We all talk about health care workers stress like it involves critical anxieties and to some extent, it does. In the words of the show Pawn Stars, “you never know what’s going to come through that door.” The emergency room door, that is. While domestic violence victims, trauma patients, pregnant mothers, and more are sure to send the occasional shiver down your spine, sometimes the biggest stresses can come from the more simpler tasks. Like not bursting out laughing. Right in front of your patient… and their parents. Story time!

For some reason, my patient’s mother waited until her son was seventeen years old before getting him circumcised. I guess she didn’t think it was necessary at first, but after seeing how many of his female ‘friends’ were turned off by his ‘pig in a blanket’, she decided to spare him the embarrassment. Or, at least, that’s what I like to imagine what happened. Whatever the case, naturally, the young lad was nervous, so I tried to be as calming and as reassuring as possible. The anesthesia helped the procedure run incredibly smoothly, yet, when he woke up, the side effects left him a bit…loopy. 

“Wake up son, your operation is finished!” The mom began.

“Huh?” The son responded.
“You’re done.”
“Done with what, mom?”
“The surgery…” She leaned in closer and said in a harsh whisper,


“YOU CUT OFF MY DICK?!” He exclaimed in bewilderment. She rapidly shook her head from side to side, waving her hands as she shouted,

“No, no, no, no.” He finally gave one less shout, a bellowing

“LIAR” that could have easily woken the infants in nursing care. Then, at last, the grand finale came: he blew chunks everywhere, splashing vomit all over his mother.


This is probably gross to everyone, but for a nurse who’s seen just about everything, the element of surprise is a humorous one indeed.

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