I was explaining to a complete stranger about my bizarre phobia. I have a phobia of people touching my wrists, backs of my hands and tops of my feet, but mainly wrists. I explained that the phobia probably arose when I was little and I had pneumonia. Telling him about it brought back loads of slide-show like memories of that episode of my life, and I'm going to tell them to you. I'm also inviting you to tell your own childhood memories.
When I was about five I crawled into my mum and dad's bed because I didn't feel well. I remember feeling these stabbing pains in my chest, arms and legs. I told my parents this and I was taken down to the living room. After a while a tall man in a dark coat arrived, took out his stethoscope and soon I found myself in hospital. I had an x-ray and I remember the room quite vividly. I think I had to stand against the wall to have it done and then, in what seems like the space of one slide passing to another, I was in a nurse's office. The nurse asked for my left-hand and took it behind my back. At this age I had a limited knowledge of amputations, possibly after reading about it in my Children's Encyclopedia or watching a TV programme about it. Having my hand removed from where I could see it led me to the only possible conclusion, it was being amputated. However, seconds later, the nurse said 'all done', and my hand was returned to me, just with something sticking into it.
Sleeping in hospital is a strange experience. There was the sounds of the nurses going up and down, children snoring, one crying, but there was the comforting sound of my mum's familiar heavy breathing. Within a few days I was fine and playing with all the other kids along the ward. I remember a motorised toy car that you could sit on, but I think that is just my mind playing tricks on me. My hospital stay was pretty much a happy one. Except for the injections. The needles were stuck into that thing the nurse had painlessly put into my hand. I hated them, I kicked and screamed, and screamed and kicked. The nurses tried to placate me, my mum tried to placate me, but I still struggled. They always won though.
My last memory of the ward was an empty room with beds, a wet floor sign and a lady with a mop. The next slide is that of being home in bed and looking down at my hand. The cotton ball had fallen off and I could see a small hole that the ball was meant to be concealing. That is the first time I had that wave of nausea that I get when someone touches the back of my hands or my wrists.