As mentally and physically exhausting as this kind of life can be, it does come with its lighter side if you allow it. Those who do not most likely will not survive, and maybe that goes back to my strong versus weak theory. For example, falling down on your face as you are walking next to someone on a first date and watching his face turn from horror to embarrassment as he looks around to see if anyone else noticed. Or, falling down an up escalator because your body has a mind of its own and watching as everyone around you panics. Because of the Spina Bifida, or the fact that my body does not always keep up with my mind, I am somewhat of a spaz and hence falling down and walking into things is a common sight when you are around me.
How about being woken up at 4am every morning by a bunch of hospital interns in tow of their fearless leader and cracking jokes as they begin to talk about you by your record number as if you are not there. Only after someone carelessly flips off the flimsy white blanket covering you to poke and prod. Vanity definitely does not last long in this environment. The humor seems to make them uncomfortable and that makes it fun, not that it sticks with them as they go on their merry way to torture the victim in the next room trying to sleep.
Sharing a hospital room with a crazy person is always a test of humor and patience. Take the woman who was detoxing and there were no private rooms left, and no extra staff to watch her. So, lucky me spent the night jumping out of bed every few moments and dragging my IV pole around to try to pick her up off the floor while she yelled and freaked out. I was given the parting gift of a teddy bear as a thank you for that lovely experience. There was also the elderly Spanish woman who did not speak English and did not feel the need to tie up the back of her hospital gown as she walked around the room. She liked to watch her Spanish soap operas at high volume and fall asleep with them on as well so I had no choice but to do the same. Or the very nice woman who had obviously not spent a lot of time in hospitals and called her husband to bring her makeup bag so she could do her eyebrows before she went down for a procedure.
Walking into the lab and pharmacy and being known by name is a sure sign you are there way too much. Having to tell the pharmacist where to find your meds is just sad, but sort of funny.
And being comfortable talking about things most people couldn’t imagine discussing can also be a source of humor. The absurdity of what I have seen and had to do can only be appreciated by others who have experienced similar things. And a good laugh at our expense is all part of the fun.