A Sense of Humor?

By Jeremy Gulley

“How do you feel now?” the nurse asked.

My dad’s glazed-over stare told everyone in the room that the valium he was given to help with his dizziness was working, and working well.

“What?” he replied.

“Are you feeling okay?” the nurse asked again.

“Feeling great” he replied, “really, really good.”

We brought my dad to the emergency room earlier in the afternoon because he was sick to his stomach, losing strength in his legs, and suffering from dizzy spells. When we arrived, he was taken to a room and told he would be given a blood test and a brain scan, to ensure that the dizzy spells weren’t the result of the cancer in his liver finding a new home in his brain. (On a side note, why an ER doctor would hint at the possibility of brain cancer to a man who has been fighting cancer for the last five years is beyond me. For goodness sake, man, be general! But that’s a different story for another time.)

Then he was given the valium and everything started to change. The dizziness, as it turned out, was just vertigo and not cancer, and he was going to be sent home after all of the tests were finalized.

“I’m glad you’re feeling well,” said the nurse.

Making small talk, my dad asked the nurse when her shift ended.

“Midnight” she replied, “I’m off at midnight.”

“Well,” joked my dad, “we’re going to have to break up before then. I want to go home”

The nurse then said she might just make some thing up so he would have to stay. “I like you,” she said, “I may keep you here. You have a sense of humor.”

As I sat across from him in the emergency room, I thought about that statement.

“You have a sense of humor” is what the nurse said.

A sense of humor?

Think about this for a minute: A man in the ER because he had been vomiting and suffering dizzy spells all day, fighting cancer for the last five years and now at a place where the doctors have stopped trying to fight the cancer, is told that he might have to stay because he has a sense of humor.

In that situation, I’m not sure a sense of humor is the common response.

But this is what has made my dad an example for so many people. He is sick, but it doesn’t stop him from doing anything. He still works, mows his lawn, attends his grandchildren’s activities, and (be careful out there) drives.

He also flirts with nurses at the ER and cracks jokes when he should be looking for sympathy.

There is no guidebook for how to live our lives or how to end our lives, but if there were, I think my dad would be the author.

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Posted by admin on Dec 15 2010. Filed under Jeremy Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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