LOUISE: Finding the Funny Bone

Aaron and JayRecently, my son, Jay, was hospitalized with pneumonia and his older brother came from Arkansas to check on him. Determined to get a smile, Aaron donned a surgical mask while holding a miniature Swiss Army knife and took a picture then posted the following comment on Facebook: “Hanging in the hospital with my little bro. While it is no fun to be in ICU, we still managed to save his funny bone.” A big smile was plastered on Jay’s face. Loved the interaction between my boys and, thankfully, Jay is now home and recovered. But Aaron’s comment made me think of some comical things that actually did occur at a medical facility.

When I was six months pregnant, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. One problem—where to cut? The obstetrician was certain the baby would have pushed the appendix upward from its normal position while the surgeon felt the appendix would still be in the lower, right side. Their compromise—a lengthy incision from my lower side to just below my waist. Believe me, there is nothing like a baby kicking the inside of an incision. During my hospital stay, a nurse came to dress the wound. Her face registered total shock when she flipped back the cover and saw my protruding belly. “My,” she exclaimed. “We have a little distention, don’t we?” Afraid she was about to call some emergency code, I quickly responded, “No, we have a little baby.” 

When my husband, Carl, recovered from abdominal surgery, I went with him to have the staples removed. The surgeon was well acquainted with both of us and we were talking about different things when I asked, “Why do you suppose God put things into our body that we can actually do without—tonsils, appendix, gall bladder…” Without hesitation, the doctor replied, “So surgeons could have something to take out.” We both laughed hysterically. Carl didn’t appreciate the humor since he was lying on his back awaiting staple removal.

Once, I had some itchy bumps on the trunk of my body and feared they were bedbug bites since the TV news was hot with stories of bedbugs in hotels. We had been to a hotel so it seemed a likely explanation. The doctor took one look and said, “You have shingles.” I quickly exclaimed, “No, I think they’re bedbug bites!” I was so certain the little pests had hitchhiked home with us from the hotel that I had already called an exterminator. The doctor shook his head and simply replied, “You have shingles, Louise.” He handed me a prescription and said, “You can take this medicine and have a lighter case or do nothing.” My husband insisted I take the medicine and cancel the exterminator. 

Of course, most doctor visits or hospitalizations are serious and have very little humor, but once in a while someone does hit that funny bone that Aaron mentioned. In fact, when he was a teenager in recovery, still under the effects of medication after oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth, he begged his dad, “Don’t let Mom take me home. She drives too fast.” I didn’t find that humorous but Carl thought it was a hoot and never let me forget it. A few years later, when he was taken to the hospital by ambulance and I met him at the ER, he gave a surprised expression. “How did you get here so quick?” Then he quickly added, “I forgot how fast you drive!”

Hope your next medical visit is humorous and not horrendous!

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