Laughter, the best medicine

These are sentences exactly as typed by medical secretaries in NHS (National Health Service) Greater Glasgow:

  1. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  2. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
  3. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
  4. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr Jones, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree

Not long ago, my fiancé and I found ourselves in a bad situation. We had decided to move to a Caribbean island for a year. Our reasons were practical- his chronic, constant head pain dissipated in the island climate, and so did my arthritis. After six months of hard work getting us there we arrived to a situation that went from bad to worse. The apartment we had rented was filled with mice and cockroaches, we were lied to, cheated out of money, Todd got hit by a car and seriously injured, and my arthritis was getting worse due to all the stress; this dream, bucket list adventure had turned into a nightmare.

One day we found ourselves sitting in a coffee shop in the middle of yet another crisis. I felt so drained, I couldn’t see straight. We were sitting on pins and needles because we had no idea where we were going to sleep that night, couldn’t afford to pay for another expensive hotel, and our fate was in the hands of a less than honest property manager.

I looked at Todd and said, “ If this wasn’t so serious, it would be hilarious,” and we both busted out laughing. It was the best thing we could have done. After that day, whenever things got hard, (which was basically every day), Todd and I tried to see the humor in the situation. We ended up with a lot of private jokes. And we realized that there was a way through the situation that didn’t involve getting an ulcer.

Think about some funny people that you know. Johnny Carson, Jim Carey, my brothers; whenever these men come to mind I smile. My body relaxes, and I’m reminded that life is meant to be enjoyed, not suffered through.

Chronic illness will kick your butt. It isn’t for sissies. Finding a way to smile through it all will help you to be healthy, life regardless.

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