Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've recently learned something about having a so-called "disability":

If you don't get a sense of humor about it, it will consume you.

So there I was at work tonight, sitting in the breakroom and working on the essays for my grad school application. My eyes were feeling sore. I glanced at them in the mirror, then realized I looked like I should be taken to drug rehab immediately.

I fumbled around in my bag and found my sunglasses. This is one of the "tools" that my boss agreed that I should use at work to get through the shift on the bad nights. Actually, they're my husband's, because I sat on mine in the car. Sunglasses have an extremely short half-life when they belong to me.

They are special sunglasses, fancy ones. They say "NASCAR" on the arm (the part that hooks to your ear) and have bluish-tinted lenses. Perfect for where I'm living now, although I think we bought them back in Illinois. Unfortunately, somewhere between my car and the locker here at work that poor fancy left arm got amputated.

I'm trying to be adaptive, but having just one side hang off my face isn't working, so I get out my baseball cap, the second "tool." One of my friends in the ER bought it for me. He calls me "Southside" and speaks to me in an exaggerated Minnesota accent, always mocking my northern roots, but sweetly picked this hat up for me when he spotted it at Target. I made sure I told him "thanks boy."

I adjust it on my head, try to stretch it out after leaving it in the dryer for too long, and what do you know? In walks my coworker, laughing immediately when she sees me. I can't help but laugh too. I look utterly ridiculous with polyester scrubs and this hat on. Just the fact that my boss said it was okay for me to walk around a nursing unit with a baseball cap and sunglasses shows how far we've come in the working world with disability accomodations. But no, I won't be leaving the breakroom like this. I'm not quite at that level of comfort with myself. The "tools" are reserved for those moments when there is no patient around!

Yes, you can always find something to smile about in almost every situation, if you look hard enough!


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