Measles and other vaccines

Measles? Really?

Back in the day, 1963 more or less, my more or less tranquil household came face to face with a childhood disease that, at the time, was common in the United States. Measles…along with Mumps and Chicken Pox, were not perhaps considered to be a really big deal. Most children encountered the diseases in school, and were almost immediately contagious and parents and teachers alike usually dealt with Measles almost as routine.

My first grader came down with Measles, broke out head to toe in the warm red rash and fever that were characteristic of the childhood disease. Actually considered more of a nuisance than a threat at the time, we settled down into the Measles routine: stay in bed, cover windows to prevent light coming in, drink plenty of liquids, and hope other children in the family did not contract the ailment—while facing the fact that they probably would, as the patient was highly contagious.

At the time we had two younger children, boys less than two years of age. With my already worn copy of Dr. Spock’s Children and Baby Care close at hand, Dr. Spock was the first line of defense against childhood perils as the epitome of encouraging and reassuring information. When “the doctor” recommended that the boys be fortified with gamma globulin injection as a precaution, although he assured me that the risk to them was small. (Note please: I just fact-checked that statement, to make sure that wasn’t part of my sometimes dramatic memory.)

My daughter, however, became very ill very fast. She had the attendant high fever, 106-degrees is the number that I remember, and showed all the symptoms of Measles, including hallucinations, which scared the living daylights out of me.
There was the “hard Measles,” with its severe symptoms of fever, rash, delirium, eyesight impairment….and “the three-day-Measles,” which was a different disease altogether apparently.

It so happened that daughter’s first grade class was scheduled to appear in a television segment, performing a skit or song at the local TV station. The performance had been long anticipated, and the children in the class diligently learned their lines, and practiced for the show. Daughter had been looking forward to the presentation, and was very disappointed that she would not be able to participate. We consulted with the doctor, who advised that there would probably be no damage to her young eyes from exposure to the TV set for a few minutes, and we went to elaborate lengths to wheel the TV and its stand into the sick room, and dim the light appropriately…but alas, the poor little girl was too ill to even glance at the television, nor was she even interested.

This little vignette from my past (I took everything very seriously back in the day) comes to mind whenever the subject of Measles comes up. Daughter was personally none the worse for her bout with the Measles. The boys did not get the disease then, and our two little girls who came along a couple of years later were protected by the relatively-new Measles vaccine.

Rewinding to about thirty years before, when I was a child myself, I recall vividly standing in line with all of my other classmates waiting our turn to get out “shots” from the school nurse. This experience was high drama, as we watched with dread as the kids at the front of the line actually got their injection, displaying varying degrees of panic, bravado, or silent terror.

No one had a choice back then…I’m talking 1940s…your kid got in the line and got the shot. Happily, the result was that Measles disease was nearly eradicated.

A quick check on the spelling of “eradicated” I happened upon this appropriate Wikipedia comment:

What diseases have vaccines eliminated? Vaccines have contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood infectious diseases, such as diphtheria, measles, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Some infectious diseases, such as polio and smallpox, have been eliminated in the United States due to effective vaccines.

Lighting and Shadows in Cleveland

The first feature that fascinated me is the golden-hued appearance of the buildings in the background. Although born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and having worked in the city and knew my way around in the 1950s, new construction and infrastructure has changed the city appearance so much that I am not able to discuss many details. (The city’s iconic Terminal Tower is seen from a different perspective than is normally photographed. This striking golden-hue is a small part of the magnificent appearance of the entire Cleveland sky-line which obviously can only be appreciated at a given time of afternoon, with a bright Sun illuminating the buildings…and while heading East on the I-90/I-71 highway bridge. *Not to say that is the only vantage viewpoint.)

We were downtown for the purpose of attending 13-year-old great-granddaughter’s first formal photography class exhibit, a project of the Ohio Arts Council. The show was very well done, with names on the wall and five photos which each participant shot and developed from film. We arrived downtown about two hours early, and parked in a great spot on Detroit Avenue, so I took some photos of my own, which are included in this WordPress Post. (Please note that the Time Stamp on these photos is wrong, the actual date should be 12/09/2018, the time 16:43 is probably right.)


Looking East at sunlit Cleveland in the distance.. (©Sometimes 2019)
(© Sometimes, 2019)
Contrasting iron fencing and shadows, and the brick buildings, take on interest in the afternoon Sunlight. (©Sometimes,2019)
The late Sunlight illuminates the colors of bricks in this elderly building. (© Sometimes, 2019)

My 2018 cat shelter (Part I)

Time to update the outside cat shelter.  Lots of straw, tarps, assorted crates and wood…and a big table… plus more to come.

Barbara, for faithful followers’ information, is the wild Calico Cat that lives outside and was rarely seen…until the greenhouse where she hung out for years was torn down last spring, leaving poor Barbara rather confused and homeless.    But now she has apparently decided to move into the shelter on my back deck.  She is not afraid of me, and comes out when I call her name.  All of the cats locally defer to and respect “crazy Barbara” as she is sometimes called…they make room at the food dish and water pan, and apparently tolerate the tough old lady.

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Barbara, an old soldier, three feet, feral, numerous kittens. Bad foot is from being hit by a car, we didn’t know until later.

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This guy doesn’t really live here, but is a frequent visitor who apparently likes the food..

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Fluffy staked out this nest early on.

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An early arrangement, under temporary cover.

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This big grey tarp from “mail away” covers the entire deck and stays up year round. There will be at least one more heavy tarp draped over the umbrella. The temps could get down to Zero degrees Fahrenheit later in the winter…or not. This is Ohio, we try to be prepared for whatever comes our way.

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early rain protection, the plants have moved into the house.

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under construction

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This is the house the APL Lady, Joyce, made a few years ago. It was Peggy’s house but now two or three cats call it home. It’s a big tub like for Christmas trees. I put new straw inside this year, and checked out the inside…very impressive, built with ledges and windows to allow light, fully lined with insulation.

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Fluffy

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View from the kitchen, the shelter will include the swing, several tarps and assorted boxes. It was still green outside when I took this shot.

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a view inside, the light in back of the tarps is coming from heavy plastic “windows” in the back of the right side, so it isn’t just a dark hole.

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The (R) edge of the tarp will come down to anchor the main part of the shelter.

 

Cat Decisions

 

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Now what?

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Pearl isn’t sure.

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Bob considers the situation.

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say what?

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Closer, so we don’t have to shout

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Time for a nap.

(photos ©Sometimes,2018)  The colors in these shots are overwhelmed by the bright sunlight coming in the windows…except for Pearl, who is completely black and requires different camera settings to see her face.   The green paint is prettier than it appears, but could use a fresh coat of paint.   (The very thought of painting scares me!    and yes, I know we should have painted before we put the flooring down.   yikes!)

Flooring update half-way there!

The workers are here installing the new floor, which looks great.    We will paint or stain the baseboards so they are nice when they go back up.    The living room area is about half of the job, so it’s a relief to have it so far along.   However, everybody knows what happens when major new infrastructure goes in…. right…. the walls look crappy now and also incidental window frames and of course the cabinetry in the kitchen, which needs only a good cleaning.

The rest of the walls in the house were re-painted a couple of years ago when the ceilings had to have major replacement work due to ice getting in below the roofing and the insurance company paid some big bucks to repair the ceilings.   It was mostly drywall, but the insurance also covered having the ceilings AND the affected rooms re-painted.      Now we need to paint the living room walls, because they look shabby compared to the new floor and the recently-new rusty-orange paint of the kitchen/dining area.

Man…these people make a LOT of noise.   The owner(s) of the company do much of the labor themselves.   Incidentally, I have known these people for decades…the owners’ mother was a police dispatcher when I was a news reporter, and although I haven’t seen her in decades the name came to me as I thought of a local flooring company.

I’d like to paint…well, to rephrase that, it would be nice if the walls were painted.  The dusty green color is still nice and I like it as much as when it originally went on the walls fifteen years or so ago.

Well the living room part of the floor is in place, and Thursday they will do the kitchen and dining area.   The baseboards need to be spruced up, so I bought a can of water-based stain (at Home Depot) to paint them with.   The paint/stain dries in one hour, so that is a break.   All the paintings and miscellany are off the walls, all the furniture is lounging in the dining area.

ah…those of you who are still awake…thanks for following along on my housewife work musings.