“Fall in!” to ‘fall ill’.
Posted by Big John on September 27, 2006
It is not often that I blog about my daily routine, my home life or my health, but today I am feeling like shit due to a painful ear infection and a fever; so like all big strong brave men I am going to wallow in my misery, sit in my armchair, force a cup coffee between my parched lips and watch my wife do the housework.
After much persuasion by ‘er indoors’ I made an appointment to see a doctor at the local health centre, which meant that after a shower and breakfast I took a few minutes drive in my comfortable air conditioned car, sat in a pleasant waiting room and then had a friendly consultation with my GP. On the way home I stopped off at the pharmacy to pick up some anti-biotics. All this took about forty minutes, so not too much of a hardship was it ? … but as I sat in the doctor’s waiting room I remembered a time long ago when you had to be fit to ‘go sick’.
‘Going sick’ on an RAF training camp back in the 1950s was not something you undertook lightly, for you did not just turn up at the ‘sick quarters’ and say … “Good morning doctor I feel ill” … for before you could get anywhere near a doctor, or even a medical orderly, come to that, you had to survive the ‘sick parade’…. which entailed …
- Getting up a dawn.
- Folding your bedding and cleaning your bed space.
- Packing all your clothing and equipment into your kitbag (in case you ended up in hospital).
- Washing and shaving.
- Packing your small kit (a sort of military overnight bag).
- Dressing in your best uniform.
- Polishing your boots and cleaning your ‘brass’.
- Missing breakfast (too early).
- Parading outside the sick quarters in the rain or snow.
- Being ‘gently‘ questioned and inspected by various NCOs to see just how close to ‘death’s door’ you really were.
Needless to say not many brave souls would endure this experience, preferring to suffer in silence rather then finish up with an aspirin, a laxative pill, or ….
…… even bloody pneumonia.