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Friday, May 08, 2015

The Unluckiest Part Of Year Seven

Come.  Walk with me.  We're about to take a trip back through time to another memorable year.

Yes, we're now entering the year of the great '88.  And, I have to say that for the most part, 1988 was a great year.

Well, with one notable exception.

Anyway, we'll get to that in a bit.  This is the story of my seventh year, which spanned from 1988 to 1989.  The eighties were in their final stages, pastel coloured clothing was in, and heavy metal was getting competition from electronic pop music.  It wasn't often you saw Belinda Carlisle and Stacey Q releasing new music alongside Poison and Guns 'N Roses, I'll tell you that much!

So, 1988 was the year I turned seven.  Let's take a look as see what was happening during the lucky seven year. 

Apparently I was really happy to get "Toss Across".  The life size tic-tac-toe game was always fun for a laugh!

And, now let's take a look at what the top pop culture moments were around this time.

#1 SONG THE WEEK OF 5/18/1988

Aww...what a nice song this is.  For some reason, I seem to remember ballads being really big on the charts during 1988.  Well, ballads, "Kokomo", and Kylie Minogue's "Loco-Motion".  Still, this hit by Gloria and the Miami Sound Machine is really good.  I'm liking it! 

"Friday the 13th: Part VII:  The New Blood"

Obviously I did NOT see this movie when it first came out.  Truth be told, I still haven't seen this one.  After the second movie came out, the entire series got real stupid, real fast.

"The Cosby Show"

Surprise, surprise.  At least they finally redid their opening titles to look like something completely different.

And now for my personal stories about my seventh year.  I finally escaped first grade and made it into second, where I ended up having two different teachers!  I recall that I and a couple of other kids in my original grade two classroom were moved to the class next door, as for some reason my class had too many kids.  I really don't remember the reason.  Either way, I liked Miss Johnson, my second grade teacher a lot.  And, I think she liked me too, even though I ended up missing a lot of school that year.

And when I say that I missed a lot of school that year, I mean I missed closed to one-third of the school year!  I think the only reason why I passed into the third grade was because I kept up with my schoolwork during that year.

But why did I miss so much school?

Well, turns out that year seven wasn't quite so lucky for me.  When I turned seven, it was like my whole body decided to fall apart on me.  I ended up with the stomach flu twice that year, I probably missed a couple of days here and there with constant sinus infections, and when you add all those days up, I ended up missing 50 days of school altogether!

Not exactly my most stellar attendance performance, let me tell you.

And it probably didn't make much of a good impression on my teacher when during my first month of grade two I ended up missing a whole week of school because I was in the hospital! 

Not exactly a great memory.

I'll set up the story.  It was September 1988, and I had been in school for a couple of weeks by this point.  I had gotten a cold during that time, but I thought nothing of it, as colds were as common in grade two as head lice - well, okay, head lice wasn't common in your school, but it seemed to be in mine.  We will not discuss further.

The problem was that the cold was not going away.  And my breathing was not good.  And we can forget about being effective in gym class.  I was never a gym rat to begin with, but I was gasping for air whenever I tried to run a lap around the gym.  It was definitely enough of a concern for my mom to bring me to the hospital emergency room to do some tests on me to find out what was going on.

And, let me tell you.  Being a patient in a hospital (especially as a child) is not a fun experience.  Having to lie on a hospital slab, having all of these nurses ask you questions, breathing for them, getting blood work done.  I felt like I was their own personal science experiment.

And lemme just get this out of the way first.  I know it's been 27 years since this happened, but to the nurse who rammed the needle into my arm causing me extreme pain while taking my are not a vampire, and I wasn't a dartboard!  Be more gentle!!!

Anyway, after the breathing tests were done, the doctor confirmed that I had asthma.  And anyone who has suffered with asthma knows that it is not fun.  You have to stop and catch your breath for doing the slightest moves, and you can't keep up with anyone else. 

And because I had asthma, I also had a bit of an infection deep within my body that regular antibiotics couldn't heal.  There was no banana flavoured penicillin for me that week.  Instead what ended up happening was that I was admitted into the hospital where every two hours I had to have a mask strapped onto my face where I would breathe in antibiotics to heal me. 

That meant that I had to spend a whole week in the hospital, and that completely was not a fun experience.

Then again, does ANYONE have a fun time at the hospital?  With food that may or may not be edible, and spending a lot of time in bed not doing anything, it's not like I was on vacation at Club Med. 

I was really upset the day I was admitted to the hospital because we had planned a movie night where I would watch Dumbo on VHS.  And well, that movie night was cancelled.  Instead, I spent my first night in the hospital watching a television that was no bigger than a smartphone trying to make out the characters on the three channels that I could get.  The only consolation was that one of the channels that I got was PBS, so Sesame Street and other kids shows could entertain me.  And of course, my teacher sent me assignments to work on while I was in the hospital, so I could keep up with the rest of the class.  Truth be told, homework was a nice distraction from the scary masks and people that I didn't know.

Still, that whole experience was a very scary one.  It was the first time that I had to be separated from my family and I didn't really handle it well at all.  Once I was released, I was fine though, and it made me realize that if I could get through that hospital stay, then things would get easier.  Who knew that little hospital stay would be a precursor for a much longer one some twenty-three years later?

Anyway, that's the one thing that I remember about second grade and my seventh year of life.  Being hospitalized. 

To make matters worse, I was hospitalized during class picture day, and second grade was the one year that I never had a class photo taken.  But I guess it was a blessing in disguise.  Because I had to get my photo done on class retake day, I had extra time to prepare.  And as you can see from the image above, it turned out beautifully.

Though, I think my parents were influence by the Cosby Show a little TOO much.

Coming up tomorrow, my eighth year on this world sees my very first well as my very first funeral.

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