I’ve recently been having a little sort out among all the things I have collected over the last 20 years of having JIA (arthritis crap, as it’s also known), and I found a letter from five-ish years ago which my paediatric rheumatologist wrote to my then-unknown grown-ups rheumatologist. I don’t know whether he included this little anecdote as a private joke to himself, because he thought the new guy might find it amusing, or because it was an accurate reflection of what being my rheumatologist is like.
When I look back over the years I can remember of having JIA and going to appointments about it, the one overwhelming memory is that it’s essentially been two decades of hysterical laughter. Obviously tears and agonising pain, but a serious amount of laughter. Laughter at things that no one else would find funny.
Once when my district nurse came to do my weekly injection of methotrexate (which was an event in the family social calendar in itself), she brought a new sharps bin and a man who was training to be a district nurse. After the injection she put the needle into the sharps bin, and this bloke closed it the whole way. Most of my friends hadn’t experienced a sharps bin (and therefore didn’t know that once you close it the whole way, it’s closed forever) so it was really difficult to explain why it was so hilarious as four people all screamed “No” as the bin was closed in slow motion. Me and my mum still have chuckle about that nearly 10 years on.
My mum still laughs about when I had my first ever cannula and screamed because, in my own words, “HE’S CHOPPING MY HAND OFF”.
After kindly driving me to see the hip surgeon a few weeks ago, my mum waited down the corridor while I went in to the appointment. She said that she could hear the murmur of us talking, and then every 30 seconds one or both of me and the surgeon laughing. I don’t even remember that appointment being funny. What would have been funny?
Is it normal to find everything like this so hilarious? Is this some coping mechanism that I’m not aware of, or do I just find everything amusing? Am I okay?
Oh, and the dog was and still is fine. Trouble-causer.
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(Any opinions expressed in Collette’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Collette’s blog constitutes medical advice.)