Did any of my patients have fun today? Did they laugh?
I’ve commented previously on the need for a hedonistic rather than a palliative approach to medicine.
I liked this article about fun: http://thebaffler.com/past/whats_the_point_if_we_cant_have_fun
We talk about vital signs: pulse, respiratory rate, temperature, bloods pressure, and more recently pain but do we ever ask our patients “have you laughed today?” or “have you had any fun today?” or even more serious questions like “have your desires been met today?”.
This is an unmet need for most patients, particularly those with terminal illnesses like many cancers.
We all know about the Patch Adams clowns in hospitals approach but we just don’t incorporate into routine care.
Happiness and an appreciation of ‘fun’ is another vital sign.