If Laughter Be the Best Medicine…

Well you knew I couldn’t make a simple two-day stay in hospital for tests boring, didn’t you? There were some hilarious times. So many that I’ll have to do this in two chunks or it will be too long for people to bother with.

Laughing bear
Laughing bear

So even the lumbar puncture was a hoot. Yes, I know, having a bloody great needle shoved in your back and spinal fluid drawn out shouldn’t be. It isn’t in the medical text books but they had not counted on – a doctor in a wheelchair, a nervous student and Funny Lady as the patient.

For a start you can’t say no to a very good looking young medic on wheels (well I can’t) and I believe in encouraging students as I used to teach and there is nothing like hands-on practice to beat theory. I could feel that the poor lamb was really suffering so that was fine. It took the focus off me and I was sending out waves of courage and calm to her. Having reikied myself into a Zen place I joined in with her colleague saying “You’re doing fine, that’s right. Lovely sweetie, just keep going like that”.

Zen monkey
Reikied out Zen monkey

I even sang for her. When she was shaking like a leaf I chanted the Om nama Shivaya for her and that helped calm the atmosphere and when she got the needle in and the fluid was running nicely I burst into “Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor” which they didn’t understand but loved the tune

When they finished I asked if it was her first time. This was when I nearly did pass out because her reply was “It’s the first time I’ve done it right.” I stuttered “Well you can now show off and say the first time you did a lumbar puncture, you were so good that the patient was very relaxed and even sang.” Once they had gone, however I hit the pillows shaking because I wondered what kind of purgatory she had inflicted when it HADN’T gone right.

I’d been told to drink plenty of water so I dutifully emptied my carafe, or was trying to when the nurse came in and snatched it away. “No, you are to have a drip, your blood results from this morning show you are alarmingly low on sodium so you have to have a drip overnight.” WTF??? Too much salt is bad for you and my grandfather died of Pagett’s disease from shovelling it on his food like confetti! I’m very careful about my salt intake – result being I have a deficiency.

I didn’t mind as it was only sub-cut (under the skin) rather than intravenous (into your blood stream) so it could go in my ample belly and not be as restricting as in the back of the hand. However, in the morning when my room-mate Alix and I wanted to nip downstairs for a smoke and I asked politely if someone would remove it (s’only a two minute job!) this chippy little nursing assistant said “No”. When asked why she replied “Because.” Oh dear. No sweetie you don’t adopt that tone with Nanny Ab because she values courtesy above most things. “Because WHAT?” came out rather icily. “Because I’m not a nurse,” she mumbled. “Well I AM,” I retorted and removed the bloody thing myself.

Alix and I high-fived each other and headed for the elevators. We were playing “The naughtiest girls in the School” and we were very good at it. More later…..

needle f
No, bigger than this!

7 thoughts on “If Laughter Be the Best Medicine…

  1. I’m so pleased you survived the LP and the doctor did too! The doctor who did mine was a novice but although I agreed to him doing it, I didn’t sing to him. I just stayed in the featal position trying not to shake.
    Take care of yourself my friend

  2. An example to all of us that hate needles and hospital visits… need to be singing when I go to Bangor Hospital on Tuesday. Glad you are teaching the world to sing. 🙂

  3. Fantastic! I remember my time as a medical student and yes, indeed it is important to learn on the job. Thankfully all my patients at the time lived to tell the tale although I can’t remember any of them singing, but there were some funny and amazing conversations. I’m convinced good humour helps the healing… I look forward to the next post Ailsa!

  4. I hope the lumbar puncture was not too painful. I have ben told they are. I had to of them in my ver late teens, but a I was paralized at the time, I could not feel either of them, just a bit of discomfort where the nurse lenpaned on my side whilst nattering to the doctor. Bes of luck.

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