, I still had all the illnesses that most kids get including German measles, ordinary measles and mumps. All of these illnesses seem to hit you a lot worse when you're a kid than when you're an adult (I had German measles again when I was 29) and the doctor always prescribed pink penicillin which we kept in the fridge. You were given it for everything in those days and I got to quite like it in the end! Doctors don't ever seem to prescribe it nowadays. Apart from illnesses, I only ended up in hospital once when I fell when we first got there and I cracked my head on the front step. I still remember the huge x-ray machine coming down on top of me. I soon recovered and my only other accident was coming off my bike into the front gate! I know that lots of other people my age had similar scrapes and accidents including falling down the many monsoon drains. Luckily, most of us survived the ordeal and carried on looking for more dangerous things to climb such as banana trees, wall and water drains. It's surprising that we all survived the experience but it was a wonderful time and adventure always seemed to just be around the corner.


  1. I remember the introduction of the needle-free injection gun in 66 or 67. Our entire class went to a doctor's office together to get cholera shots and were lined up in a row along the wall in the corridor while the nurse marched along shooting each of us in the upper left arm. Many of the boys were terrified and some fainted.

    The vaccinations I remember receiving regularly are cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid,and smallpox. We were also de-wormed once or twice a year and had gobs of quinine tablets to stave off malaria.

  2. marilyn jenner6 March 2010 at 10:41

    Worms were treated in the 50's with gentian violet tablets that were as big a solf balls I swear!! If you bit into them instead of swallowing they tasted very bitter and the violet colour stained your mouth teeth and clothes if you happened to dribble!!! Those were teh days eh!