By P. Pharm, RN
Not to say there isn’t crying involved, but in the midst of sobbing you can hear the wet cackles of a hysterical nurse. Taking oneself too seriously can be just another stress. So we laugh in the hallways of death and life’s transitions. We laugh and make fun of ourselves because it may be the only comedic relief we get. For when do nurses get to heal and regenerate? Maybe, laughing is the only healing allowed.
As the hospital floors gain yet another coat of wax, it is safe to say there will be another fall one day. We hear and feel those sneakers squeak against those floors. It is always a sure sign our butts or knees will meet their flat, shiny nemesis soon. Besides, add gravity and the coordination of a newly born foal and what you get is purely horizontal.
We laugh when we fall because being the most perfectly flawed nurse in a profession that will not accept imperfection is in fact our reality. We laugh a little too loud. Feel a little too hard. Ache a little too sharply. We blurt out truths that no one else is willing or emotionally able to acknowledge. Our falls are mirrors of what everyone feels on the inside. Our falls are the truth-tellers of what we try to conceal. That we are in fact internally broken healers who are one slip, trip, or fall away from emotional implosion.
Laughter is the gasoline that fuels our fire. Without it, we die. We burn out. Laughter keeps us going to live another day. We will not let others suppress us, shush us, and tell us we are wrong for being who we are. We fall hard. And we get up.
So, we laugh when we fall. We cry louder than we’d like. We pick ourselves up and try again. We save lives. We lose little pieces of ourselves. We make mistakes and we learn. We are imperfect. We are nurses.