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Our family has always tried to laugh — figuring that’s the best way to deal with adversity. So when Gill’s Crohn’s began flaring up recently, requiring her to present herself (again) for a hospital test, Crazy D decided to name her ordeal “Jeff and The Kidney Stones” — thus giving it a jaunty name more fitting of a new rock band than a disease.Yea! Can we hear it for Jeff?!!

In truth, Gill had already named her Crohn’s “Jeff’. Crazy D simply added The Stones to give things a bit of flair and capture her next major health crisis (kidney stones). I mean, it kind of puts the REAL ‘Stones’ (Mick Jagger et al) in perspective.Sure, they’ve had decades of success and fame, but Jeff is well on his way! When Gill is at work and Jeff starts ‘singing’ (sounding like a ship roiling about on the Atlantic during a hurricane), it’s much more fun and acceptable to declare:”Jeff’s on the high seas again” than “My colon is aching and I’ll have to spend the next three hours in the ‘loo!”

The Stones have been a relatively new addition to Gill’s list of major ailments: arthritis, Crohn’s, and osteoporosis (and I won’t mention the bout of scurvy she had when in university).The Stones were diagnosed last year when she was meant to have a colonoscopy that had to be cancelled. She had been in great pain, had the prep for the test, reacted badly, had a shot of morphine that didn’t work well, and eventually was ushered (half stoned and even more dazed than normal) out of the hospital by a good friend to lie in misery at home.

That was also the weekend I received a call that Crazy D was in jail after a traffic accident and needed bail! A stellar weekend even by this family’s standards! When the kids were teens, I had three major ‘house rules’: Don’t get pregnant, don’t get anyone else pregnant, and don’t ask me for bail money. It worked when they were teens and I figured, after that, they were on their own. I did not expect to be asked for bail when they were in their 30s.

As it turned out, the jail thing was a scam to get money from me. Sadly it worked — but what mother, upon hearing her son’s teary voice begging for help, wouldn’t do whatever necessary to save him? I have to hand it to these fraudulent creeps: it was a brilliant, if diabolical scheme.But true to form, this frightful experience has been turned into one of the family’s best cocktail party stories…not to mention a chapter in my soon-to-be finished book! Lemons into lemonade, that’s my philosophy!

The new name thing for Gill’s diseases made me think that, perhaps for her next book launch in Toronto, perhaps Crazy D and his teenaged band could resurrect themselves as “Jeff And The Kidney Stones” and  provide the entertainment for the evening! Genius….talk about excellent branding.