All Done on the Dining Room Table

by Carole Lorimer

Our family doctor was Dr Dora Hoskins, who had a surgery in Hanbury St. Mayfield NSW. She was a plain woman who wore horn-rimmed glasses and pulled her hair tightly into a bun at the nape of her neck.

I remember visiting her at the surgery but my most vivid memory is of the day she came to our house, sat me on our dining room table and wanted to put a nasty cold thing on my chest. I was not too impressed with this and told her so. I had my favourite toy, a furry koala bear with me and, speaking reassuringly to Bear all the time, Dr Hoskins put the cold thing on Bear’s chest to show that it wouldn’t really hurt. After establishing that this was acceptable to me I allowed her to carry on.

Of course I had no idea what was about to happen. With Bear clutched tightly in my arms I was stretched out on the dining room table, something was held over my nose and mouth and I went to sleep.

When I woke up I had an incredibly sore throat and couldn’t eat anything more than jelly and a special treat, home-made ice-cream, for a couple of days. I was told that the ‘nice’ Doctor had taken my tonsils out. I inspected Bear closely but could’t see any sign of his tonsils having been taken out as well. Why, I wondered,had it all happened to me? After all, the cold thing had been put on his chest too.