I love Dr. Seuss. His books are not just for children. The messages are ones we often need to remind ourselves of. And the biggest reminder is the need for humor in our lives. Humor is everywhere if we can just train our minds to look for it.
Easy for you to say, Loretta, you aren’t knee deep in horse manure. No, not right this very minute. But I have just climbed out of a pile of said manure though and if it hadn’t been for seeing the funny in various situations I would be in a heap of frustration and tears.
The most recent examples were during the last four months working with my cardiologist trying to find out why I was exhausted, short of breath, dizzy, and feeling faint. While we were searching for answers I kept searching for the humor.
- During this time, my ten year old C-pap machine’s screen would read “Your motor has outlived its life expectancy. I laughed and told Thad that perhaps my body was telling me the same thing; I just don’t have the benefit of a digital screen.
- In one of the summaries of my doctor visits it listed me as an 87 year old woman. Now I was certainly feeling like an 87 year old woman but surely I didn’t look that bad, right?
- When they did my cardiac catheterization I arrived in the operating room before they were ready for me, however, they began to prep me. There were people scurrying all around me prepping the machinery, getting supplies; all the while a nurse was covering every inch of my body with the exception of the groin area. The nurse kept apologizing that I was “exposed” and yet they weren’t ready. While I was a bit embarrassed but not really able to do anything about it, I quipped “If you find something there you have never seen before, we are going into business together and make some money”. We all got a chuckle out of it and my embarrassment was replaced with humor.
- Two weeks later I had my pacemaker implanted. Again, I was draped completely, this time with the exception of my chest. Two nurses – one on each side of me – were scrubbing with what looked like the XOXO Good Grips Soap Dispensing Dish Scubbers. They had to do this with two different disinfectants each for so many minutes. My breasts haven’t seen this much activity since I was breast feeding Francesca 40 years ago!
- The humor in me immediately noted that all I need now is a hemorrhoidectomy and all my private parts will have been revealed at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
- Since my pacemaker was implanted I have been feeling so much better but still had a few “wonky” feelings. When I went for my device check they “tweaked” it and the next day I felt like I was back to normal. I have so much more energy, no “wonky” feelings and have started to think of household projects and exercise programs. Thad jokingly said he wished he could have an app on his phone so he could regulate me himself, i.e. turn my energy level down when I get a little too carried away. Thank God they don’t have an app for hubbys. At least not yet.
My points is that one must actively seek out and utilize this wonderful gift. For when we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol , which suppresses our immune system. For a moment or two, humor distracts us from stress and gives us hope that we will be able to get through whatever is going on in our life.
According to an articles in Mayo Clinic a sense of humor during our difficult times
- Boost our immune system
- Enhances our intake of oxygen-rich air, thereby stimulating our heart, lungs and muscles
- Stimulates circulation that results in relaxation of muscle tension
- Reduces pain
- Improves our mood
While having a sense of humor doesn’t remove our problems it does help to reframe the situation long enough to take a deep breath – maybe even a belly laugh.
What coping mechanisms do you use when life finds you knee deep in manure? Do you find humor helpful in your life? Please share so others might benefit.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.