Laughter, the best medicine

One of my favorite patients during my pediatrics rotation was a beautiful teenage girl. She had come to the hospital for an outpatient surgery but was admitted to the peds floor for uncontrolled pain after the surgery. She said she was having severe pain in her leg, but her doctors could not figure this out because the surgery had nothing to do with her leg. No pain medication would get rid of her pain, which she always rated as an eight out of ten. Her parents live several hours away, and were unable to stay with her. When I did my assessment on her, she told me that her leg was numb and that she could not move it. She needed to use the restroom, so I told her I would help her walk to it. To get out of bed, she had to lift her leg with her hands and throw it over the side of the bed. When she finally stood up I helped her make her way to the restroom, and I was supporting most of her weight. On her way back to bed, she said she wanted to brush her teeth. I had grabbed a small tube of toothpaste before, so with me standing there with her, she picked up the toothpaste and squeezed it on the toothbrush. "This toothpaste looks gross. It smells bad," she said. Once she started brushing her teeth, she said, "Ewww.. it tastes gross." She continued brushing while I picked up the toothpaste tube. I looked at it for a second, then looked over at her and said, "Oh, no! I’m so sorry! I accidentally grabbed diaper ointment." She froze in place, her eyes got big, and she said, "WHAT?!" I smiled and told her I was just kidding. We both laughed and she finished brushing her teeth, smiling the whole time. When we walked back to bed, I barely had to support her. She climbed into bed without any problem, her leg miraculously healed.

11 thoughts on “Laughter, the best medicine

  1. I totally agree with you! One assignment I had was to write a paper on some sort of alternative medicine that we agree with. I wrote mine on how laughter really does heal people. The evidence is amazing!

  2. You must have gotten the idea from me!  I actually did brush my teeth with diaper ointment a few months back!!

  3. There are some things that absolutely should never be put in one\’s mouth!  Diaper ointment, stool stoftener, but we won\’t go there!  Thanks for the laugh this morning….it\’s the most wonderful way to start any day!

  4. Well see now You are in the right profession, yer first healing : )
    lol when I was at my brothers house a few weeks ago I almost put pimple creme on my toothbrush,
    Love the skitzo story, too funny.
    Dead car battery in the handicapped parking not a fun way to start the day : (
    hope yer feeling better yerself, loved the candy machine in the bathroom story you came up with : ) hugs Kat

  5. (late) happy nurse\’s week!
    My oldest daughter just completed 3rd year, nursing major. Have only skimmed your blog, but the bit about just cleaning poop etc. sounded familiar; she wasnt thrilled w/her instructor this year. Didnt even get to give IVs, and she really likes poking people 0_o.  I\’ll have to pass this on to her. Hang in there!

    you are really too good katie…. *tear to eye* woooooooooooooo so good…. :o) LMAO!!

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