Laughter – Medicine for the Heart

This is the second post in a series of three.

For this journey into medical mayhem you will need to grow a funny bone.  This is a must.

You will need to look for it, practice it even when you are not experiencing physical pain so that when it strikes you can utilize its amazing power.

Whether you are the patient or the caregiver, there are times when you feel inadequate to survive the disease or able to handle the responsibilities of caring for someone in need.  But one of the healthiest way to respond to these feelings is to laugh at our own imperfections.  Look, my friends, we are human and mistakes, mishaps and misspoken moments will happen at the most inappropriate times.  If we cry and belittle ourselves every time we have a “mis” moment we will be sitting in a pond of tears.  But if we admit our “mis” moments and then laugh at them; the stress is reduced.

Unbeknownst to us, my mom was in her last two months of life and as such had very few “good days”.  But that last New Year’s Eve, she put up a good front for all of us.  We had gathered at my brother and sister-in-law’s home to bring in the New Year.  Once we watched the ball dropped, we knew it was time to take mom home. We could see she was waning and uncomfortable in her wheelchair. So as with any big Italian family we were all peppered by the front door, the side walk and down the driveway to where our car was parked.

As my brother lifted my mother out of her wheelchair and into the front seat of my car my mom suddenly exclaimed –

“Oh, I am so nauseous, I think I am going to throw up!”  Her voice was filled with frenetic anticipation of what was most assuredly about to come.

My brother yelled out to all those along the walk but specifically to his wife who was standing by the front door –

“Linda!  Mom feels like she going to throw up – Get the “Pasta Pot!”

My sister-in-law disappeared and with land breaking speed came back to the front door.  My mother by now was groaning with her hands across her mouth and shaking her head back and forth as she watched her family scramble and at the same time tried not to “bless” my car with the nights food extravaganza.  The  pot was quickly passed down to the family along the walkway and drive until it was in my brothers hands

“OK, Mom – let it rip!” my brother said assuredly.

“Oh, I don’t know – I think I may have to go to the bathroom now!”

To which my brother quickly responded –

“It’s okay, Mom, it’s a multipurpose pot!”

And in that moment, it struck my mother as so funny that she started to shake her head and laugh.  “You all are crazy and to think  I created you all!”

And what was a moment of extreme discomfort and stress dissipated into a moment of relief and humor.

Humor, like prayer, helps us to rise above the mayhem.  Laughing is the breath of fresh air that affects your whole body by improving heart rate and circulation and by boosting oxygen supply to your brain. Laughter cushions pain, decreases muscle tension, distracting you and thereby increasing endorphins which are our body’s natural painkillers.  It’s an attitude adjustment that may only be one prescription, the benefits are palpable.

  • Keep a list of humorous things you see, hear or read.
  • Find TV shows new and old that make you chuckle. Reruns of “I Love Lucy”, or “Friends”.
  • Place cartoons on the fridge or bulletin board or anywhere in the house that you will look at daily.
  • Don’t put yourself down, rather laugh at your imperfections.

Billy Graham is quoted as saying “A keen sense of humor helps us to

  • Overlook the unbecoming,
  • Understand the unconventional,
  • Tolerate the unpleasant,
  • Overcome the unexpected,
  • And outlast the unbearable.”

Don’t let the difficult times reduce us to crumbling heap of tears and frustration.  Rather, when the medical mayhem devil comes a calling – tell him to get behind you and then reach deep down into your funny bone and give a good hardy belly laugh.  The problems may not have resolved but you will feel better.


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

Blessings for Health & Wellness.





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