Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good Medicine

Sometimes, single moms get sick and have to go to the doctor.  Their kids have to accompany them into the examination room.  A few days ago I needed to make a visit and I had to take my mother along. I wheeled her in the waiting room where we waited and waited.....and waited...and waited.  Then we were finally escorted into the inner sanctum!...the examination room!...where we waited and waited....and waited...and waited.  Mother was becoming tired...and bored. 

When we first entered the examination room, Mother looked around.

“Why are we here?”

“I have a cough.”

“I have a cough too.”

“Not like me, Mother.”

“Why are you coughing?”

“I don’t know.  That’s why I’m here."

The doctor finally came in… "Which one of you is the patient?”

Mother looked at the doctor and said… “She is.”

“Yes Doctor, I’m the patient.”, I said. 

“What seems to be the problem?”

“I’m coughing.”

Mother interrupted, “I’m coughing too.”

“Mother, you’re not coughing like me. My cough is serious!”

“My cough might be serious too!”

The doctor said, “Let me see one patient at a time please.”

Mother said, “Okay.”

The doctor took all my vitals and then asked, “Could you cough for me?".

I coughed.  Then Mother coughed twice.

"Mother you don’t need to cough.  The Doctor wants to listen to my cough to see if it's serious.”

I coughed and the doctor said…”Hmmm...This sounds serious.”

Then she looked at Mother and said… “Let me hear you cough.” 

Mother coughed and the doctor said…”That’s not a serious cough.”

“What kind of a cough is it?”

 “That’s actually a good cough.”

Mother said… “That’s funny.” And she laughed.

Then the doctor asked me to stick out my tongue and say "Aah".

I said, “Please don’t use that tongue suppressor because it makes me gag. I’ll just stick out my tongue.”  I proceeded to stick out my tongue and say "Aah" really loud.

Mother started laughing so hard tears were coming out of her eyes.

“Mother, what in the world is so funny?”  She can’t talk for laughing.

After some tests, the doctor came back into the room and said, “You have bronchitis".  Then, the nurse came in the room and said…"I have two shots for you". 

“WHAT??!!  You have TWO shots!?!  I HATE shots!!  Is this absolutely necessary?” 

“YES!  In order to fight this infection we need to be aggressive." 

Mother is now laughing even harder.  At first, I didn't find ANY humor in this.  However, I have not seen her laugh that much in a long time.  I started laughing at her laughing at me. 

I got my prescription and we left. We laughed all the way to the car. When we got in the car, I asked, “Just out of curiosity, what was so funny?” 

“You looked funny sticking out your tongue to say 'Aah'… and getting your shots!" 

“Are you saying it was funny that I was the patient and not you?” 


Who could have imagined that a doctor’s visit could bring unexpected laughter?  You never know where laughter is waiting to bloom.  I thank God for moments like that, because patients with Dementia sometimes go weeks without laughing.

Laughter is good for the soul.  It occurred to me that the very best medicine we both received was a huge dose of laughter.  Mother got a "shot" of laughter and I got three "shots" – antibiotics, steroids and laughter.  In Proverbs 17:22 it says… “A happy heart is good medicine."  Caregivers I hope you and your loved ones can find things to laugh about along your journey.  It’s good medicine. 

By the way, I’m feeling better.  I love reading your comments.  Keep them coming!!!!!


  1. Love it! I cried and laughed. I'm so proud of you and love you!

  2. Found your blog through Lucy Adams. That was amazingly poignant and funny. Completely relate to the gagging on tongue depressor. Have fear of those things. Makes it hard to volunteer at VBS.

  3. Anonymous...Thank you SO much for reading and commenting!

    South Main Muse....Thank you for visiting and reading! Lucy Adams is pretty funny...I enjoy her writing. I appreciate your kind words. I hope you'll continue to follow my journey :)

  4. Two shots? Yikes! I'm terrified of needles. I don't think I'd have been as willing to laugh about it. You are such an amazing writer! I hope this will eventually become a book.

  5. This post was very funny! I laughed out loud at the two of you coughing in the Dr office and debating whose cough was worse. Hilarious!

  6. I could just picture the two of you in there laughing and of course I started laughing. It's contageous!! Loved it. I have been out of town and missed reading your articles.

  7. Crystal,
    I'm so thrilled you're reading my blog! You'll really laugh when you read the story about the pills.

    Hope you had a great trip. Thanks for keeping up with my journey.