Saturday, September 27, 2008

Four-Letter Word

No, not that kind.  I get more than enough of those on a daily basis.

This four-letter word belonged to an elderly couple that I took care of last night.  The patient was an older gentleman, accompanied by his wife of over 50 years, who came in complaining of recurring back pain.  I checked in on him a number of times during my shift - EKG, vitals, bed pan, blood draw - and briefly chatted with the pair during each encounter.  They both seemed like wonderful people, and the kind of long-lasting couple rarely seen anymore.

During one of my trips into the room, I turned to the wife and told her she was welcome to step outside while I helped her husband off the bedpan.  She in turn deadpanned, "Why?  It's nothing I haven't cleaned up before."

Later I walked in to find them hard at work on the crossword.  The wife asked if I knew a four letter word for "5th stroke."  Her husband ran through a list of sports that involved strokes, and then received a flash of inspiration.  "What if it's a real stroke, a medical stroke," he asked.  "I haven't had one of those yet."  

The wife considered that for a moment, and then replied, "D-E-A-D.  After your fifth stroke you'll be dead, dear."

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