Yep, occasionally things happen that can only be described as “OOPS.”  The hardest part of dealing with oops is not laughing.  Sometimes, you just can’t stop the laugh. 

So, what’s an oops?  In residency, I had a big oops.  I was zapping a bunch of skin tags on a patient’s neck.  The nurse would spray a topical anesthetic on the tag and I would destroy it with a hyfrecator (electric cautery).  The patient was large-breasted and the topical anesthetic (very cold liquid liquid) was dripping into her cleavage.  The nurse, trying to prevent the freezing liquid from irritating the patient’s breast, held a 4×4 gauze pad in between her breasts.  As it turned out, the anesthetic was flammable; and, once saturated, the 4×4 went poof.  The momentary flare singed the patient’s eyebrows and hair. This oops was not laughable although the look on my boss’s face was.  Can you imagine telling your boss, “I just blew up the patient in room one?”

A 62-year-old, hard of hearing, female presented for a pelvic.  As the nurses brought her back to the room, she emitted a steady barrage of farts.  She couldn’t hear them so she thought they were silent.  Everyone in the lobby was giggling.  The nurse set her up for a pelvic; and, with me sitting at ground zero, she let a huge one fly.  I was sure it would measure on the Richter Scale even though the patient ignored it.  Anyway, the nurse tried to hold back her laughter but failed.  Laughter can be infectious and I started, followed by the patient.  Being thorough, the next thing to do was a breast exam.  She was large breasted; and, under the right breast, I found ½ of an Oreo cookie.  The patient immediately said, “My grandson must have left it there.  The nurse and I had to leave the room.  We could not stop laughing.

Oops, you’re pregnant.  I was consoling the mother of four after telling her she was pregnant again.  She wasn’t planning on another kid but, while stunned, was happy.  She wanted me to break the news to her husband before she went home but first needed to check on her kids.  Her eldest child was babysitting her baby and toddler while she was in the office.  When she opened the exam room door, I knew something was wrong.  She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Oops, the baby had gotten its diaper off and painted the interior of her car with poop!

The last oops was a big one.  My billing clerk (“B”) had sent the niece of a well-known gangster to collection without discussing it with me.  Half joking, I told her to be very alert when crossing the parking lot to her car.  That afternoon, using a gruff and accented voice, I called and asked for the billing clerk by name. 

“B” you shouldn’t have sent my niece to collection.  We take care of our own.  We don’t appreciate being disrespected!   “B,” you’d better fix this now and apologize.”

Oops! “B” locked the front door and closed the office.  Everyone including “B” laughed for weeks once I owned up to the joke.

Practicing medicine can be incredibly stressful.  Medical mistakes happen.  People die despite excellent care.  Humor helps relieve some of the stress.  As a chronically ill patient, I find that humor is often more effective at alleviating depression and pain than pills.  On the one hand, doctors are supposed to be professionals and act like professionals.  On the other, docs are human; and, using magic or a fart machine to lighten the mood is just what the doctor ordered.

My patients appreciated the humor.  If they didn’t, they left me for a more archetypical doc. When I didn’t have a firm diagnosis, I often listed “lackofsexitis” in the differential.  Lackofsexitis always lightened the mood, putting a smile on my patient’s face.

Renee, I feel tired and weak.  I think I have Lackofsexitis!  I need a treatment now before I get worse!

Here’s your joke:

A family is at the dinner table. The son asks the father, “Dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?” The father, surprised, answers, “Well, son, a woman goes through three phases. In her 20s, a woman’s breasts are like melons, round and firm. In her 30s and 40s, they are like pears, still nice, hanging a bit. After 50, they are like onions.” “Onions?” the son asks. “Yes. You see them and they make you cry.” This infuriated his wife and daughter. The daughter asks, “Mom, how many different kinds of willies are there?” The mother smiles and says, “Well, dear, a man goes through three phases also. In his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree, mighty and hard. In his 30s and 40s, it’s like a birch, flexible but reliable. After his 50s, it’s like a Christmas tree.” “A Christmas tree?” the daughter asks. “Yes, dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration.” http://www.laughfactory.com/jokes/sex-jokes astghik

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