Unexpected Pain Relief – A True Story

By Mary Lou Pearson

For my first submitted article for Blue Water Healthy Living, I decided I would share an amusing (true) story with you.  I have found as we make our way through the White Waters and difficulties of life, having a little humor seems to help lighten the load.  Remember, “A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like A Medicine” (Proverbs).

Having shared this story with a few friends of what happened to my husband and me one summer night a few years past they still ask to hear it again and tell it to others.  I thought I would share it with all of you hoping it will bring a smile to your faces as we patiently wait for spring to come around that “proverbial corner.”


First, I have to tell you that my family is crazy…  Some may call it dysfunctional, but that word sounds too medical for me so I just prefer “Crazy”.  This story happened the same year that one of my sons got me a small air horn as a Christmas stocking stuffer.  If you knew me you might be asking right now “Who in their right mind would buy her an air horn???” (I even thought that myself!!)  Of course, I had a lot of fun with it, especially showing it off to my friends, getting my husband’s attention when he was outside and I wanted him for something, but with time the newness wore off so I placed it on the night stand beside our bed.  You never know when an air horn might come in handy during the night. Someone could break in and I could scare them half to death with it or someone might even try to kidnap me and I would blow it and my husband would come running in his shining armor to rescue me!

This one warm summer night, after a long day of working in the garden, I woke up about three in the morning with terrible (arthritic) pain in my one knee. I could not get comfortable but I was too tired and sleepy to get out of bed to go take the pain med I so badly needed.  As quietly as possible, so not to disturb my husband, I reached over in the dark for the can of Salonpas which I also keep on my night stand. (Salonpas is pain medicine in a spray can which gives you temporary relief from joint pain).  My husband is usually a sound sleeper and a very patient man but not this night! I’m sure you now know where this story is going…. Well, instead of grabbing the can of Salonpas I accidentally grabbed the air horn can. It had been so long since I’d used it and I had really forgotten all about the air horn even being there.  Both cans are pretty much the same shape and size and remember, it was dark, I was in pain, and still half asleep.  Even if I was thinking clearly, I probably still wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference in the dark nor did I even think about the possibility of grabbing the wrong can.   Laying there in bed on my back, in the dark with my knee up in the air, and of course trying to be as quiet as possible so not wake my husband, I started to spray my knee.

“Jump’n Jonah!!”  The silence of that warm summer night was broken when that air horn blasted out to “My” surprise, and the noise it made was louder than I had never heard it sound before!!  (It must have really charged itself up from just sitting around for several months.)  I just about jumped out the open window that was beside me.  My husband who is usually a very sound sleeper and very patient man became a different person that night!  Like lightning he leaped out of bed and standing there in the dark, in just his underwear, began yelling things at me in an almost diabolical tone. Crying out short sharp sentences like; “What is wrong with you?”   “That isn’t a funny thing to do in the middle of the night!”, “I am throwing that thing in the trash right now” and on and on he went for several minutes not giving me a chance to explain nor did he even turn on the light to check and see if someone wasn’t trying to kidnap me ( …I waited to bring this point to his attention until later in the week!!)

As I fumbled to turn on the light to show him the mistake and what had happened I finally got a chance to explain, but I’m still not sure he really believed me.  After getting him calmed down and back in bed, and as I quietly laid there beside him trying to calm my own self down and get my heart out of the A-fib mode, I began thinking about what had just happened. You know what?  It was sort of funny!! I truly know and understand that air horns can be dangerous when unexpected but thank goodness it wasn’t that night!

It seemed to take forever to get back to sleep but without making the slightest sound (fear of waking him up again…) I was able to silently laugh myself back to sleep instead of counting sheep.  The crazy thing is I forgot all about my knee pain and it didn’t hurt the rest of the night.  I guess the moral of the story is…  Sometimes the strangest things can take away your pain while bringing you a smile or two in the process!!


Mary Lou Pearson was born and raised in Port Huron Mi.  She married her husband Mark in 1975 and they have two sons.  She graduated from Port Huron Northern and then studied music with the Sherwood Music School.  She worked in Marketing for AT&T for many years and is currently a drama director at Colonial Woods Missionary Church and teaches private piano.  She loves living in the Blue Water Area where she tries to find beauty and a little humor in everyday living.

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Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

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