Wednesday, October 28, 2009

vaccine and humor

I got the H1N1 vaccine today. With all the hype and worry, not to mention potential danger to myself and my patients, I thought it would be a good idea if I was vaccinated. As I got it first thing at work, before my day started, they allowed me to "budge" in front and get the shot. All the nurses in the OR were in the line behind me watching as I got it.

It is so funny how we use humor to cope with stressful situations. We were all laughing, saying how we needed someone to hold our hand because we might cry, joking that we would take all the chocolates so there would be none for anyone else. Then, as soon as it was done someone said, "oh, she looks pale!", followed immediately by, "She's always pale!" and more laughter.

I find this is always the way in medicine. With anything stressful or scary we often use humor to cope. Most the time it is black humor. And sometimes it is so dark that it might even be offensive to people not in the medical profession or in that situation. Sometimes with a group of people in the medical field we can get to talking about "funny situations" that no one else gets but us. We are geeks, if nothing else.

Anyway, as much as we used humor to get through "the little prick", now my arm is hurting, and my head has felt foggy all day. I would like to blame the shot on the fogginess (if that is a word), but who really knows? Maybe it is the cold I had last week. Maybe it is just being tired. In the end, hopefully it will all be worth it and I will have protected myself and my patients.

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