Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Physical Reminders of Holocaust

Do you suffer any physical illness as a result of your experience during the Holocaust?

Right after the war, I was very sick for a long time. First it started with me being, losing my voice. And then after months I got back the voice. So somehow I had my eyes swollen day after day. And going to different doctors they said that it's something wrong with my eye teeth. That if something uh, or from the war, enough uh, ficiency from food or whatever. So I had pulled my eye teeth. And then they started with bottom teeth. And it wasn't this. Then I had a time that I was very sick with back trouble. And I had to go--this was already in Germany and I was going for special baths. Taking special baths in different places like Bad Kissingen. I was going there for a few, a few times. And here I suffered already, I was a few times in the hospital. I developed kidney stones and I was already a few times in the hospital. And the doctor said, and he even gave me letters to Germany, that this is from deficiency, that I didn't have enough uh, food, and I didn't--my body was dehydrat...dehydrating.

Mm-hm.

I--because we were, for, for such a long time we were going without water. The food wasn't so much, like without water. And you know, the kidneys couldn't work. And since that time, I had two kidney stones and I was for the longest time on medication and hospital and now I still have one. And with my ear, when I--when it started when I had uh, the check-up with my throat, that when I lost my voice, was when the doctor checked my throat he noticed that my tonsils were gone. And he checked my ears and he saw that uh, I have a hole in the eardrum. So for the last few years I had a special uh, guard for my teeth.

Mm-hm.

Because I have terrible pressure in my ears. It feels like somebody went with both hands, squeezed my ears together like my head would be in a uh, in a vice. That's how it feels many times. So coming back to the uh, kidney stones. I had two and I have still now one. Since that time my body is producing them. And the doctor says just one of those things. And I have check-ups every six months. And I had a few other surgeries. And just a few months ago I had gall stone surgery. I had a few lumps removed. But life goes on and I just hope and pray for the best.

Does the past ever interfere with your life today?

I believe so. Very much. I'm very emotional. I'm getting very easily upset and many times I get upset over things that really they shouldn't bother, but they shouldn't concern me. But they bother me. If somebody will say something or it's a neighbor or it's a friend or a relative. I won't say anything, but deep down, it bothers me and I'm trying to control myself. But I suffer a lot because mo...most of the time I'm trying to put up a face, but deep down [crying] I believe that my suffering and the, the circumstances in all what I went through at such a young age, I cannot get used to it and I try to cope with the problems. But I believe it has to do a lot with my past.


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