Friday 8 May 2009

Just grin and ‘bare’ it

Bill Cosby said that “once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” I agree, but I've always thought that there’s a time and place for everything and when it comes to humour, timing and location are everything.

Take this week for instance.

On Wednesday morning, I had to take my father Des to the Hospital Emergency. He was seen by a Geriatrics Registrar. Apparently they now like to take an holistic approach to elderly patients who have multiple illnesses as opposed to allowing multiple specialists to have a free for all. In other words, Des now has his own Project Manager who outsources the work required on his 'sub selves' to technical experts!

The 10 year old Geriatrician (I swear her hair was in plaits/braids) tried to explain her role to us. She said that while they may use the word geriatric, she didn’t want my father to think he was “ancient”. Then she turned around to me and joked, “but to be honest, after looking at the length of his hospital records, he really is more like a crumbling ruin”. I couldn’t find it in me to crack a smile. Was she trying to be funny? It was hardly the time or the place.
Then yesterday I had to go and have a pap smear. Of course I was lying back wondering why the hell I didn’t do this more often just for the fun of it. Not. Clearly sensing I was not relaxed, the Doctor jokingly said, “well it could be worse you know, instead of having one of these every year you could have been Dr Papankolaou’s wife (he invented the test) and she had to go through this every day (she was his guinea pig during trials for a couple of years apparently).” I ignored him and thought, 'what is with you people trying to be funny?' It was hardly the time or the place.

Today, I had an online chat with an HP technician about problems with my laptop. The discussion went for 40 minutes. He knew I was from Australia. He finally said, “Well unfortunately I’m in North America", and then laughed, "so it’s a good job women like to talk so much because you are going to have to repeat the whole saga to someone else in Asia Pacific. Sorry, I can’t help you afterall”. If I knew how to stick two fingers up at him using my keyboard I would have. Did he think it was funny? It was hardly the time or the place.
I went to visit Des in hospital tonight. I walked through the corridor and could hear the laughter. When I walked into his room his bed was surrounded by an assortment of patients, nurses and doctors. The nurses were trying to pull his covers over him and he was trying to tell them that given he had such good legs he would prefer to keep them on show. There he was with tubes coming out of him and a monitor of some description tracking his heart beat and, based on all the indicators, he isn't well. Crumbling perhaps. Des, on the other hand, seems to like being in the care of a project manager. He now sees himself as a prized piece of heritage real estate which is going to be bought back to splendour after a considerable upgrade within budget and on time. He has a completely different attitude to me. By the end of an hour with him, I was laughing so hard I nearly had to leave the room for fear that I too would end up in a hospital bed. Perhaps not the time or the place.
Or was it? Maybe its all about attitude. Maybe the 'right' time and place to be funny are irrelevant. Humour can soften some of the worst blows in life. For you and those around you. It might not change the outcome but you can be happier in the present if you laugh about whatever irks you. Our humour might get jaded and fade when we are in pain, sad or scared but we can bring it back to life and use it any old time and place we like. Who knows, I might even bring myself to laugh at the gynecologist's 'jokes' next time. Provided he has warmed up his speculum first.

Have a great weekend. Go find your humour if you’ve lost it. Rent a movie, go see a comedy show, spend time with someone who always makes you laugh. Just laugh.

Don’t forget to put your name down at right for an entry into this week's giveaway. Every week there is going to be a new giveaway to support small online businesses. Some fabulous work from some creative people!! Oh and I am playing around with new headers and might change them every month just in case you wondered what was going on.


  1. You are definitely a "chip off the old block" Lilly!!!
    You and Des like "carrots and peas".
    What great posts you write, I always know where to come if I need a humour hit.

    I do agree timing and location are everything but I have been known to crack a joke in the wrong place and I am sure you have as well. Even my little 2 year old friend Joseph tells me I am not funny sometimes.....if I laugh when he falls over. He says "I'm alright but why did you laugh?"

    Pap smears, technicians, Geriatricians...what a week!

    Hope Des is up and about again soon but he makes the most of every situtation.

    Happy Mothers Day for Sunday, I am sure there will be alot of laughter whereever you are.

    Take care

    PS Hey what's with spelling Humour...Humor!!!

  2. Lilly,

    First of all, I hope and pray that Des gets well soon. With his cheerful attitude, and non stop attention from the hospital folks, I am sure things will be improving fast....

    Tell him, the world of your bloggie friends is waiting for a new post from him on all his experiences in the hospital.

    And I hope you gave that geriatric doctor pigtailed person the raised eyebrow treatment and a tough look. She sounds like a grumbling ruin herself....

  3. Oh, Lilly I am sorry to hear Des is in the hospital. Prayers to Des and you. Yes, I agree Humor is very Healing. Though sometimes I find it in very "odd" times trying to come from others and "not" at the right moment, makes me scratch my head. I try to take it as they are only trying to help. My mother and me laugh daily together. I don't understand her sometimes and she doesn't follow me sometimes we end up looking at each other after realizing we are talking about 2 different things..the fustration and lack of understanding we end up saying I Don't give a rip...and we bust out laughing. (I tell her it's because shes old and she tell me it's because I am not as sharp as she is..(true) but we do we, laugh all the time...makes everything...always just a little bit better.
    Even in my medical quest for answers going to doctor to find out (really who's off Uhmmm me) we would laugh at just reading the doctor books.. Airplane WTF airplanes have to do with healing me...histarical laughing...then the doctor would walk in. PRICELESS
    I will never forget the laughter!
    Blessing and Prayers to you and Des

  4. Well done Des for "finding the humour" and you too I guess.

    It's not that easy for some of us though - the greatest farce I know of at the moment is the UK government, but they're just not funny any more.

    You have a great weekend too :)

  5. I hope your father recovers and is regenerated from his hospital stay! I used to hate pap smears but like you say they are necessary so might as well enjoy them...The pigtails are hilarious.

  6. Lily, I will be praying for your Dad. I am glad to hear that he's keeping his spirits up. It makes a huge difference.

    I love laughing, so I will definitely do plenty this weekend.

    Hugs To You and Des!

  7. Now I know where you get your humor! You're a chip off the old block!

    I hope your Dad gets better!

  8. Liily;

    I'm so sorry about your dad, I say a prayer for Des because we need people like him down here. Life is not so funny now for many people so a little humor when times get tense is very appropriate!
    You have a great sense of humor and you brighten up my day!
    So maybe when humor is making "light" of a situation that we view as a serious momnet in our lives, we tend to be affended but if we are mking the joke about our situation , then it's funny .So I guess I am trying to say,that others should follow your lead in one of these tense situation. Des was being his charming funny self, so others felt secure enough to laugh and be funny back....
    make any's early here and no coffee yet.
    I like your header, I get bored with mine and change often.
    Happy Mother's Day Lilly!!!

  9. OH Lilly, I am praying for Des. I love that man. Even hearing now about him entertaining the staff at the hospital brings a smile to face.

    Your posts are always amazing, but I can't stand to hear that your Dad isn't well.

    I love you and pray he bounces back!

  10. Lilly, I so enjoyed your post today. All the best for your dad, hope he can have a speedy recovery. He's obviously your best friend.

    I wonder if they've now decided to inject humour into the hospital setting deliberately because of some study they've done... it wouldn't work that way!

  11. Lilly - like the new top banner -
    timing - It's interesting that the stories of those ill-timed funny remarks are funny.
    Unless I misread, I think you also found it funny afterwards. Maybe we just need to be receptive to the incoming humor.

  12. Lilly,
    it was only your Dad's remarks that I found funny. But that's because he's your Dad and I'm predisposed to like him because you do :)

  13. Does Des know what a cyber fan club he's got? You're a chip off the ol' block. Still... crumbling ruin? That would NOT have been funny for me.
    Excellent post, Lilly! I'm going to have breakfast now imagining Des and you laughing and happy. I need it for this voggy, humid, too hot day.

  14. Lilly, please tell Des HIS adoring fans are thinking of him and praying for restored health! We get to decide how to react in every given situation, don't we? And I wonder sometimes if the jokes aren't sometimes meant more for the person telling them than the person receiving them? The gynie knows what he is doing is really no fun, for anyone, so to keep sane, he cracks a few ill-mannered jokes :)

    Hugs to you and Des and prayers!!!

  15. What a great post, Lilly :) Des sounds like a riot! You are so lucky to have a Dad like that!

    Laughing is always a good thing...I think it makes us live longer and better too.

    As for the HP guy....Grrrrrrrrrrr, I'd want to kill him...LOL

    Keep laughing, Girlie :) And best wishes to you Dad :)
    Have a Happy Weekend!

  16. Humor is a great thing and often times the very thing needed to break the ice and allow people to relax. You provided some great examples! Thanks for sharing.

  17. I'm always joking with people I don't know (e.g. call centres), I hope it helps people realise that if I'm complaining, I know it has nothing to do with them personally.

    Smear tests, on the other hand... ow. I have nothing more to say on that subject.

  18. Great post! We are lucky if we have someone in our lives that can makes us laugh! I´m glad your dad does that for you, and hope he is better soon!
    I for one, will try to take life´s serious moments a little lighter! :)

  19. Lilly- As I was reading this I couldn't get past the word plait because I had no clue what this meant. I had to look it up before I read any further. In America we call them braids (at least I think that is what we call them from WIKI).

    Your father sounds like a HOOT!!!

  20. A friend if mine went for a pap smear.She was really nervous. When the young female doctor finish my friend said:

    "I almost feel I should kiss you"

    Now thats inappropriate.

  21. So agree with this post. Humour was instrumental in getting me through a very sad divorce and the best funerals are the ones where you're laughing through your tears.

    I hope Des gets better soon. In the meantime, tell him to keep showing off those legs. If you've got it, flaunt it!

  22. There are times to be funny & then there are times to exercise exquisite silence. When someone is very ill, the latter may work better than the former. Especially if you look ten ;-0. ~Mary

    ps you & your Dad are in my thoughts.

  23. This is why I go to a female OB/GYN. Usually they know better than to joke when you're spread eagle! ;)

    I hope your father will get better soon. From what little I know of him, he seems like a wonderful man. I've enjoyed him so much when he's written on your blog.

  24. You are absolutely right. It's all how a person looks at things sometimes.

  25. Warm thoughts and prayers for Des's quick recovery....

  26. I thought the gyn was funny, the geriatrician was insensitive and offensive, and the HP technician was sexist. I would have either cursed him out, or made a complaint to the supervisor.

    Hope your Dad gets better.

  27. fIRST OF ALL... You have the longest commenters ever... I love it! Books as comments even!

    So sorry Des isn't up to par.

    The legs thing is completely hilarious!

    And yes... I think it is all in the attitude...

    Where do I sign up for the giveaway? Here?

  28. Lilly, I'm Beaux's wife at "something happened." I loved this blog. I used to get uptight about timing of things, but the last few years have taught me that a heartfelt attempt at humor is seriously never out of place.
    Thanks for the blog.

  29. Lilly,
    I love the picture on this post.
    I love your banner.
    I hope your dad gets better real soon.
    And I really hope that you have a nice Mother's Day.

  30. Relate to everything you have written about, have serious problems with the medical profession. Hope Des gets better, I this has to be hard for you. But what a fabulous sense of humor! That's what makes it possible to get through so much! Have a great weekend, I'm holding good thoughts for both of you.

  31. Hey there, visiting from SITS, you have a great blog!!

    Was hoping you would visit my site. I am hosting a giveaway to help flood victims of Eagle Alaska. The more comments I get and new followers I get the more money I am donating to the victims!

    Stop by and help! :)

  32. I think im in love with your daddy..tell him i said chin up tits out...

  33. I know it's a cliche - but laughter really is the best medicine - especially when it's not the right time and place!

  34. I always remember Billy Connolly saying, "is there anything worse than enforced gaiety in tragic situations." Funny thing is I cant image him being in a tragic situation and not cracking a few jokes. I am going to try and laugh a bit myself this weekend, just for you. Hope Des is doing ok, bless him.

  35. I'm sorry your father is having a difficult time at the moment - it is so horrible watching those that we love be unwell.

    About the humour - I am absolutely useless at finding it when it is needed most. To me, emotions are absolutely separate entities - if I'm miserable, i'm just plain old miserable.
    I'd love to be one of those Pollyanna types though - it is so refreshing!


  36. Lilly, you’re the best, this is an awesome post and you’re so right, laughter is the cure for all things that ale’s you. If we could take the time to stop and smell the flowers, hug the ones we love and spend time with laughter we’d live fuller lives.

    I'm always laughing even when I feel like crap and yes there is a time and a place I agree. I think that every downside has an upside if people could just realize this we'd all be much happier campers.

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Have a wonderful week-end and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU WONDERDFUL LADY.

    This last paragraph sums it all up,

    Humour can soften some of the worst blows in life, for you and those around you. It might not change the outcome but you can be happier in the present if you laugh about whatever irks you. Our humour might get jaded and fade when we are in pain, sad or scared but we can bring it back to life and use it any old time and place we like. Who knows, I might even bring myself to laugh at the gynecologist's 'jokes' next time. Provided he has warmed up his speculum first.

    With Great Love

  37. Hi Lilly ~ I often lose my sense of humour when I'm in a stress or worry situation. At the same time, although I know that the medical profession has to be immune to things and often use humour to get through, I'm not sure I would like to be likened to a crumbling ruin (on the other hand!) There you are, I'm smiling. The computer chappie was worse...what a waste of time for you.

    There's quite a message behind your post.



  38. That is a pretty deep post you know Lilly. A lot to think about. We need to laugh, we do. The whole world needs to lighten up and get back to basics.

  39. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, except when you are in a hospital maybe.

  40. Well, humour is one of the mature (healthy) psychological defense mechanisms (unlike projection, acting out, etc.). It diffuses the anxiety in situations. Also, we all know that you can't really be "angry" or "sad" and laugh at the same time. Laughter somehow stimulates the endorphins which are the "feel good" chemicals in the brain, and this calms the entire body. Those who laugh more also do better after surgery, recover from illnesses quicker, and generally have a better life. In my opinion, it is not that they actually have a better life, but that they see life as better (not sweating the small stuff, compared to the grouches of this world). I am not a "laugher" by nature but I will try to follow Des' ways - lol! Thanks Lilly, your blog is my regular dose of laughter.

    - LJ

  41. Wow, thanks everyone for your good wishes for Des - he is just doing ok and we will know more when the doctors get back to business tomorrow. Keep smiling and laughing and I will be taking these comments up to read to Des. He enjoys it all. I will come and visit your blogs in the next day or so and catch up again.

  42. I hope Des is better, reading your blog gives me a laugh every time.

  43. I hope Des feels better soon!

  44. @ Rachel, thanks for that - he isnt much good today but tomorrow is another day.

  45. This is something I was actually gonna post about one time or the other.

    A lack of awareness is normally the blame for people who constantly make inappropriate or badly timed joke.

  46. Laughter is a cure for all. But I agree, there are some tacky comments that are "supposed" to be funny and truly aren't. Then again, it's not the sender, but also the receiver, how we take it in on if the laughter will emerge. Good lesson, here.

  47. @ Aleta, yes its taken me to middleage to get it though, lol!

  48. Sending love and prayers to Des and you. To the idiot "teenage" Doctors-- I say-- Go back and take the class on how to talk to middle-aged and senior patients!

  49. @ Joanna - thank you, I think about 40 I started noticing a difference in how people started perceiving me. Th eolder I get the younger the professionals look.

  50. My prayers are with your father.

    Good humour is the best there is. But so is appropriate behaviour. That 10-year-old Geriatrician though, has none of both.

    I went to the hospital with my 84-year old neighbour who needed cardiography. For the first time Ken didn’t crack a joke, which meant, he really really didn’t feel well. Because normally he answers with a wise crack even if he feels “like a toilet seat on a Saturday night” (up and down, up and down). I waited outside the surgeons’ room, and heard him explaining the procedure he did step by step. Finally, he said he was almost finished and obviously showed Ken where he was with the sensor when Ken answered: “One step further and I start to chew on that damn thing.” I was never happier to hear his humour catching up with him again:)

  51. You know what helped me get over an attempted physical rape? (It actually impacted me more than a former successful rape as it was a very frightening experience.) A comedy class ….where the instructor helped us make a comedy routine out of our most traumatic memories. Isn’t that interesting? I poked great fun at my reaction. I poked fun at my post traumatic symptoms. And it was hilarious. I can get people laughing so hard they double over. And somehow it MINIMIZES what he did….gives me POWER over the situation. I know some of you are thinking, what a big dose of denial. But actually it is waking up to reality. If I think the attack is about to happen again when the lights suddenly go out….THAT is being disconnected from reality. And it IS funny to think that suddenly I am convinced that this guy from another continent has somehow found me again and found the money to get over here and managed to figure out how to turn my lights off undetected by five dogs and is about to pounce on me. You can make that pretty funny! And laughing at it makes it go away.

    Laughing at something minimizes it. That is why it HURTS if someone pokes fun at us when we ARE hurting. But if WE do it to OURSELVES, it is signally to ourselves, this is in the past. It was just a part of my life that is over. It doesn’t define who I am. I can laugh at it, at myself now. I’m OVER IT!!! That comedy instructor took us from tears to laughter. The first time we told our stories, we were crying. The last time we told our stories we were laughing.

  52. jack b weinstein zyprexa lawsuit claims how to loose weight from zyprexa treatment resistant depression zyprexa abilify versus zyprexa zyprexa prescription assistance zyprexa bipolar zyprexa vs risperdal zyprexa diabetes claim zyprexa seroquel works like zyprexa zyprexa eating disorders zyprexa vertigo zyprexa lawsuit tic disorder chicago zyprexa lawyer zyprexa strict diet what are zyprexa waffers atlanta zyprexa attorneys drug zyprexa oregon zyprexa lawsuits zyprexa attorney aricept and zyprexa zyprexa and marijuana treatment resistant depression zyprexa zyprexa for depression quitting zyprexa vomiting anxiety lawyer zyprexa attorneys san diego zyprexa diet information zyprexa lawyers san diego zyprexa withdrawl symptoms side effects of zyprexa

  53. Hey, I understand somethings are sensative but whats the use in being negative about a fact thats going to happen no matter what. If you can't see the funny side then your just going to be miserable or cry. I agree with Bill Cosby thanks.

  54. Hey, I can't view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

  55. Thinking about going the online route to complete a associates degree. What do you guys think of online schools?


Thanks for your comments.