Thursday, March 22, 2007

Your age and the sanatorium regime

I thought at first that as the Craig-y-nos story unfolded there would be a noticeable change, a relaxation in the rules, in the sanatorium regime as the decades rolled by and this would be reflected in peoples stories.

True, the discipline was much more severe in the 1920’s and 30’s yet the regime remained surprising intact well into the 1950’s.

The crucial factors determing the kind of experience you had at Craig-y-nos was not the decade you were in but your age, and the stage of the disease, on admittance.

The younger you were the more upset you would be.

Yes I know its blindingly obvious to us today but in those days nothing was known of the psychological trauma children could suffer when removed from their families and placed into what would appear to a small, sick child as a cold, hostile, isolated environment.

I was reminded of this today when a woman rang up who had been in the children's ward ( the glass conservatory) as a 14 month old baby. She remembers forming a strong attachment to nurse Glenys Davies and a "black nurse" . Later she was told that her
mother was distraught because the child no longer recognized her. This was 1950.

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