January 28 1954

Thursday. 28th Jan.

Dearest Mummy,

I hope you can read this pencil, but it seems to be all I have at the moment. Well – what do you know- last time I wrote I told you I was busy having flu & here it turns out it wasn’t flu at all, but jaundice and I am a delicious shade of mud yellow all over! Do I vaguely remember your having jaundice once when I was at school? Anyway I just hadn’t the slightest notion of what it was until this descended on me & now I am amazed the fuss over it.

After I wrote to you last I seemed much better & got up a bit, but still couldn’t eat anything. On the Sat. & Sun. I was kind of “draggy” & besides not being able to eat had a kind of nausea all the time. Cec wanted to call the Dr. on Sun. evening, but we waited till Mon. & he made an appointment for me to come over & see him that afternoon. I took a taxi over as Cec stayed with the children – he is a Dr Kastner who lives in Manor Park nearby & knows Margy & Cy – young & ugly(!) but very good & efficient. After seeing me he said it was jaundice & that I must have three things

  1. 3 weeks complete bed rest- not even getting up to go to the bathroom. 
  2. a complete fat free diet
  3. liver injections.

As you can imagine I nearly fell over in a fit, particularly as he went on to say that he thought the best thing for all of us would be for me to go into hospital for the three weeks. I had no idea that jaundice was so serious, but he says that if it’s not taken care of it becomes a chronic liver complaint & you’re always tired & get thinner & thinner (already have lost 10 lbs. in a week- whoops!) & you end up with a hobnail liver. Imagine – a hobnail liver without ever having had the whiskey first!! Anyway he told me all about it & we discussed finance & looking after the children etc. & he told me to go home & talk it over with Cec, which I did. Altogether we decided that I had better come into the hospital so as to get the care & also relieve him of trying to look after an invalid at home & he is staying at home looking after the children. I called Claire and asked her to come in as much as she could & she was coming Wed. & Thurs. of this week, so Cec will be able to go into the Lab. a bit & he is going to try to go in at night as Douglases & Garretts etc. all say they will baby sit. One thing about the hospital business is that our Insurance will pay for quite a bit of it, so that is a relief, as we no sooner seem to be getting on nicely & saving a little money when something happens to upset it all. There was no bed in the hospital till Tuesday afternoon, so Cec brought me in about 4, & Phyl stayed with the children who were asleep. The biggest blight of the whole thing is that I have been put in the Contagious Ward, as apparently jaundice is infectious & I am allowed no visitors or anything. Cec can come & visit me once only the whole time I’m here, so I feel very isolated, & keep wondering what my little family is doing. I have a small room to myself with a big window & quite a nice view & the nurses are very kind & attentive. It is a new wing on the hospital so everything is very clean & new – most of the other patients are children in with chickenpox, measles etc. so they are all bedded down about 7 p.m & the ‘ush certainly is breathless! Dr. K. comes into see me every day & is very nice –  he is very annoyed & upset about the no visiting business, because apparently I am not really at all infectious now, but it is the Ward Rule so must be obeyed.

I am eating a little now (Fri.) & the nausea isn’t so bad so I am on the upgrade! I will write again in a day or so, but will finish this now & get it posted – it has to be de-infected first! Will at least have plenty of time to get you that long letter written! 

                                               With lots of love Cyn.

A well-baked letter!

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