January 12, 2010

A Private Matter

I've noticed lately that nurses have a sick sense of humor. The things we find funny, the jokes we make, the patients we egg on would make our mothers and grandmothers blush in embarrassment. It's a culture we share only with each other, only at work. I feel it to be a defense mechanism, a reason to smile that keeps us going for our patients. For if we allowed ourselves to feel everything our patients felt all the time we wouldn't be able to do our jobs, we would be messes. Not to say we aren't compassionate because we are but everyone needs a comic relief now and then.

Last night I was not the one that had to make the jokes or look to my coworkers for a reason to laugh. My 79 year old patient, Mr. T, put a smile on my face all night long. He is one of those people that could say anything and make you laugh because of the way he said it. He was very polite, "thank you" "sounds good" "very nice" were his answers to all my explanations of procedures before I did them. He is what we call oriented x 2, which in his case is oriented to person and time but disoriented to place and situation. When I asked him if he knew where he was I got answers including air force one, Dallas, Oyster Bay and "the big game". Mr T also had an obsession with cupping his "goodness." I was warned about this in report and let it go for awhile. However, it got to the point where I had to ask. "Mr T, is everything alright down there?" I was not expecting the answer I got, "Yep, thanks kid, I just don't want to go soft." With a little bit of shock and amusement in my voice, "Oh! Okay then!" To which he says, "I'm European you know." Me, "European?" Mr T, "I am?? Oh crap! damn prostate!"

And that is how I got the biggest laugh of my career to date, thanks Mr. T!

No comments:

Post a Comment