Laughter is the Best Medicine

People love hearing funny medical stories. With all of the stress from COVID19, I thought I’d share a few funny stories that have either occurred to me or to one of my colleagues. For simplicity, all of this will be written in the first person.

  1. During a rectal exam, someone farted in my face.
  2. During a pap smear, the patient almost gave me a black eye by moving her knee towards me really quickly and unexpectedly.
  3. A patient didn’t realize that as they stood and moved towards the exam table, they farted with every single step.
  4. I farted in front of the patient…and it smelled.
  5. I mixed up someone’s wife and girlfriend…very awkward for me but my nurse laughed.
  6. Yep, my zipper has been open in an exam room.
  7. A booger flew out of my nose when I chuckled in the exam room.
  8. I screamed and ran away from a spider that came out of a corner, leaving my patient in the room.
  9. When I scrubbed in for surgery, I had to lean into the sink and ended up looking like I entered a wet t-shirt contest.
  10. Bright green broccoli in between my teeth has never been attractive. And I smiled a lot during that patient visit, of course.

The list goes on. What does God say about laughter?

Sarah laughed when God told Abraham that she would conceive at an old age. Not only did she laugh but she made a snarky comment about becoming pregnant at her age. That was probably not the best time to laugh.

I try my best not to laugh when my patients do something, like fart as they walk, but I make a point to laugh at myself in front of the patient, especially when they tell me my zipper is down.

Medicine is beautiful, dangerous, scary, frustrating, celebratory, anxious, and gloomy all at the same time. Medical providers have to have some type of outlet otherwise we burn out or we end up carrying the burden home to our families. One of our outlets is humor.

What does God say?

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” -Proverbs 17:22 NIV

“There is a time for everything […] a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV

If you hold fast to the fact that God created us then you should hold fast to the fact that he gave us all of our emotions as well, which includes happiness and the ability to laugh.

Are you taking the time to laugh each and every day?

When your 2 year old draws on the wall with a permanent marker, do you take time to laugh when you realize that the potato they drew is you?

When your husband forgets to take out the overflowing trash, do you take time to laugh when your husband gets a ketchup stain from the unfinished hot dog that fell on his shoe?

When your patient tells you that you’re as short as their 10 year old niece, do you call them rude or do you laugh along with them?

During a time of such uncertainty, find a little sparkle of joy. Take time to laugh.

When COVID19 is all said and done, I hope to look back at this time and laugh at how I tripped in the mud when walking to a car and how I had a farmer’s tan on my forehead from wearing a face shield in the sun.

I won’t forget the patients that have died and I won’t forget the fear that encompassed our minds. But I will also remember the little sparkling moments of joy that God gave us in between the moments of hardship.

My prayer for today is that you find one moment of happiness and laughter. Whether it’s a good day or not, my prayer for you is that someone makes you laugh. With everything going on in the world, God is here to comfort us and to bring us joy. And sometimes He does that with a good joke, a funny Tik Tok video, a humerous Snapchat, some stand-up comedy, or maybe even with a good ‘ole fart.

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