January 28, 2010

The Best Medicine

Last night I had a patient who was a very young 88. He has been married to his sweetheart for 66 years and the honeymoon still ain't over. I have never seen a couple so happy and affectionate to each other. Before she left for the night he said "Give me a smooch doll face, I love ya baby." Anyway, he had taken a spill the day before and was in our unit because he had a small bleed in his head..no worries, he is going to be just fine. He also suffered two broken ribs. Broken ribs are extremely painful and there isn't much to do to treat them.

"Mike" is one of those people that smiles with his whole face. He lights up the room. You really can't help but smile too.. you wont even realize your doing it. He also loves to laugh which is very painful with broken ribs. The only thing he loved more then laughing himself was making us laugh which we did at every clever comment that came out of his mouth...and there were quite a few. Every time he made us laugh he would laugh too.. after each time he would yell in pain "Jesus Mary and Joseph!" laugh..."Jesus Mary and Joseph!" The problem is that the things he would say really were very funny ..we tried not to laugh for his sake but weren't successful..we laughed..he laughed..then "Jesus Mary and Joseph!" I finally said to him "Mike, you gotta stop with the jokes, I don't want you to hurt yourself." He said to me "Lovie, I love to smile and I love making people smile, it makes me happy. So.. it is my best medicine. Don't worry about me.. I am just fine..Now that Tiger Woods, he's the one you gotta worry about" laugh.."Jesus Mary and Joseph!"

I thought about what he said and realized he is right. Not about Tiger, about the laughing. Who doesn't feel better after a good, genuine laugh? It uplifts us..it's a release..it feels good. Maybe he is on to something..maybe we should listen to the secret of an 88 year old man who has more heat in his relationship and more energy in his daily life then most 25 year olds. It's simple, really; in the face of pain, sadness, illness or just day to day life challenge yourself to be happy. smile. laugh. Maybe it is the best medicine...

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