So I literally just ran down from the Intensive Care Unit to write this post. Now you might be expecting at this point, something deep and introspective about life and death and medicine…which I do sometimes. But this will be about the excellent medicine that is- humor.
So I was writing a quick note on one of the patients on our Service who is going in for Open Heart Surgery tomorrow. I admitted him last week and he is in great spirits about the whole thing, which is always nice to see. After commenting about his awesome attitude to one of the older ICU nurses she proceeded to me to tell me one of the best ICU Heart attack stories ever: For your enjoyment I give you- this little gem:
“I can beat that,” The nurse started. I had one patient- she told me she had a history of heart attacks in her family. She said her brother died, while having sex, because of a heart attack.
“His stupid wife,” the patient started in a heavy accented older voice ” couldn’t recognize the signs. She was there naked doing CPR on him when the paramedics came!” At this point the nurse said she almost had to excuse herself except…the patient started laughing first. Shocked, but glad the patient could find some humor in the situation, the nurse asked the patient how she knew she was having a heart attack. And it turns out- that she was having sex as well. She said- she kept yelling to her husband “Stop, I can’t take anymore!” “I feel like I’m dying!” At this point the nurse said she lost all decorum and was bent over grasping her sides at the patient’s bedside.
Another nurse got up to come hear the story. “I mean, he must have thought he was doing a good job,” she added in. But I thought, if I had to have a heart attack and die…might be the best way to go. The patient promised celibacy from there on out but approached every bit of her ICU stay with laughter and a smile, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.