There was a time I spent a great number of hours, days, weeks and months in the hospital, for several years in a row. It was long ago now and I was stationed in a hospital room with 3 other people and we shared the washroom.
It could have considered fairly depressing.
For nominal privacy we could have a sheet pulled around our corner of the room but of course the sheet was 6 feet tall, didn’t reach the floor and didn’t reach the ceiling, and it certainly didn’t create soundproofing.
When you are seriously ill though, privacy diminishes in value as you have bigger fish to fry.
All my life I have enjoyed telling jokes, and stories. I cherished Readers Digest magazines and the section called “Laughter, The Best Medicine.” The jokes were always repeatable to any audience, easily embellished (I had lots of time to work on that) and it was great to help the staff smile as they dealt with patients, and each other.
Looking back, my habit of learning a joke or two each day was helpful to my mind and I believe also to my immune system. Every day I told the jokes to doctors, nurses, other patients, visitors, and of course my family. It lightened everyone’s day, and we smiled.
How nice to smile and help others to smile as you saw the concern in their eyes.
A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
Most of us right now probably don’t face a situation like the one I experienced, but here where the story becomes meaningful. We all need laughter in our lives, no matter what the situation. I hope you will allow me to recommend to you that you memorize a funny story or two so you can pull them out unexpectedly, and inject the best medicine into someone’s day.
You never know when you will be sitting on a bench, and there beside you will be someone you will be able share a smile with, which you will both enjoy.
You could make their morning, a stranger sharing a chuckle, unexpectedly.
Lightening their heart will be the best medicine of all, for both of you.
A few years ago, I had the (dis)pleasure of spending nearly a month in the hospital after I endured a kidney surgery that went bad. One of the worst experiences of my life, but I learned a tremendous amount about myself and the importance of a positive attitude over the course of those weeks. Nicely written, David.
Thanks Troy, my hospital stays also had to do with my kidneys failing and then having first an unsuccessful transplant, and then a successful transplant a year later. It certainly gives perspective when you have a health situation. Thanks for commenting.