It all started with me running up the hill, as you do (when you’re eight) and me tripping over my own foot, as you shouldn’t.
Mid-fall I attempted to do a judo landing. My black-belted aunt had been teaching me judo for some months at that point.
What I should have remembered was that I was crap at judo.
Meaning the fall, of course, went badly wrong.
So badly wrong in fact, that I dislocated my left arm.
For those of you who need a more graphical description, that means I separated the bones from the elbow.
I had my very own Mr Tickle arm.
Though it didn’t work.
It was just all wobbly.
And therefore no good for tickling anybody.
I proved that my lungs worked really well though, screaming so loudly that neighbours from near and far ran out of their houses to see the spectacle.
My mother had me on her lap on the passenger seat of our mini. I was screaming. She was trying to ‘hold me together’.
We drove to the local hospital and they said, “Sorry but you’re too late. We close at 5pm. You’ll have to go to the hospital in the next town.”
So my parents poured me back into the car and drove on for a few miles.
“It would be better if you took her to another, major hospital, here she’d have to wait some time.” Yes, it just so happened I’d rammed some sweets in my gob right before my accident.
My parents poured me back into the car and drove on for quite a few miles.
I was still screaming.
At the major hospital, we were informed we had to wait anyway because of the sweets and the anaesthetic.
I lay on the bed with my extra long arm positioned on two pillows.
Nurses travelled over from various wards to see the exhibit.
Some oohed and aahed. Others covered their hands over their mouths and looked to me like they were about to vomit.
Luckily, in its pillowed position I could not see my arm properly.
Which can only be described as a good thing.
They did not need me vomiting in my bed. I’d already managed to miss the bed pan.
A suspicious doctor looked at my injuries and repeatedly questioned my parents about them. He found my story of tripping over my own foot and attempting to do a judo fall somewhat difficult to believe.
He obviously hadn’t seen me doing judo.
Finally, the evil sweets were wearing off and my time had come to have my arm fixed.
Then another child was rushed in, needing a life-saving operation. So me and my Mr Tickle arm were united for a while longer.
Hopefully he had been a good boy and hadn’t been filling his face with sweets.
Eventually, they took me to the operating room. I saw bright lights and people with masks and heard muffled voices.
I offered to keep my Mr Tickle arm. We’d been together this long…
Then a man approached me with the largest needle in the world. He sprayed it upwards like one of those evil doctors in a film and I found myself wriggling and shouting, “You’re not sticking that in me!!”
Pinned to the table and with my Mr Tickle arm being of absolutely no use in an escape situation, he jabbed me.
I yelled some more, being a particularly vocal child. “I will not sleep! I will not…”
Luckily I did sleep, as apparently they set it wrong and had to re-dislocate it and reset it again.
And fortunately, I did not develop a phobia of needles, as people have been sticking them in me ever since.