Inspired by today's irony posted at
here is another three-phase essay. It is three medical-themed true relatings about a once-prolific scourge of lovers.
The TITLE of this piece is at the --bottom-- of this post.
No fair peeking ahead for the title; read it in due course. That is -doctor's orders-, get me?
Elizabeth G, previously chronicled here was a nurse at a public hospital in Germany from 1918 to 1927.
Sometime during that nine year span a syphyiltic
prostitute applied to the hospital for birthing.
The woman was very pregnant and very much known to the staff previously as carrying secondary stage syphillis.
Under doctor supervision Elizabeth worked to disrobe the wailing street walker
The woman was settled into an examination chair.
Elizabeth knelt to tug off the woman's underwear.
Just at this time the water broke.
"It burst out over my head on me. Iwas soaked from the top of my head, my eyes, my back, everywhere! Oh, but into my eyes; that is the worst of all place"
The cool-headed doctor rushed Elizbeth out of the exam room to a sink with hose attached for chemical emergencies.
Terrified peers of Elizabeth rushed to help and to wring hands in horror. There was no pennecillin in those days, you see.
"OH, poor Elizabeth" teared one of the nurses
"Oh, Elizabeth we may lose you, oh Gott, o Gott!"
"Or,maybe I'll ---just go blind---" shot back level-witted Elizabeth in a sarcastic black humor.
Of course, nothing happened to our good Elizabeth. No disease resulted. Secondary syphyllis is not much contagious. She and the doctor knew this.
The year is 1930. The place is Kansas City, Mo. Bernice Norman is a registered nurse, married, one child age three.
Her husband is a successful mortgage broker.
I knew Bernice all of my life until she died at age 97 some time back. She was my maternal grandmother's best buddy- and became a surrogate grandmother for me when my own died in '64.
To get to Bernice's true story as told to me and never published before...
Bernice was not a stay-at-home mom. She worked because it was what she did before marriage. She worked after marriage, after her sole son graduated from infancy because she loved nursing.
The family was comfortably well off. The Norman Brothers Mortgage Compay offered Frank Norman the means to support a maid, and a nanny and allow his wife to work her will.
Bernice, on principle, wanted to go back to the nursing work she had done for a few years before the 1927 marriage.
She applied to work with a well known Kansas City physician in that doctor's private office.
One day Bernice was sorting through the patient files. Surprise: Her husband's name on the tab of a particularly confidential file.
She opens this folder and sees that a year past her husband completed the lengthy and toxic
"mercury cure" for syphylis administered by this office physician. The file must have read something like this:
Diagnosis: Patient Mr. N presented with primary syphilis 1928. Course of treatment completed. Prognosis excellent.
The writer-downer's jaw drops as she tells me all this. "My gosh, Bernice how the heck did you react? You must've been mad as hell!"
"Goose! What good would it have done to get --mad---?I got --even--- instead."
Long widowed Bernice proceeded on with this:
"Reid you remember meeting 'Gilley' last year when he, with late stage prostate cancer came to Florida to see me for the first and last time in years and years.
"That is who I met when he was a handsome, young pioneering flyer, in reaction to my Frank's cheat on me. We had an affair, we two. And you know that my -favorite song is "little White Lies", not just because it was mine and Gilley's song, but because it described our affair so well. I did it because I was owed that much. And Gilley knew WHY i had the affair with him while Frank never knew a damned thing about me knowing he'd slept with prostitutes nor me sleeping with an airman to get even."
(writer notes- obviously I have paraphrased words from memory into Bernices mouth for clarity and to keep the spirit of what she told me as close to actual events as possible. All this really did happen and she really did tell me every one of these things)
"But but but Bernice! Why didn't you just ditch the dog, take your baby and go onwards from there with Gilley?"
"I loved Frank. He was a fine provider and father. I only -liked- Gilley. Why throw away an otherwise good husband? Why stay mad? Why be a goose about the whole thing? That is why it was better that I got --even--- instead"
Yet another nurse and yet more syphylis to the tale. Related to me by the man, the LPN, who was Al Capone's male nurse in 1946 and '47. This never-before published story he told me at Elizabeth G's 100th birthday party conducted from under the shading, forgetting Hayden mango tree I once wrote about here on SE.
Capone, the greatest gangster of them all was in the final stages of tertiary syphylis. A now-obsolete term, general paresis is generally descriptive of late stage syphyilis when the damage includes brain lesions.
This LPN was one of a team of three around the clock nursing assistants in private service to Alphonse Capone, resident of Palm Island at Miami Beach.
Capone was unable to walk unaided owing to general deterioration and loss of equilibrium. His mental faculties sometimes focused. Other times he
could not verbalize at all.
This nurse steadied Capone for his shower baths, fed and generally managed Capone just like any other chronic invalid patient.
Capone grew quite fond of his keepers but this one who told me, was Capone's favorite.
On rare, clear days Capone was jovial, active and his old self.
One day my acquantance began his shift. At his first sighting by Capone the LPN got a crystal clear and cheery "How 'ya doin', Kid!" Simultaneously, Capone grabbed up an entirely imaginary Tommy gun and mocks fired out:
Our source pretends to fall dead on the floor. Everyone present, especially Al, cracks up at this joke.
Forever after whenever Al saw his favorite assistant he shot off with the two-arm Tommy gun.
Our protagonist sometimes even shot back, or ducked behind the doorway, in a flash reappearing to "gun down" Alphonse Capone himself who always laughed if he could laugh at all.
Sometimes Capone couldn't make the ack ack sound. But even when the sound wasn't present, the LPN dutifully dodged this most notorious syphilitic's
bullets, living to tell his friends this intimate tale I now put down in print so that you too can smile at...
"Dodging the Syphylitic's Bullets"
All three of my story tellers dodged syphylitic bullets. All three lived long and happy lives without shame or permanent rancor residing in any one of them.
Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly
Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?