I lived in a small midwestern town with my three sisters, aunt, grandmother and mom. Dad travelled a lot and was not home very much.
Mom was a great and gentle mother. Mom also watched after our health and took care of anything we came down with. She also believed in older medical techniques and believed that constipation need to be addressed and that rectal temperatures was the best and more accurate way of taking a persons temperature.
The Rectal Thermometer
The rectal temperature was the prefeed method that mom, aunt and grandmother used to take our temperatures. They used this method until we moved out of the house. They even used the rectal method on each other when they were ill.
The first time that I remember my temperature being taken was around age 3-½. Mom placed me on the changing table and pulled my pajama bottoms down. She lifted my legs to my chest when I felt the thermometer slide deep into my rectum. Mom held the thermometer for several minutes then withdrew it and saw her hold the thermometer up to read it. At age five, I was placed over the administrator's lap. Most of the time the temperatures took place in the bedroom. Occasionally our temperatures were taken in the kitchen or living room. I didn't like that because others could watch the procedure which was very embarrassing. Mom even took my temperature in front of a her neighbor lady friends. My sisters also watched. Of course I would watcher their temperatures taken as well.
The Glycerin Suppository
Suppositories were used as preventative measure when we were ill. The suppositories used were the long type. I never liked them much as mom or my aunt would place us on our backs and hold our legs up as they inserted the suppository but not fully. They would use the pad of their fore finger to hold prevent the suppository from being expelled. After several minutes the suppository started to work and as I squirmed from the cramping the suppository would be pulled out to the end and slowly reinserted. The in and out motion made the suppository even more effective. Gas was expelled as my bowels started move which was very embarrassing. I then felt the suppository slide into my rectum followed my mom's finger. After she removed here finger she would squeeze my checks together to hold the suppository even longer. Sometimes I would cry as the cramps were really strong. After several minutes mom lifted me off the table and onto the potty chair.
Around age ten mom started using adult size suppositories which I like a bit more as they were inserted fully and was much less embarrassing.
The Enema Syringe
The bulb syringe was used as mom never owned a bag. Mom gave a very through enema which required several bulbs. The first one was a 2-½ oz. I don't remember mom using that on me however, I saw her use it on my younger sisters. The four oz syringe was used at age 3 and given on top of a table with our legs held by my aunt or grandmother.
At age seven the enema was given over the administrator's lap and usually in the bathroom. at age nine the eight oz syringe was used. We were placed on our left side on our beds as the enema was given.
I secretly enjoyed the enemas and still use them today.