Half-arm goon! was what one of my best friends at primary school used to affectionately call me! I say affectionately because I don’t ever remember her being mean or unfriendly towards me….
…I was born without a lower left arm and hand. My parents thought it happened as a result of thalidomide, that Mum thinks she took when she was pregnant. It was a legal drug in those days so the doctor was not to blame as it was legitimately given to women, such as my Mum, who felt nauseous when pregnant.
Once Mum had got over the initial disappointment, subsequent tears and lack of compassion from her doctor, who told her to dry her tears and think how lucky she was, considering there were other babies born with far worse afflictions, such as cleft palates, she and Dad then proceeded to give me a wonderful childhood with lots of opportunities to participate in a myriad of activities that able-bodied children would do. Swimming, ballet, bike-riding, playing the piano – just to name a few….