If this were ‘Reader’s Digest’ it would be called ‘Laughter is the best Medicine’. Thank God it’s not.

Assuming for a moment that my absence on here was noticed by – ooh, let’s be generous, two people – they may have interpreted it in many interesting ways; the most likely of which is that my broken, sagging body had finally been handed over to the military doctors, who were now rebuilding me using parts from a class 2 nuclear submarine and an Asda shopping trolley they found in the canal (I’ve always wanted wheels) to create a unstoppable Super Soldier and Shopping machine.
Sadly, this isn’t what happened. But it is what you dream about if your temperature is 102c and you fall asleep watching Van Damme films on Channel Five.
In truth, I’ve had some dark days and more are ahead. My recent blood tests have shown that all the things I want to be high are low and all the things that really need to stay down low, are high. There are some other things staying in the middle but they’re not mine, I’m just looking after them for a friend while his shed is built.
So over the next few weeks, these posts may become even more infrequent as I am either ‘prepped’ for dialysis or readied for transplant. Dialysis, you may already know, is a process where the blood is syphoned from the body, ‘cleaned’ in a machine and returned to the body, free from all the toxins and waste products that are building up because my lazy kidney can’t be bothered to do its own cleaning. As the level of toxins rise, the patient becomes increasingly lethargic, nauseous and dizzy and generally feels the same as the two-thirds of eviscerated pigeon looks, that’s stuck in the bush outside my window.
However, as my sister is still in the running for sharing her organs with her brother – and what could sound more natural and beautiful than that? – I may avoid dialysis altogether, along with the anticipated excitement of reading up-lifting NHS information leaflets about detrimental complications and long-term survival rates. I’d also avoid having a Fistula, a procedure required to facilitate dialysis, where a surgically modified blood vessel is created by connecting an artery to a vein. And in my opinion, that’s not so many steps away from grafting an Asda shopping trolley onto my body.

However, problems arise and transplanted organs can be rejected and of course, don’t ever last a lifetime. So ultimately, it is highly unlikely I’ll avoid dialysis forever and scary dark days will roll over me again. However, even when everything is at its bleakest and hope is entirely obscured, the smallest blink of sunshine can, just for a moment, stick its tongue out at the dark.
I needed to have a chest x-ray, to rule out an infection and was in the Radiology waiting room, with about 15 other people. It was silent; muffled coughs and an occasional whispered request for a tissue or a mint but that was pretty much it. The Radiology unit is in the same building as Oncology, so you never expect the mood to be party-like. Every day, people are given tragic, life-changing news in these rooms and as I sat down, a doctor was speaking to a woman in hushed tones about her unconfirmed scan results that needed further investigation. It all sounded pretty bleak.
An elderly chap, probably in his 80’s with an amazing beard and an immaculate tweed coat, shuffled his muddy green boots from reception to one of the chairs and sat down with a large sigh. After a couple of minutes, he slowly and shakily reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out a mobile. Putting on the thickest pair of glasses I’ve ever seen, he switched it on. Everything remained silent for another minute. And then, with an eruption of sound, he started playing a very loud game. Boing! Boing! ZaaaP! Boing! Boing! Boing! ZaaaP! I looked at him concentrating fiercely, as he fought heroically to position the falling coloured balls into the correct order and thought it was quite funny. But nobody else seemed to. They just kept flicking through antiquarian copies of National Geographic or looking at their feet. That was until I looked at the woman opposite me, who had spoken with the doctor and we exchanged a weak smile, before looking away. But then we caught each other’s glance again and both smiled before she looked at the man and his game and had to put her hand to her mouth to stifle a small laugh. But because everyone else was being so quiet, that just made me laugh a bit too, which led to her laughing more and me laughing even louder. Soon, we were both laughing uncontrollably and seeing everybody else still sitting silently, trying not to look at the crazy laughing people, made us laugh even harder and we just kept laughing, for what seemed like a very long time. It was a ridiculously funny moment.
And for that moment, she had forgotten her scan results and I had forgotten all about dialysis.

13 thoughts on “If this were ‘Reader’s Digest’ it would be called ‘Laughter is the best Medicine’. Thank God it’s not.

  1. Timothy Kemp says:

    That is so funny. You’re back on form with a bang. Loved it and yes laughed out loud! XX

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Mrs B. says:

    Seems that at least three of us had missed hearing from you! Great to hear from you again, I too laughed at the tale of the old guy on his phone. You write so well, with great humour – thanks to your funny parents – I am wondering if you are an author, if not you should be. Hope the treatment works well and that you soon feel better.

    • Mrs.B, you’re too kind. I’m glad you stuck with it. No, not an author but there’s a lot of 2014 left so who knows what I’ll be at the end of it – ‘alive’ would be good…

  3. @Chazzyb31 says:

    It’s good to hear from you, despite your circumstances. I’m sorry things aren’t going so well for you and I hope they improve so you can avoid dialysis.

    I’m glad you’ve retained your sense of humour. It’s not easy when things aren’t going your way, but it does help you get through the tough times.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get your kidney – and your wheels! 😉

    • Thank you for your support, I appreciate it. I’d like the wheels first; it would make getting around the ward so much more interesting. And I could finally outrun that nurse who keeps trying to hold a pillow over my face.

  4. Mo says:

    Woo hoo – you’re back!
    Happy New Year 🙂

  5. clunkienz says:

    Good to ‘see’ you again, and on fine form as ever. Love this little story of the waiting room – laughter may not be the best medicine, at least in this case, but it is certainly a fine distraction. Kia kaha.

  6. Are you sure it’s a nurse with a pillow? Could it be your sister?

  7. Can’t believe you started a Van Damme movie on Ch5, let alone fell asleep in-front of it. But I suppose the increasingly lethargy, nausea and dizziness gets to you. You have the wit of Wilde, but the cinematic taste of an ill educated teenager. I’m coming over with the complete compendium of Eisenstein…

  8. Andi says:

    Thankfully the brain humour is in-operable….

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