- Mental Health»
They're all gonna laugh at you
Today did not go as planned.
But as my eldest child was driving me to the ER in Portsmouth, I realized something about myself. In times of physical pain I crack jokes. Humor is my morphine.
So, whoever is with me in times of medical uncertainty finds themselves laughing along with me or at me. I am not certain which and I am not certain whether I am doing it for them or for myself. Either way, it is a great stress reliever. You should try it.
Today, with pain in my chest I was ordered by my doctor, via her nurse, to go to the emergency “department”.
“We have to rule out anything heart related, so go directly to the ED and do not drive…someone has to drive you,” Dr. Jameson’s nurse said. “Do you have someone who can take you because if not you need to call 911.”
“Well, I am not calling 911 that is ridiculous. This is asthma or something with my lung and I don’t need an ambulance,” I answered. “Wait, what is the ED?”
“The emergency department,” she replied.
“What happened to calling it the ER?” I asked.
“Well it is not a room anymore…it is a department now,” she answered.
“Well aren’t we feeling all big and impressive? Errr..Ok, well I am not letting my oldest drive my youngest children around and they would have to come with us, so how about I drive myself?”
“I can’t recommend you do that,” she said.
“Well, no but I am kinda in control here,” I pointed out. I am tough. She can’t tell me what to do. I am a rebel. I do what I want. Ok, not really, but I think it.
“Are you in pain right now?” she countered.
“Yes,” I could only take shallow breaths and I was bent over with my chest resting on the kitchen counter while I talked with her. I was ridiculous.
“You can’t control this and if it is your heart you can not be behind the wheel,” she said. Then she drove it home. “I can’t tell you what to do, but if you don’t come in and it is serious, you will be in the hospital a lot longer than if we catch something quickly.”
Grrrrr. So, after getting my mother in-law in record time over to baby sit the toddlers, I found myself in my 23 year-old daughter’s little Ford making our way into the city.
I looked up at the four air fresheners that hung from her rearview mirror and realized she was very partial to scent of tropical coconut (deeply rooted in our mutual love of palm trees) and she also had to have a really stinky car to require so many.
“Why are there four fresheners?” I asked.
“I just never bother to take the old ones down,” she answered.
“Or there is a really bad stench in your car that you are trying to mask,” I replied jokingly.
“Do you smell anything?” she countered.
“So there isn’t a stench,” she chuckled.
“I smell nothing. I don’t even smell the four air fresheners which are faded and shriveled…sucked dry of their very essence by the incredible stench that once filled the interior of your motor vehicle,” I answered. “Look at them. It’s sad.”
She smiled. There…no tension. Nothing bad is happening as long as you are laughing.
My most ridiculous moment to crack a joke was when my youngest son was being born. And I do mean right when he was being born. I was pushing, drug-free and feeling everything, and after the third push I asked the question weighing heavy on my mind at that precious moment typically referred to as “crowning”.
“Do you at least see the head yet?” I panted.
“Yes,” replied my doctor. “It looks like he has lots of dark curly hair.”
“Oh, good,” I sighed in relief. Then in a diabolical, evil scientist voice I declared, “My plan is working!”
Everyone chuckled and my doctor laughed, patting my ankle, “I am glad you had a plan!”
Me too. And I usually do have a plan, but somehow it seems that most of the time God laughs at it and my crazy assumption that I am in control of anything. Like today, plan was to take the boys to Target and buy apple juice and bottled water. Silly girl. I even make Him laugh.