Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stories Of, By, And For Sick People

Magazine Man recently related some Hospital Stories. He asked if any of his readers had some to share.

I do. One of them may be found here. I wouldn't feel right to just re-print it in its entirety, but it is worth a visit. After you're done there, come on back for two new stories.

You're back! And here, just like magic, are the two new stories! Both concern my Dad. He passed away almost 12 years ago (12 years - where the heck have I been?) and I still miss his sense of humor.

Story Number One:

My Dad was at the Deaconess for bypass surgery. Prior to the surgery, he was sharing a room and the other fellow was wearing some sort of monitor that made a Godawful noise whenever his heart rate would go below a certain level.

I was visiting my Dad and he told me about the monitor on the other guy and how every time it went off, he thought he was going to have a heart attack from hearing the thing. Just then, the thing went off. It was a hideous noise; loud and grating.

Suddenly, my Dad got this terrible look on his face, dropped his head to one side with his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and his eyes closed shut.

While we were talking, I had been sitting on the side of his bed. I now jumped up and shouted for the nurse. My Dad then opened his eyes and said, "Jesus, be quiet! I was just kidding!"

Scared the living shit out of me.

Looking back, it was a damned funny thing to improvise like that, but Good God! He was there because he DID have a bad ticker. Took me ten minutes before I was sure that I wasn't going to have a heart attack myself...

Story Number Two (which isn't really a hospital story, but it hinges on having been in the hospital, so...):

My Dad was visiting some friends in New Hampshire. This was shortly after he had been in the hospital for a bout of congestive heart failure, a couple of years after the bypass surgery.

Since he had recently gotten out of hospital, the conversation naturally turned to his confinement and the treatment plan he was following. He outlined to his friends - a married couple - that he had been prescribed a number of diuretics. He went into great detail about how they made him piss like a racehorse - which was pretty much a spot-on description, since one of the drugs was Lasix, which they DO often give to racehorses prior to running them.

Anyway, at one point my Dad excused himself to use the bathroom.

The bathroom was just off of the kitchen where they had been having their conversation. From past experience, my Dad knew that anything you did in this bathroom was highly audible to everyone in the kitchen. As he unzipped, he noticed the opportunity for a joke.

It seems that his friends stored bottled water in a corner of the bathroom. There were maybe four or five one-gallon jugs there. So, before he began peeing, he reached over, grabbed one of the jugs and opened it. He put it within easy reach on the counter of the sink. Then he started to pee.

The Lasix was doing its job and he peed long and loud. Just as he was finishing, he made an exaggerated "Aaaaaahhhh!" sound, to cover his grabbing the water jug. He then proceeded to S-L-O-W-L-Y pour the water from the jug into the toilet, making the same approximate sound as he had from peeing.

After a minute of this, he made another "Aaaaaaah" sound and stopped pouring. Then he went "Oooops!", and began pouring the water again. He repeated this twice.

After the second time, the woman (a nurse) said to him, through the door, "Tom, are you OK?", to which he responded, "Oh, yes, it's just the Lasix, I... Aaaaaaaah!" and he poured the water again.

After about four minutes, he finally flushed the toilet and came out the door.

Both of his friends stared at him with great concern on their faces. The nurse asked if she could see his prescription. At that point he couldn't keep a straight face any longer and he burst out laughing, confessing what he had done.


I wish I had a capper for this, but I don't, so I'll just reiterate how much I miss having someone around who had the ability to make jokes like that during times when he was extremely ill. He wasn't all jollity and jokes during his final years - there were many days of melancholy and self-pity - but, damn, if you can kid about your sicknesses like that, you deserve a bit of slack on the sad side of things, too.


sween said...

That is probably the best peeing joke ever. Blows Austin Powers out of the water. :-)

Monica said...

Yours is the first blog I've ever read (yes, I'm behind the times). Please Write a Book!!!! The world needs to be able to read your thoughts ... your talent is amazing and your thoughts universal. Please, whatever you do, go find a publisher and get these writings out to the world. P.S. I read a lot, so I know whereof I speak. P.P.S. Thank you!

Suldog said...


You are very kind and I thank you for your wonderful thoughts.

If this is the first blog you've ever read, then you've missed out on someone who can write circles (as well as rectangles, triangles and parallelagrams) around me. Visit the Magazine Man - you'll find a handy link somewhere on the left side of my page.

I'm not discounting some talent on my part, by the way. It's just that I'm inconsistent. He, on the other hand, is always good.

Magazine Man said...

Monica, welcome to the 'sphere. And despite Suldog's recommendation, I think you picked an absolutely perfect first blog to read. No need to rush off and read that other guy he mentioned. There's plenty of great stuff to delve into right here. Enjoy (I sure do). --mm