Life’s Struggles: Dealing with the Humps

we've all got 'em

we’ve all got ’em

Life deals us HUMPS.  No one can escape them. No one gets off scott-free (even Tony Scott of Scott Free.) Some humps are kept hidden — like they were for Robin Williams. Others are out there for all to see — like for Gabby Giffords. Yep, struggles, challenges, humps are part of the human experience. The only alternative to giving up is facing them as best as we can.

Volunteering in the ER is an up-close-and-personal view of humans dealing with humps:  scary tests,  bad news,  challenging outcomes, embarrassing situations, and PAIN: Physical pain, emotional pain and the anxiety of waiting, waiting, waiting which is a pain in the ass. Oh and don’t forget the pain you get in your bank account when the hospital bills arrive… and arrive… and keep on keeping on.

Dealing with Pain —

facing fear

facing fear

I’m amazed that so many people can handle humps with acceptance, grace and even humor.

Like –

  • The 85-year-old grandfather now without quality of life thanks to an operation gone wrong, stuck with two long tubes coming out of his kidneys, rushed into the ER by paramedics after he tried to slit his wrists.  As his daughter tries to explain to police officers interviewing him that he just got bad news, the old man cracks jokes — (“May I borrow your gun to finish the job off?”) (“Not now Dad, they’ll have to lock you up!”)
  • The 90-something great grandmother who suddenly discovers she has lung cancer with 3-6 months to live — (“It is what it is, guess I can go off my diet now.”)
  • The Teen surfer disappointed when he learns his broken leg will keep him out of the water for the rest of the summer, who suddenly grins at me — (“Think I can drum up some sympathy sex?”)

My mom who died of Ovarian Cancer somehow managed to find the funny even when it hurt. She left this world with dignity and grace, and on her own terms.  I’m in awe of people who can do that. I wonder if I’ll be able to when I’m faced with the Big Hump.  Hope so…

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I’M A SLAVE IN E.R.!
Sentenced to volunteer at Greater L.A. Medical (GLAM!) Hospital... I'm on-call in my worst nightmare -- ?!
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