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16 October 2014
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Forum - health - Click here to return to the Forum menu page.
Hospitals pre-NHS
There is 1 message in this section.

Jim Lamond from Perth. Posted 11 Oct 2006.
very much enjoy reading all the forum stories about life in Scotland, in the old days.
I can never forget my stay in Maryfield Hospital during the early YEARS of WW2 when a simple little scratch rapidly developed into a full blown bout of Osteo-Myelitis (Blood poisoning).
From five-years old, I lay in the same bed in Ward eleven until I finally made a recovery Three Years later.
As Sir Alex. Fleming had not long discovered Penicillin, it wasn't available to the general public - because of the servicemen in WW2's needs and the Maryfield surgeons had to struggle with what they had.
It is with extreme gratitude that I can recall their strict dedication to what must have been a 'hopeless' case as I am now waiting to celebrate my 73rd Birthday.
Although I was little more than a toddler at the time, I still have vivid memories of the Ward 11 staff who gave me such unstinting care and attention during those dark days.
I've often wondered if my three years in Maryfield's Ward 11 has been a 'long-stay' record for such a young patient?
Is there anyone else out there who recalls Maryfield in the 40's?

NHS in the1960's
There is 1 message in this section.

Stefan Wozniak from Stirling. Posted 11 Oct 2006.
I remember in 1964 ( spring summer )my mother would take me once a week to Stirling Royal.I would sit on this comfy chair and these things were put either side of my ears, they were made of,I don't know what but were insulated with glass and gave out heat,there were several of us in one room just sitting for about 30 minutes.Can anyone shine some light as to what this was....

The Pill
There is 1 message in this section.

Constance Addison from Perth. Posted 10 Apr 2006.
I took the pill from 1963 until 1986 had no ill effects nor did I put weight on. Now I take HRT. Still OK.

Mental Health Services
There is 1 message in this section.

Anne O'Donnell from Edinburgh. Posted 25 Apr 2005.
I am interested in finding out more about the experiences of people with mental health problems in Scotland - I am a mental health service user myself. Services have changed so dramatically... Our history is important - when I visit the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, I think of all the people who have been through the doors and all the changes in psychiatry. I also was shown around the grounds of Craig Dunain in Inverness which is now shut. New Craigs has replaced it and it looks so different. I would love it if people felt they could share their stories here? Or you could join a message board called Userforward and tell your story there - it is for people who have mental health problems or who have. Thanks.

There are 4 messages in this section.

Samuel Cowan from Indiana.U.S.A.. Posted 19 Jul 2004.
Remember living in the tenements in Maryhill. Whenever anyone in the neighbourhood was suspected of having Scarlet Fever or Diphtheria the street was visited by a red and white striped ambulance from Ruchill hospital and there was always a fear that when it picked someone up that we wouldn't see them anymore. I had a tonsillectomy when I was 9 years old and still remember my mother dropping me off at the admission desk at Oakbank Hospital. There weren't any visitation in those days. Didn't see family for 3 days. Can't foprget how callous they were in the hospital in those days. The trip to the surgery and the rubber mask over the face with the ether. Had nightmares for years over this experience .

The Green Ladies
There is 1 message in this section.

Lucy Harland from Radio Scotland. Posted 3 Feb 2004.
Do you remember the 'green ladies' - Glasgow's first band of health visitors? Did you dread the green lady's visit, when her finger would trail along the mantlepiece to check you were dusting properly? Feared by some, welcomed by others, they brought healthcare in to the home. Radio Scotland's history magazine programme, Past Lives, would love to hear your memories. Call Lucy on 0141 338 3531.

False Teeth
There are 2 messages in this section.

Kirsty Williams from BBC Radio Scotland . Posted 24 Oct 2003.
It may sound gruesome but as late as the 1940's, people were having all their teeth pulled out as a birthday or wedding present. In the days before the NHS, no teeth = no expensive dental bills. A nice uncomplicated set of dentures could be an attractive prospect.

Medical recollections
There is 1 message in this section.

K. D. Fischer from Germany. Posted 22 Jul 2003.
I'm a medical historian who spent one year of his university education in Edinburgh (1971/72 in fact). Watching and listening to all the material from the past brings back memories, especially as I remember some things from my own childhood in East Germany, which in many ways was not so much different.
I would sometimes follow my mother, who was a public health worker looking after mothers and children, to her appointments. Cod liver oil, sunbaths to prevents rickets, immunization are vividly and perhaps nostalgically remembered. I am especially grateful because the material you have made available on the web will allow me to use it with my medical students, giving them a glimpse of what is for me still the recent past and allowing them to listen to real voices.
heartfelt thanks, K.D. Fischer

There are 4 messages in this section.

Allison from Tor. Ont. Canada. Posted 28 Apr 2003.
I had Diptheria when I was eight yrs. old I was in Colinton hospital outside Edinburgh for 2 months, they gave my parents a number and they had to look in the evening news paper every night to see that number and if it wasn't there it meant I had died, because they were not allowed in to see me because this was the hospital where all the children with contagious diseases were put, they could only look at me through a small window.

Before the NHS
There are 4 messages in this section.

Belinda Arthur from Glasgow. Posted 20 Feb 2003.
Radio Scotland's new history programme 'Past Lives' would like to hear your memories of illness and medicine before the NHS. What cures did your mother suggest for common ailments? Did you ever call the doctor out? Could you afford to? And what were hospitals like? We'd love to know. Please call 0141 338 3473 and ask for Belinda, or respond to the forum here, or e-mail me directly:

Smallpox in 1940s Glasgow
There are 2 messages in this section.

M. Peters from Newfoundland. Posted 24 Jan 2003.
Any information on the above subject would be greatly appreciated. I worked in Glasgow after the war and left in 1950. the outbreak was shortly after the war.

Lennox Castle Hospital
There are 21 messages in this section.

Howard Mitchell. Posted 13 Aug 2002.
I am completing a book, film and exhibition about the above hospital, which closed recently. I have failed to come up with any archive film at all from the institution, apart from video over the last 20 years. I wonder if anyone has any knowledge of any? The place was officially opened in 1936, was one of the largest in Europe for people with learning disability at one time, and for 30 years also contained a maternity unit where manywomen from Glasgow went to have their children. It is situated near Lennoxtown, 12 miles north of the city.

Hospitals in the 1960s
There is 1 message in this section.

Barbara Anne Milazzo from Edinburgh. Posted 29 Apr 2002.
My sister Fiona and I, in l963, were both in Chalmers Hospital in Edinburgh having our tonsils and adenoids removed. We were in the same ward with our beds next to each other. I remember my mother telling us that after the 'wee operation' we would be treated like princesses and given so much jelly and ice cream we wouldn't be able to eat it all! Oh yes, that part was true, but what she forgot to tell us was we wouldn't be able to eat it at all because our throats were so swollen! I was so ill that I couldn't even reach my sickpan so used my sisters instead which was nearer my head! I don't think she minded anyway, she was only five at the time! I also had scarlet fever when I was about six and remember being whipped away in the ambulance with all the neighbours standing around watching as they took me away. Rumour had it at the time that I caught it from playing 'down the drains'!

Hospitals in the 1950s
There are 3 messages in this section.

John Beattie from Glasgow. Posted 12 Mar 2002.
Not long after I came back to Scotland I had an accident where a firework exploded on my neck and so I was packed off to hospital. I was sent to the Victoria Infirmary which I thought was an horrific place, like something out of the dark ages. The ward I was in was full of old men who suffered from throat cancer usually caused by smoking. All these old guys had an instrument in their throats which was like a propeller and it was a horrible sight to see nurses insert tubes into their throats to drain the mucus from their lungs as it couldn’t pass above the propeller. I was so embarrassed at my injury that I made up a story about having a nose operation and when I came back from the operating theatre I was mortified as the old men told me how much better my nose looked.

Childhood Illnesses
There are 7 messages in this section.

Margaret Strachan from Aberdeen. Posted 12 Mar 2002.
Chicken pox was common, but I remember when we got scarlet fever. You usually had to go away when you were ill, but my mum wouldn't let anyone take us. I really remember my mum saying "you're not taking them away" . I was sweating, I had red spots and my mum nursed us. When we got the measles, you had to shut the curtains and not let any light in, you had to take to bed and rest and recover in a dark room. It was awful to catch whooping cough, because it lasted a long time and like most things there wasn't much we could do about it. I remember getting tonsillitis, but our doctor didn't believe in removing them, he felt it was an unnecessary procedure and he said your tonsils were there for a purpose. So, here I am still with my tonsils intact!

Before the NHS
There are 3 messages in this section.

Norna Clarke from Thurso, Caithness. Posted 12 Mar 2002.
There was no NHS when I was young and the doctors fees were high, so we were encouraged to eat healthy and work hard at keeping fit. We would always have lots of home made soups and fruit, and because we lived in Aberdeen, we ate lots of freshly caught fish, which was good for us. It was fairly common for older people to get TB, but one of my young friends from school died from it. If you caught it you ended up in the sanatorium for months on end. It was always hushed up in families, people would keep it very quiet if anyone in their house had TB. I was lucky I didn’t catch TB, but I did get very ill with Measles, it was an awful feeling and there was nothing I could do about it, but stay in bed and keep warm. The other common illness was whooping cough, which would last for weeks.

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