DiversityNursing Blog

Finding Humor in Life's Challenges

Posted by Pat Magrath

Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 04:15 PM

PAY-Laughing-Cheetah.jpgOccasionally I receive Ron’s eNewsletter and I always find them thoughtful, humorous and to-the-point. In this one, he offers examples of the importance of using humor while under stress, most of them in medical situations. I hope you find them clever and humorous too! 

I wish my brain consistently delivered me a funny and snappy comment like the people in this newsletter or my neighbor, Kay, who is always so witty and sharp at 86 years old! She is delightful to be around. How about you? Are you quick-witted and find the humor in most situations? Perhaps you have an example you’d like to share?

Written by Ron Culberson

For instance, a few years ago, while going through airport security, I was trying to remove my watch. I had recently changed the band and was having trouble unhooking it. As I attempted to take it off, the watch slipped out of my hand. I grabbed for it and accidentally smacked it twenty feet across the floor. Nervously, I turned to the TSA agent and said, “Time flies, doesn’t it?”

He laughed. I retrieved my watch. And I made my flight without incident.

Dropping your watch is not a huge problem. I understand that. But when we can find humor during life’s more challenging experiences, the situations feel a bit less challenging. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite examples from family, friends, and colleagues who used humor to cope with their particular predicaments.

———

Recently, I spoke for the US District Court clerks in western North Carolina. The Clerk of the Court, Frank Johns, shared that he was diagnosed with an unusual type of intestinal cancer in 1999. His daily treatments consisted of two chemotherapy injections administered in each side of his, well, back side. Luckily, Frank is married to a nurse so she could administer the injections.

On some days, Frank noticed that the injections didn’t hurt at all while on other days, they hurt a lot. So one day, when he didn’t feel any discomfort from the shots, he asked his wife to mark the spots on each cheek with a Sharpie. A couple of days later, he went to a tattoo parlor and had two permanent bullseyes placed where the spots were. Oh, and by the way, Frank is an avid gun enthusiast so the bullseyes were appropriate on a many levels.

In Frank’s case, humor definitely hit the spot! And it made a challenging situation better. Today, Frank’s cancer is in remission.

———

Early in my career, I spoke at a local support group for people living with serious illnesses. I asked the participants how they used humor to cope with their health challenges. One man said that when he went to see his doctor for a checkup, he placed a Beanie Baby crab under his hospital gown. When the doctor lifted the gown to examine him, he said, “Sorry, I’ve got crabs.”

The doctor burst out laughing.

When you’re dealing with a serious illness, edgy humor can be one of the greatest reliefs for the tension. It’s like fighting fire with fire. In this case the patent’s reference to an STD lead to ROTFL.

———

A colleague was telling me that when her father died, she went to the funeral home to purchase an urn for his ashes. However, she felt that the urns on display were too serious and that they didn’t fit her father’s fun personality. She felt that they were just too “urn-est.” Haha.

So, she solved the problem by burying her father’s ashes in a beer growler! He had always loved beer and she felt this represented his life much better than a more somber container. I guess you could say one bad urn deserved another (sorry).

———

My friend Theo Androus's dad was quite a gregarious guy. Once, Theo told him that his haircut looked awful. His dad said, “Son, the only difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is two weeks.”

As Theo’s dad got older, he began to have physical problems due to diabetes. On one evaluation visit, his doctor told him that he would probably need to have his leg amputated at some point in the near future. 

Theo’s dad asked, “When you cut off my leg, can I have it back?”

The doctor responded, “Why?"

His dad said, “Because I want to bury it under a tombstone that says, ‘The rest is yet to come.’”

Theo’s dad was the epitome of using sharp wit to battle serious life challenges. He was definitely a cut above the rest.

———

My friend Michael Aronin was born with cerebral palsy. All his life, he has dealt with people who are uncomfortable with his speech and his unsteady gait. But, as a comedian, he has always responded to this discomfort with humor.

Once, when Michael was nine, he was in a department store with his mother. He tripped and fell. A sales person came over to help his mother pick him up. As they were lifting him to his feet, he said, “I shouldn’t have had that second beer.”

Michael has a brilliant way of straightening out the uneven road in his life.

———

A couple of weeks before my father died, and when it seemed pretty clear that he would not get better, a few friends and family came to visit him in the hospital. My dad was a private person who didn’t like to talk about himself or the seriousness of his situation.

One day, our pastor and my dad’s friend Neal were in the room. The pastor asked, “Is there anything you want to tell anyone?”

In his typical witty way, my father said, “Well, Neal owes me five dollars.”

We all laughed and my dad successfully avoided one more serious conversation.

———

Sometimes it may feel like nothing is funny. Other times, humor is the only way we can get through the day. A touch of humor can be just the balance we need so that we don't get knocked off our feet by life’s challenges.

So, laugh a little. It’s good for what ails you.

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Topics: humor, humor during difficult times, funny

Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us (Part 2)

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

6. …but people still expect them to show up the second they ring the call bell.

...but people still expect them to show up the second they ring the call bell.

7. Sometimes they’re working so hard, they can go entire shifts without eating, drinking water, or sitting.

Lunch break? What’s that?

8. Ditto going to the bathroom.

9. Some patients will incessantly hit on them.

27 Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us

10. Others will expose themselves for no clear medical reason.

Others will expose themselves for no clear medical reason.
Flickr: eflon / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: eflon

“Your arm is broken… so why is your dick out?”

Source: www.buzzfeed.com

Topics: health, healthcare, career, health care, patients, hospitals, medicine, treatment, nurse, nurses, medical, humor

Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us (Part 1)

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 01:38 PM

By Carolyn Kylstra

1. They work 10- or 12-hour shifts, often without breaks.

Actually, make that 13 hours.

2. Those 10- or 12-hour shifts? They might just start at 6 am. OR AT 6 PM.

Those 10- or 12-hour shifts? They might just start at 6 am. OR AT 6 PM.
BuzzFeed

Rise and shine!

3. They have no idea what they’re about to encounter literally every time they go to work.

27 Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us
NBC / Via uproxx.com

4. Except they know for sure that they will be doing paperwork. Lots and lots of it.

Except they know for sure that they will be doing paperwork. Lots and lots of it.
Pixar / Via youtube.com

5. They’re usually taking care of about six (or more) patients at any given time…

27 Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us
CBS / Via cambio.com

Source: www.buzzfeed.com

Topics: hospital, career, RN, work, shifts, nurse, nurses, medical, treatments, humor, sickness

6 Things that All Nurses Want for Christmas

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 22, 2014 @ 01:29 PM

6 Things that All Nurses Want for Christmas resized 600

What do all nurses want for this holiday season? We asked the nursing community on Facebook and reddit and we discovered that yes, it’s not necessarily a pair of scrubs. Here are their answers:

  1. Better staffing and better nursing jobs

    Top of the list are these answers that we think go hand-in-hand:

    “A job. Going 2 months strong being unemployed (currently living the dream of being a stay at home wife). When I was working: Adequate staffing.” – mogris, from reddit

    “I second the ‘adequate staffing’. I'm a little worried that my Christmas night will be crushingly busy.” – CrossP, from reddit

    “I'm in the same unemployment boat as you. It is not a fun ride. I just want to be someone's nurse again.” – OkieDokieArtichokee, from reddit

    “Better nurse to patient ratio!” – Lisa B., from Facebook

    “Low census and adequate staffing” – nocturnalnurse, from reddit

    When hospitals and other healthcare facilities don’t want to hire more nurses, then obviously there are fewer nursing jobs created. Meanwhile, the existing staff will have to bear a heavier workload.

  2. The right to die with dignity

    “Legalized euthanasia.” – Vilalintine, from reddit

    After all, death shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. Controversial as this may sound, sometimes it is the better option for the patient.

  3. The company of family and friends, at home or even at work

    All nurses want for Christmas is “to spend it with their families.” – Leslie C., from Facebook

    “To not be pulled to another unit. I'm already away from my home family, don't take me away from my work family too!” – FunkeeBananas, from reddit

    “Word. Worst Christmas ever involved me and another nurse getting pulled to another unit, that nurse crying, my pod mate being a total bitch, and my two being patients sad, sad trainwrecks. Ugh.” – abermanlebt, from reddit

    Who doesn’t want to feel at home this Christmas, even at work?

  4. The ability to not get tired

    “Feet that don't hurt after 12hrs.” –Hottiemcgee, from reddit

  5. A break during their shift or sometimes a break from nursing itself.

    “A break…” – Nancy G., from Facebook

    “Nonnursey gifts. ;) seriously, get me a new game or help with the gaming PC I'm building and I will love you forever. Or blankets. My husband keeps this apartment freezing! Same there's only do many layers and blankets I can cover up in before it impedes my gaming.” – thackworth, from reddit

    “Steam gift cards and a matched pair of GeForce GTX 980s. ...or is that just me?” – auraseer, from reddit

    Everyone does need a break from nursing once in a while—and that break takes different forms. For some of our nurses, it’s a day of playing their favorite video games. So before you go shopping to get some gifts for nurses, you may want to consider this fact. (Hint: if your nurse friends aren’t gamers, a day of pampering is always nice.)

  6. And of course, all nurses want the best for their patient.

    “For the NICU babies to go home with their family.” – kitty-cat-meow, from reddit

    “An empty waiting room.” – A_guy_in_scrubs, from reddit

    No patients means no one’s sick, and hence, no problem!

We’ll end this post with a Christmas carol from rninnj, posted on reddit:

12 filled meds from pharmacy

11 family members leaving

10 toes on a diabetic

9 days off

8 beds ready, no new admissions

7 cups of coffee

6 smiling patients

5 sleeping patients

4 extra staff members

3 patent lines

2 uninterrupted breaks

1 partridge in a pear tree

Wishing all nurses a happy holiday season!

Source: www.nursetogether.com

 

Topics: nurses, gifts, funny, Christmas, humor, nurse humor, Holidays

Advice to Adults With Cancer From a 5-Year-Old Who's Been There

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 01:18 PM

By Nicole Scobie

Advice resized 600

Here's a light-hearted look at cancer treatment from the point of view of my son Elliot, who was only 4 1/2 when he was diagnosed. I know many of the adults I am in touch with who have cancer or who are helping a person with cancer through this journey, will relate!

Advice to adults with cancer from a 5-year-old:

1. It is perfectly acceptable to have a complete tantrum and throw your shoes around just before leaving for the hospital.

2. You always deserve a present after chemo.

3. If you feel like showing more respect and politeness to the hospital clown than your oncologist, that's OK.

4. If you manage to grab the syringe of medicine from the nurse, it's their loss and you are then allowed to squirt its entire content around the room.

5. You are allowed to complain loudly about any smells like perfume, but you are also allowed to fart freely whenever and wherever you want.

6. Anyone who says "this one tastes like syrup" better be not be lying or they can expect to catch some spit.

7. You are allowed to worry about life and death, but only to the same extent that you worry about whether Santa Claus will be able enter your home if you don't have a chimney.

8. Speaking of worry, you are not allowed to worry about anything that is not going to happen today or tomorrow.

9. Any bad thing that happened in the past should be quickly erased from your mind using ice cream.

10. It's OK to throw up directly on your caregiver instead of into the bucket they are holding. It will create warm and funny memories for them once this is all over.

11. Good friends may stare when they first see you without any hair, but they are quickly more interested in all your new toys. So make sure you have lots of new toys around all the time.

12. It is the right thing to do to jump off the examining table if the doctor's hands are too cold.

13. A popsicle for breakfast is a good idea and goes well with bacon.

14. If someone rubs your bald head and says you're cute, you should stare at them in complete boredom until they stop.

15. Always believe that scars are badges of courage and make you look like a pirate or a superhero.

16. Jumping on the bed is a perfectly acceptable form of exercise.

17. Someone should always be available to carry you if you don't feel like walking anymore and they will be grateful if you look at them lovingly and say, "You're walking too slowly."

18. It's a good idea to frequently press the little button next to the bed that makes the nurse come running, because she might be lonely and bored and enjoys picking your crayon up from the floor.

19. The only part of hospital food you should eat is the dessert. The rest is not really food, anyway.

20. Make having fun your priority all the time, no matter where you are or what's going to happen next.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Topics: patient, advice, cancer, young boy, humor

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