382. Laughing at the Wrong Time


When Ai Ai took me to start getting regular massages I had to do some entry paperwork. Let’s just all pause and enjoy the irony of how I voluntarily seek massages now. (They were an acupuncture alternative for me while I was visiting Boo Boo but now I’m trying to maintain them at home.) A friend was once trying to get me a “thank you” for doing him a favor once in my Old Life…(Side note: driving someone to get OP foot surgery is not a favor in my book. It is what friends do. I almost threw a fit when he told me he was going to just take a cab)…anyway – he was like, Let me get you a gift certificate for a massage. I was like, “No thanks, I don’t like being touched.”

Snicker snicker.

Nowadays I recognize that I am in need of help and am learning to accept it gratefully from the skilled professionals who know what to do for me. I’m working on the grateful part. As it is I still try to hide my hands from CMD when I’m on the table and I attempted to crawl away from my Massage Therapist last Monday but she had a grip on my leg. Booo.

So when I did the entry paperwork with Ai Ai a nice staffer came to assist me with the questions. When he came to the part about, “Do you have any pre-existing conditions?” I just burst out laughing.

I couldn’t stop for five minutes. I felt so bad – I was like, Don’t worry, Buddy – it’s not you. You’re doing all the right things. I’m so sorry. It’s just me. Truly – sometimes brain injury survivors will have trouble with uncontrollable laughing or crying. I don’t think I can legitimately blame it on that, though. I was just laughing a little snidely. Ummmmm, yeah – I have a pre-existing condition. The hole in my neck and the cane kind of give it away, huh?

Happily he didn’t take my inappropriate laughing to heart and we had a nice chat when I saw him a few weeks later and he inquired how the running thing was going.

I also did all sorts of inappropriate laughing when I woke up in the hospital. I am so thankful that I have been surrounded by funny people since birth because my strong laugh reflex helped me through those really tough days at Therapy Boot Camp (RIO, 3rd Hospital).

Technically, I started waking up at Vibra (2nd Hospital) but nothing was funny to me then – I was just scared. Lots of things were funny to me at RIO – when I wasn’t busy being confused and/or annoyed by them. Many excruciatingly humorous things continue to crop up as I Recover and I welcome them as entertaining diversions from the hard work at hand. All work and no play…

I was completely disoriented when I first landed in RecoveryLand. It’s still extremely foreign to me, especially now that I have entered this strange world of Athletes. Coach R was trying to explain something to me once about why my body parts move in a certain way and I was looking at him like, Wow, R – it’s like you’re not even speaking English right now. I said plainly to Trainer D: I make PowerPoint slides for fun.

That’s right. I’m a transplant from Corporate America by way of the Ivory Tower. Seriously, in my first (unsuccessful) job interview after undergrad the feedback was essentially that I belonged in the Ivory Tower. I kid you not. He said it nicer than that, but that was the bottom line. I often feel like an alien from another planet, but if we work together it’s bc you’re good at what you do and I need help. This will likely take a while so settle in and let’s assume I’m here to make your world a happier place. 🙂


Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

2 thoughts on “382. Laughing at the Wrong Time

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