I put on my glamorous paper towel gown and climbed on the cot and nervously waited for someone to reassure me that everything was okay.
Early in my pregnancy, I felt a stabbing pain on the right side of my pelvis. It was constant, and I knew it should be checked to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
My husband, Craig, drove me to the ER, and we were led to a small, corner room. I put on my glamorous paper towel gown and climbed on the cot and nervously waited for someone to reassure me that everything was okay.
Noticing my anxiety, Craig began taking down some of the instruments on the metal cart as though he were a physician. He pretended to take my vitals and asked me about my symptoms, all while speaking nonsense. Of course, I laughed. His plan was working, and I was already feeling a little more relaxed.
Then, Craig walked over to the pain management chart and picked up a dry erase marker.
“Where is your pain on this scale, from one to ten?” he asked.
I told him I was a ten, even though it was probably more like a seven. He took the red marker and drew devil horns on the last face of the scale, then added hands and a small dagger.
He pointed to his artwork. “How about now?” he asked. “Is this more representative of how you are feeling today?”
“Yes!” I laughed. “That is accurate.”
We were both cracking up when the nurse slid the curtain back and approached me with a blood pressure monitor. She looked at us a bit curiously.
“I’m going to take your vitals; then the doctor will be right in,” she said.
Craig shrugged as if to say, “I thought I had taken care of that already.” Then we both smiled and waited for her to finish.
After she left, Craig grabbed another device from the wall and placed it on my chest. He was pretending to shock my heart back into rhythm when we heard approaching footsteps. Craig quickly returned the equipment to its proper location just as the doctor pulled back the curtain and entered the room. I was crying from laughing so hard at my husband and at the possibility of being caught like a couple of kids.
After hearing my symptoms, the doctor ordered an ultrasound, and I headed down the hall. We waited about an hour to find out the results: I had a cyst on my right ovary. The doctor told me they were pretty common and he did not expect for it to complicate my pregnancy in any way. He suggested I take Tylenol to deal with the pain and to put my feet up more often throughout the day.
I followed his advice, and I took Tylenol as recommended. But I’m convinced it was the laughter that really made me feel better.
My husband and I have always been able to find humor in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes our laughter gets us into trouble, but his playful spirit was one of the reasons I wanted him as a life partner.
In our sixteen years of marriage, we’ve experienced a lot of sadness and stress. We’ve had money trouble, job worries, and health concerns. But through it all, we’ve made an effort to find something we could laugh about together. And I hope, for the rest of our lives, the laughter will outweigh the pain.