Thursday, November 10, 2011

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

I had to take my son my for tests at the hospital this morning.  During that visit, I had flashbacks of a trip to the E.R. and the week long stay in the hospital that followed; that occurred when I was 15 years old.  These two events had a lot in common.  I will begin with my story.

It was November, 1988 and I was having some stomach pain.  I had incurred a similar pain only 6 months earlier but was deemed healthy and sent home.  Now the second occurrence was much worse.  I "walked" hunched over with both arms on my stomach with most of my weight pushed on to mother who was doing her best to keep me off of the ground.  We drove to the doctor office and after a short stay were sent to the hospital but only after a shot of some sort of pain killer.  By the time we had reached the hospital, which was only minutes away, the meds had taken over.  I was higher than helium filled kite.  I can remember the following through my drug induced haze:  they sat me in a wheel chair and wheeled me into a room, I hopped out of the chair and onto to the table like a king taking his throne, I don't know how long I slept but they then put me on a gurney/bed and wheeled me for x-rays. I can remember looking up and watching the ceiling lights pass. The bed was cold and the room was freezing.  The proceeding caused me to start shivering.  About 2 minutes or so into these shakes, my dad arrived.  Now, I couldn't imagine his shock and fear upon walking in on this until 14 years later when my second child was born.  (That story is for another day)  At some point I was taken to a regular hospital room that became my home for the next 5 days.  I don't know where my dad was at this point and maybe I have gotten things out of order but what was to occur next is forever ingrained in my head.  As I lie in my bed, I decided that I needed to go to the bathroom.  I was still under the influence so my mom helped me up and into the closet size restroom.  I took my seat and began the largest gas release known to man.  It started normally but then then quantity and intensity sky rocketed.  Loopy from the drugs, I began to giggle this only to help put more pressure my stomach, which led to even more release.  The aforementioned restroom had such great acoustics that it probably rivaled those of the Sidney Opera House.  I'm not quite sure how much my mom heard but she definitely got a show. I imagine it sounded something like 100 tubas playing "Three Cheers For The Red, White, and Blue."  Soon the giggles turned into a full laughter, causing even greater percussion.  Alas, the reserve emptied.  And that was that.  They could've let me go after that episode but they kept me around for days running test and scaring my family with words like "Crohns."  No diagnosis was ever given and I haven't has any issues since.

This morning, I had to wheel my "drugged" son through the hospital in a wheel chair.  When we were waiting, he was falling out of the chair and staring at lights.  Upon hearing a television, he perked up and attempted to turn his locked wheel chair around to watch.  We were then instructed to take him into an examination room.  The room was decorated for kids.  It was a scene from under the sea.  It had fish, octopi, and dolphins.  My son kept telling us that the vent had a camera in it.  So much so that I actually looked to see.  Then he started to reach for the fish on the wall.  After several failed attempts, he succeeded and proceed to pet the fish, while saying "good fish."  He then asked why there weren't any boats.  It was quite amusing but I resisted the urge to video it because I wouldn't want that done to me.  His test came out fine and his parents are relieved.

So,whether 1988 or 2011,  the hospital can be both scary and hilarious.      

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