Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Time Travel Tuesdays~ Ida Lee Part 12 ~ A Mystery Illness & Snakes!

In October of 1918, I became pregnant again, which would make me the mother of eight children. This pregnancy was a miserable one. About six weeks before I was confined I felt a severe pain in my side, which lasted for weeks or months after the baby came. At first I thought it was something minor, such as gas, so did not think much about it. Grandmother Hamblin (Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin) was with me as usual, as she had been with all the others. I gave birth to a baby girl on July 19, 1919, a normal birth. She was a sweet little girl  but under-nourished on account of my health. We named her Margaret after my mother. I expected the pain to leave after the baby's birth but it didn't. In fact, it got worse. After a few weeks we moved back into town in our home where I could have more help with the children. Grandmother Hamblin became ill and had to go home to Eagar. My mother and sister lived close and gave me so much help when I needed it. No one has ever had a better mother or sister. All these weeks we had called on the Lord often, for help, for help, but it seems I had to go through this experience. Two days after Grandmother Hamblin left, Carl had me propped up in bed  with a chair and pillows at my back. When I got tired and asked him to lay me down, he took the chair away and I fell back, screaming from such an intense pain. It felt like a knife had been stuck in my side. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. The doctor in Springerville was called and he told them on the phone what was wrong and what to do until he got there, as he could not come until the next day. It was during the rainy season and the roads were very bad. Carl's sister, Mary Beeler came by on the mail cart on her way to Alpine to pick wild berries for jam and preserves. On arriving at our place and seeing my condition she did not go any further. The doctor told them to wring out cloths in hot water and put on my side, as hot as I could stand. Water so hot it almost scalded their hands, and I couldn't even feel the heat. This they did all night long with the help of my sisters Eva and Margaret, Lydia Maxwell, and my brother Rain, who was always ready in time of need, and others who I can't even recall.It was the first relief I had felt for months. My brother-in-law Will Lund, left the next morning to meet the doctor with a team and a wagon. The buggy could not make it all the way in the mud. He said I had an infected tube, and the opening between there and the uterus was closed. None of the poisonous matter could leave my body. He told them to continue on as they were doing, and for Carl to bring me to Eagar the next morning, letting him know as soon as we arrived. Aunt Mary decided to go back to Eagar with us and help take care of me. When Will took the doctor back to his buggy he asked him what were my chances of living. He said I had a fifty-fifty chance if the tube opened up and let the infection out. Hot towels were kept on my side all night. They were so hot that they would have to be wrung out in a dry towel with two people holding the ends.

Early the next morning the men fixed up a wagon with bows and covers. They put a cot inside for me to rest on, and chairs for Mary and Eva, my sister, to sit on. The men of the priesthood gathered around me and had a prayer circle for me. There were a lot of subdued voices around and as sick as I was, I realized they all felt that I was near death. I told them not to whisper for I was not going to die. Eva was going along to care for my baby Margaret. The six children were scattered out among friends to be cared for while I was gone. I did not worry about them for I knew they would be taken care of. People in Nutrioso were the best in the world when it came to trouble. One person's trouble was every body's. We made the trip okay, although the roads were rocky and muddy. Every time the wagon went over a rock, my pain was more intense, but soon the nightmare was over and I was at Grandmother Hambin's home and in a nice clean bed. The doctor was called and was very pleased and surprised to find that after making the trip, my fever was less that it had been when he had seen me the day before. I continued to improve, thanks to the doctor, Mother Hamblin, my dear sister Eva, and Mary. Margaret was given good care which was a comfort to me.

One night I was awakened to hear the most beautiful music, as if it were angles singing. I have never mentioned this to anyone as I thought they would say I was not in my right mind. I was as clear-mined then as I am now and the sweetest, most peaceful feeling came to me. After about three weeks the doctor came to see me and told me I was out of danger. I told him I knew I was going to be alright for I know God would not take me from all those little children. He said, "You'll never know how near death's door you were." Once again I thanked our Father in Heaven for the power of the Priesthood. How grateful I am to my parents and all the dear folks who cared for my children while I was away. If my memory does not fail me, I think I was away for three weeks to a month. At last the day came when I was strong enough to go home to my loved ones, and to my normal happy life. Before the doctor released me, he warned of the dangers of accepting motherhood again for at least five years, but in less than two years, Sylvia was born and I have never gotten along better.

On a lighter note, and because we all need to laugh now and then...
 One day while I was sick, before I was taken to Eagar, Grandmother Hamblin had put me in the rocking chair by my bed in order to make the bed. I looked down on the floor and there was a large snake lying the length of my chair. Grandmother was scared nearly to death. She got all the children up on the bed with her and sent Fern to get Carl, who was working in the fields. When he came in the door, there was Grandmother up on the bed with all the children, a broom in her hand. He said he guessed she was going to fight the snake with her broom if it attacked!  It was curled up by (the rocking chair) and he shot it from the doorway and threw it down the well.

(Ida also recalled at the time she wrote this story, another snake story. This time Carl had found a large rattle snake, killed it and brought it to the house to show the children. Then he hung it in a tree outside. That is when Fern (of course it was Fern!) got the bright idea to scare the others with it. That evening we heard the children crying and looked out to see them running down the road and Fern chasing them with the snake in her hand. It made no difference to Fern that it was a rattler! She was not afraid of anything, and was glad to hear the children cry! She really got a lickin' that time for her Daddy told her the she or one of the others could have still gotten venom form it had they stepped on it.

As for Granny's terrible pain and illness during and after her pregnancy with Margaret, I am baffled.  We rarely hear of infected Fallopian tubes, and when we do the onset seems to be swift and violent resulting in a ruptured tube. How did this country doctor, with no x-ray machine or ultrasound device make this diagnosis. It bothered me to the point that I read up on everything I thought it could possibly be. Gall bladder? Pancreas? Appendicitis? Those all present with severe pain, but are all in different places than Ida's was. Without more detailed information from her on other symptoms we'll never know exactly what it was, but I am guessing the heat packs helped release any infection that may have been in her side. I was also wondering why they didn't give her penicillin for the infection. Well, I was right in recalling that penicillin was discovered in the 1890's, but it was not refined and in wide use until the 1930's. All we do know is that the Holy Spirit confirmed to Ida that she would live, she received priesthood blessings, loving care, and heard the angels in Heaven sing for her. She had such great faith! We are so blessed to have the technology we have today. I'm sure she would have been diagnosed before Margaret was born, and out of pain fairly soon.

Below is Mary Elizabeth Hambin Beeler. She was born to Jacob and S. Priscilla Leavitt Hambin in 1872. She was Carl's older sister by ten years. She was therefore, Ida's sister-in-law. She was one of the angels that lovingly cared for Ida through the night and traveled with her to Eagar on that bumpy, painful wagon ride. The had a very loving relationship. My own mother speaks of "Aunt Mary" very sweetly and with admiration.

This is Ida's sister Evaline Lee Caffal. She was younger than Ida by 9 years. She was another angel on Earth who lovingly cared for Ida and traveled with her. I remember being around "Aunt Eva" many times and loving her! She was a favorite of my mother's.

This is Ida's mother-in-law Sarah Priscilla Leavitt Hamblin. She went by Priscilla. 
She was the third wife of Jacob Hamblin, the great missionary to the Native Americans in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. She was also a midwife and the daughter of a midwife.
She attended all of my grandmother's births until she was too old. I know she didn't deliver my own mother in 1922. She passed away in 1927. 
She was a genuine pioneer who walked across the plains as a five year old girl, after fleeing Nauvoo, Illinois when the Latter-day Saints were expelled that frozen February night in 1846.
 In her older days, always a loving smile and a helping hand.

 Let's not forget the folks back home who cared for Carl and Ida's children in Nutrioso for a month while they were in Eagar. Here are her parents, John Willard Lee and Lucinda Margaret Clark Lee. She is the person whom Aunt Margaret (the baby born in this story) was named for. Her mother Evaline Brown Clark Was who Aunt Eva was named for.

 As for Aunt Fern and those snakes...! What are you going to do? Anyone who has grown up in Arizona knows you steer clear of these guys, dead or alive, but Fern wasn't afraid of
 much and was spunky all of her life. I loved her dearly!

Next Time:
Two more babies, a new job, and a runaway truck (aka Ida's first driving lesson!)

1 comment:

URFAVE 5+1 said...

I just love reading all this history of family!thank you so much for sharing!
I love love and miss you all!