Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The bomb.

I saw a patient who'd had a stroke. His ability to choose his words was ruthlessly robbed from him--and really that's about it. He could understand perfectly but everything he said came out garbled and super hard to understand. Which sucked.

Talking to him was really, really tough. He'd try and try but no one could make out what he was trying to communicate. That is, all but one word. One of his words came out clear as a clanging gong every single time I spoke to him.

What word, you ask? I'll tell you:

The F-bomb.

Yeah, baby.

Here's what I learned from our encounters: Even if you aren't much of a expletive-user, a lot can be expressed through a perfectly placed f-bomb.

Wet bed?
Annoyed by me turning on the overhead light?
Frustrated with being unable to find what you want to say?
Not happy with what's under the cafeteria tray?
Looking for your reading glasses under the covers?
Somebody IS the father on the Maury Povich show?
Need your family to know how you're doing?
Want somebody to know what you think of them?

Turns out that the f-bomb fits the bill. Like 99.2% of the time, man.


I told him that his f-bomb was the best I'd ever heard, even better than my daddy's--which is saying a whole, whole lot. I also told him that he'd turned it into a universal word for any and all occasions. A noun, a verb, an adjective and even an adverb, man. Kind of like "smurf." And you know what? He got that dumb joke and just laughed and laughed at that. He tried to tell me I was funny, I think, but all that came out was the universal f-word instead.


Then he pointed at me and tried to say something. I couldn't really understand so he tried again. When I still looked puzzled he finally just laughed out loud, shook his head, and threw up his hands.

"Fuck it!" he laughed. I laughed, too.

And all of this made me happy because his nurse told me that it was the first time she'd seen him laugh for his entire hospitalization. The first and only time.

Fuck yeah.

Happy Tuesday.



  1. It's such a fine all-purpose word. I imagine if I have a stroke, that will be the one world I'll be able to say.

  2. And yeah- I did like that one. You know me too well.

    1. Knew you'd think this story was effing awesome.

  3. Well, if you're only left with one word, that one's pretty versatile. However, some people would be thoroughly offended without an explanation. But...sounds like the guy was doing the best with what he had, and that's always a good thing. (That, and a doc who can make you laugh alongside all the serious crud...that's also awesome!)

    1. He was super sweet. He was so brave about everything.

  4. Fuck is one of my favorite words. It's so versatile.

  5. It's sound as if you've encountered my father. I know the world is filled with a lot of people but just by reading your posting touched me deeply. Thank you for having such compassion for your job and patients.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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