Be My Baby
A Unique Perspective on His Survival by Stroke Survivor and Comedian John Kawie
Welcome to “Ask the Stroke Guy,” the column written by the stroke expert who recently won the World Wrestling Federation rehab smackdown when he kneed his psychotherapist right in the id.
Q: I’m a stroke survivor in the ICU. I noticed on Antiques Road Show that an 18th-century chamber pot was valued at $1,500. I was thinking I’d take my bedpan home as an investment for my children. What do you think?
A: I think I’d like to be at the reading of the will.
Q:: Hi, my name is Sandra. I’m a stroke survivor on the rehab floor of St. Chichi’s Hospital. They won’t accept my health insurance. In fact, the only form of payment they do accept is cash, credit card, or PayPal. Plus, the level of care leaves a lot to be desired. Should I be worried?
A: Sandra, let me answer your question with a question. Have you ever heard of a St. Chichi? You not only should be worried, you should get the heck out of there!
Q: Hey John, Bob here. I’m 80 years old and a stroke survivor in Mercy Hospital. I have a question about physical therapy. Whenever I do my weight-bearing exercises, the whole PT room empties. Therapists, attendants, even stroke survivors who can’t walk are miraculously cured and beat it out of there, leaving me alone. I’m starting to get a complex. I shower in my shower chair every day. Can you shed some light on this?
A: Bob, in comedy we call this “walking the room.” I’m betting you wear your hospital gown to PT. Well, don’t. When you’re down on your hands and knees, the curtain’s open with your Placido Domingo out there on center stage for everyone to see. Consider wearing sweatpants, pajama bottoms, underwear — heck, even a loincloth.
Q: I’m a stroke survivor and I’m getting fed up with normal people using the “your stroke” phrase, as in, “Why did you have your stroke?” To which I answer, “I thought it was a good idea at the time.” How can I let them know it’s a stroke, not my stroke?
A: First, when you say “normal” are you referring to non-stroke survivors? If so, the use of the word normal here is not appropriate because, frankly, there are a lot of non-stroke survivors who are anything but normal. Besides, what is normal anyway? One man’s normal may be another man’s wingnut. Just tell them you had a stroke, not a baby. But if they persist, do what I do, talk to your affected arm like this:
“You’re my little strokie, yes you are. You’re so adorable. But you’re also a naughty little rascal. Do you know why? Because you turned daddy’s brain into cake batter. Just as daddy’s career was taking off you showed up — and that slammed the breaks on daddy’s life, didn’t it? While daddy’s friends moved to LA to work on big time TV shows, daddy had to learn to walk and talk again. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for daddy, but it will probably include a pier and a pair of cement shoes.”
I think they’ll get the message.