what made me laugh today: we have a new surgery resident, and she's very young. i was chatting with her this evening, and for some reason the subject of ghosts came up. i told her a few of my favorite ghost stories, and her eyes got bigger and bigger and bigger. i could see she was getting scared, so i told her "don't worry, i don't think this unit is haunted. we're in the new building." i didn't realize how profoundly i had scared her, until she came and got me -- she had to visit the main lab in the basement of one of our oldest buildings, and she was afraid to go there alone in the middle of the night!
what made me laugh last night? i was with my orientee, who was drowning. the patient was slightly unstable and "tasky" and lucy was keeping up ok, but felt like she didn't have any time to just stop and think things through. it was 5am, we had just bathed our patient, changed her bed and were ready to sit down and talk about lucy's million-and-one questions, when the patient pulled out her feeding tube and sent tube feed flying everywhere. lucy stared at her in disbelief, looking absolutely horrified and for some reason that just struck me as funny. i started laughing, and lucy looked at me as if i were nuts for about a minute, and then she started laughing, too. we laughed so hard we cried, and every time one of us would stop laughing, the other would start in again. it got so bad that our co-workers would stop in to ask what was so funny, and all we could do was point at the patient, now covered in tube feeding and cackling away herself! so we started changing the patient, and the patient started yelling "i $#!t, i $#!t!" sure enough, she had . . . poop flooding the bed and dripping off the end of it. this set us off again, and the night charge found us both laughing so hard we couldn't move, while the poop dripped off the end of the bed!
when the day shift came in, they found a clean, freshly laundered patient and two punchy nurses giggling away at nothing from time to time. when my manager popped her head in to see "how things are going," the patient proclaimed "i had such a good time with these two! they laughed every time i pooped!"
oh yes, sometimes it's better to laugh than to cry. and it's always better to laugh until you cry than to just cry!