“What is THAT?” He shrieked, pointing at the x-ray.
I was lying on my back having been examined in an unmentionable orifice (I’m a rectal cancer survivor – I won’t spell it out further) when the consultant seemed unable to identify one of my body parts.
This would be worrying at the best of times, but since he was my radiation consultant and I was beginning ten rounds of cancer-zapping treatment to my rear end, I didn’t like where this was going.
The nurse and I turned in unison like synchronized swimmers (minus the nose peg and glitter) towards the lightbox.
“It’s a tampon!” we shrieked.
That poor dear man. Embarrassed and sheepish he buried his nose in his notes, muttered something about making an appointment to start treatment the next week, and made a swift exit.
I only saw him once again. Thankfully, neither rubber gloves or x-rays were involved and not a word was said about the tampon incident. Selective memory is a wonderful thing.
Life isn’t fair and can stink like a week old tuna sandwich but it doesn’t have to be serious – the-whole-time. Laughing when all you want to do is scream is often a matter of perspective.
Was my consultant’s inability to identify the white mouse shaped object nestled between the black and white outline of my hip bones a reason to mistrust him, stress out and demand a second opinion? Maybe. Or was it a gift of laughter between two women in an otherwise tense and undignified situation? I think so.
Was the time I unwittingly showed up to an appointment commando style, lacking both undies and shame (yes, that happened for real) a cause for deep embarrassment and Oh-woe-is-me-ing, or a chance for a giggle with the cute young physicians assistant?
And then there’s the time I stole a bra – now that’s AWK-ward!! Unless you laugh, fess up and look for what God might be teaching you.
Don’t panic, I’m not saying everything can be made into a laughable, fun moment. Or we should fake a plastic fantastic smile across our face when we’re struggling to stay afloat. What I’m asking is this, can we be open to the possibility that although life might not be fair, it can be funny?
Can we flip an awkward or stressful moment on its head, see it from a lighter perspective, and uncover some joy?
Can we look on the light side of life?
Because when we do, it’s possible to laugh when all we want to do is scream. And when we laugh, we find joy and add life to our years, friends.
Let’s take a leaf out of my one of my favorite films, The Life of Brian. We can not just look on the bright side of life, but on its lighter side too.
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