Cystic Fibrosis: The Musical


[Written on day two of my current hospital stay]

Sitting at the dinner table with my wife and daughter the night before my hospitalization, I came up with what is either the best or worst idea I’ve ever had: CF: The Musical.

I ran the idea past both of them, hoping to lighten the mood. But first I had to explain “irony” to my daughter. Then I broke into song (BTW, I can’t sing):

(In a super-happy Broadway show-tune style)
I’m going in the hospital.
I can’t wait. Yeah, yeah.
I am going in with one ailment,
but coming out with three or four,
oh joy, how nice – what a gift.
My lungs feel better, but now I can’t pee or see.

It went something like that.

Then I sang “The Phlebotomist” for her, after explaining its definition.

(Pretending to whip open the door and flick on the lights)
It’s 4:30 in the morning. Did I wake you? Were you sleeping?
I’m the Phlebotomist, and I’m here to draw your blood.
Did I wake you? Were you sleeping?
Nothing a dozen cans of Red Bull won’t cure.
Give me your arm, I’m going to poke another hole in it.
Did I wake you? Were you sleeping?
This will hurt but I’ll blame your vein if I screw up.
Mr. Wilson, I presume?
No? Oops, sorry. Wrong room.

Yeah, it went like that with my daughter and wife joining in. We sang about the weekend doctors who come to the door and ask you how you’re doing, but don’t want complicated answers and are there just to collect $300. And we sang about respiratory therapists.

And we had a laugh.

I know CF doesn’t feel like a laughing matter most days, or at all for many, but somedays there is no choice but to laugh away the darkness that hangs there, waiting.

CF: The Musical felt like a victory of the moment.

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