Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

LOL: Finding Humor

During the dark days of dealing with my daughter’s severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and asthma, I didn’t think reflux was so funny. At times, I even lost my sense of humor. I have learned that reflux, like any other condition can make me laugh out loud (LOL). I offer you some of my favorite humorous moments from the world of reflux.

When Rebecca was a toddler, the combination of reflux and asthma made her airway and esophagus juicy and noisy. After a meal, she would cough, clear her throat, gag and sometimes even spit up a bit as the food and acid went up and down her esophagus. She did this so often that it hardly registered in my brain. At home, Rebecca’s 3 and 5 year old sisters would let me know immediately when the coughing lead to vomiting and where the spit up landed. One day, I was at the check out line with a cart full of groceries and all three children. Rebecca started having one of her little throat clearing/coughing/choking/gagging episodes while we were stuck in line. Without even thinking, I placed my open hand under her chin in case she needed to spit up. Then I noticed other shoppers were looking on in disgust and shock. One mother with a baby in a shopping cart moved to another line to get away from us. I could tell that everyone was thinking, “Why is this BAD mother bringing a child with a stomach virus to the food store?” I didn’t bother to explain but it did make me laugh.

My friend Annette had a grocery store incident too. She seldom took her 12 month old son to the store because he didn’t just spit up; he vomited his entire meal at the least opportune time. In a desperate moment, she decided to take him to the food store for some “must have” items. Things were going along just fine until they got to the produce section. She heard the tell tale rumbling and knew he was getting ready to vomit. Since she was in a hurry and was only going to be in the store for a few minutes, she was not prepared for vomiting. The reflux has quickened her reflexes so she opened the bag of pears she was holding and averted a mess on his clean clothes and the floor. She placed the bag of pears plus, well you know, in the cart and headed for the check out. The clerk lifted the pears plus goo onto the scale and said, “There seems to be a problem with these pears. Do you want to get some more?” Annette replied, “No thanks. My son just vomited in the bag.” Again, shock and stares from everyone within ear shot. Annette is pretty sure she is the first person to PAY for vomit. If anyone else has paid for vomit, please contact me immediately!

My last story occurred when I was talking to a new reflux mom by phone. Her newborn baby was on her shoulder and I could hear her fussing and fretting, getting worked up and ready for full scale crying. I always ask if we should end the phone conversation but I also explain that I am used to talking on the phone with the baby adding her input at the same time. This mom said, “There is no “good” time to talk on the phone. She is either fussing or crying 24/7. “So we kept talking. All of a sudden, we lost the connection. I thought we lost the signal but it was something else. While cradling the phone on one shoulder and the squirming baby on the other shoulder, she managed to drop the cell phone into a glass of water next to her!
Humor is a great stress reducer. I hope you find a reason to smile and laugh out loud today. And please, send along your funny but true reflux stories to me.


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