The Child Within: Tug-Of-War


I’ve often wondered if people with MS have something big in common, something more than the scars and the symptoms, rather some kind of trauma that has made us more susceptible to developing such a condition. When I was 6 I experienced something that I’ve only recently come to realise played a major part in my emotional development and beyond.

Here it is, a true story told by the little 6 year old within me:

Have you ever been told not to do something and then done it anyway, because when you’re told not to do it, it makes you want to do it even more, and then when you do it, you find out why you were told not to do it and you wish you hadn’t done it?
Well, that’s just what happened to me.

It was nearly bedtime and Dad was getting cross.
“Pack it in,” he said. “You need to calm down before someone gets hurt.”
Run, run, run… skip… jump… wheeeeee… ker-flump, giggle, giggle.
“In a minute,” I said while running round the sofa for another go.
“No, now! Time to clean your teeth, come on.”
Run, run, run… skip… jump… wheeeeee… ker-flump, giggle, giggle.
“OK,” I said, “but just let us do the tug-of-war.”
“I said ‘no’; it’ll end in tears. Now pack it in.” And out he went.
“Quick,” I said. “Grab the belt. First one to pull it over their side wins.”
My brother took hold of one end, I held the other.
“Go!” I said.
My brother pulled as hard as he could.
And I pulled as hard as I could.
And then, just as I was doing an extra good heave, my brother lost his grip of the belt and I went flying through the air.
And landed,
just in time to see the buckle ping clear off the belt.
And a shiny metal ‘thing’ hurtled towards me …
… straight into my mouth.
Then, uh-oh, the ‘thing’ was stuck in my throat!
I gulped,
and gulped,
and gulped.
It wouldn’t go down!
I choked, and coughed, and gagged.
It wouldn’t shift!
And it was getting difficult to breathe!
I could feel my face turning red.
My eyes had started to water.
My face was turning blue.
Then red again.
Then blue.
Then purple!
I could feel the metal tickling my throat. But it wasn’t a nice, fun sort of tickle, like when you have your belly tickled and you can’t stop laughing, then you wet yourself. It was a horrible itchy sort of tickle, like when you have a really scratchy label in your T-shirt, only this was even more annoying and way more painful. It hurt like mad and I was beginning to sound like an out-of-breath tortoise; all wheezy and croaky.
Dad must have heard me because he came rushing into the room. I thought he was going to say ‘I told you so,’ but he didn’t. He just grabbed me by the legs and dangled me upside down.
The he started shaking me

side    to    side
I felt a bit like a moneybox with one last penny inside that just wouldn’t come out. Only the penny wasn’t rattling around. It just stayed where it was, stuck in my throat.
My hair was flap, flap, flapping in my face.
My nightie was swish, swish, swishing round my ears.
And my bum was …
… well, it was jiggling about for all to see.
And I still couldn’t breathe.
Then, all of a sudden there was a scream of sirens.
Nee Nor Nee Nor Nee Nor
And a flash of blue light.
And I was bundled into the back of a van, still gasping for breath and still in my nightie!

Then we were speeding off down the road, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
Nee Nor Nee Nor Nee Nor
I was lying on some kind of wheelie-bed thing and every time we went over a bump I was thrown up into the air, landing with a
It was like being on the World’s fastest roller-coaster, only it wasn’t anywhere near as fun and I was beginning to feel a bit sick.
I thought perhaps it’d be a good thing if I was sick, then it might help to dislodge the ‘thing’ in my throat.
So I tried puking it up, but it didn’t work.
The ‘thing’ was still stuck in my throat.
And I still sounded like an out-of-breath tortoise.
Anyway, we were zooming along and suddenly the van screeched to a STOP.
And I was quickly wheeled outside.
Still in my nightie!

I didn’t know where they were taking me. All I could see was a big wobbly chin and a pair of nostrils.
Wherever I was it didn’t smell very nice, kind of like a cross between my dentist’s waiting room and mushy school dinners. Yeuch.
Anyway, we seemed to be going down a never-ending corridor and the wheels on my bed were making a right racket.
Creak – squeak – creak – squeak – creak – squeak
And I was suddenly whisked round a corner into what looked like some kind of spaceship!
It was filled with blinking lights and strange sounds.
Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep.
Tck. Beep. Tck. Beep. Tck. Beep.
And I was just lying there, wondering what on earth was going to happen, when this big, black, scary mask suddenly appeared over my face.
And then it went black.
And then I woke up.
And the tickle had gone.

2 thoughts on “The Child Within: Tug-Of-War

  1. This is a strikingly similar story as to why my little sister has a scar on her left eyebrow….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Huxtable July 19, 2018 — 8:57 pm

    I remember this very well sis!

    Horrid experience for a young child – but it is great story told by a fantastic storyteller!!


    Liked by 1 person

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