This is a still shot from the TV programme H.R. Pufnstuf that was on the television between about 1969/70. I loved it. Partly because it had Jack Wild as one of the main characters and I had really fallen for him when he was the Artful Dodger in the film 'Oliver'.
At the time of my story I was 12. I had been on a school trip during the day and had come home with raging stomach ache. I was really ill all evening, and got even worse overnight. My mum rang the doctor in the morning (even though it was a Saturday and she didn't like to bother him at the weekend) and he came round. Mum was convinced I had eaten other people's sandwiches on the school trip and something had disagreed with me. I knew I hadn't but she wouldn't believe me. The doctor took my temperature, poked my stomach a bit and suggested that mum and dad rang for an ambulance - immediately. Why had they left it so long before calling? he asked. The 'we didn't like to bother you at night time' comment was received with a stern look and raised eyebrows. Dr Booth told them that I was not making a fuss over nothing, that it wasn't anything to do with food, that I had been really brave putting up with the pain overnight (Dr Booth was by now my most favourite doctor in the whole wide world. Well, apart from Dr Who of course) and that he thought I had appendicitis and we needed to go to hospital fast as if it had gone on overnight, it may be close to rupturing. I'm pretty sure that if I had felt a bit stronger I would have pulled my 'See - I told you I hadn't been eating anyone else's food' face.
So into hospital I went, an emergency appendectomy was performed, mum felt suitably guilty and I felt better. But this was back in the olden days when an appendectomy took 10 days recovery time in hospital, a 4" incision and a whole bunch of stitches. What made it even worse was that I was going to be in hospital when H.R. Pufnstuf was on and there was no TV in the wards. Told you it was the olden days didn't I? When mum and dad came to visit the next day, they brought in a tape recorder on which they had recorded the whole episode for me. Although I couldn't see it, I could get the gist of the episode from what I heard. Poor old dad had to sit right up close in front of the television for half an hour holding a microphone up to the speaker so it would record. Of course being such a long time ago, video recorders had yet to be invented! I sat in my hospital bed for hours on end listening to that recording and imagining what was happening, and it was the absolute best Get Well Soon present anyone could have brought me.