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It is my belief that laughter is a healer. If it be for a moment, a day or forever. I am an old hat at dealing with pain. Mental emotional and physical pain. Mental and emotional pain is sometimes just as hard to deal with as physical pain. I now live with this on a daily basis.
We were only married 6 years, we had our daughter and one son by then, when we had the car accident that changed our lived forever. A hit and run drunk driver took our life as we knew it away from us, all in a flash of a second.
I went from a successful hairdresser, model and makeup artist to being bedridden. I was that way for 6 months. I spent those 6 months on an orthopedic mattress on the living room floor. I was not able to get up for any reason. When Ron & I got married we didn’t know that “FOR BETTER OR WORSE” would come and bite us on the ankles. Ron once said to me. "I don’t mind the love, honor and obey part but where was I when I promised to empty the bed pan?”
He took care of me in that condition the whole time. He became a mother, father, housekeeper to our family and nursemaid to me, as well as working full-time. He did that until I had unsuccessful surgery on my back. A year later I was operated on again, unsuccessfully. When I was able to get up and walk it was like starting all over again.
I am now 72 years old and have had chronic pain everyday since. I have been in 7 car accidents, each one making me worse. None by the way being my fault.
I’ve had four mylograms, lots and lots of injections, therapy of all kinds, I’ve attended several pain clinics, had hydro-therapy, acupuncture, herb & natural remedy therapy, many, many hospital stays, pills, pills and more pills. Still I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, stomach problems, shoulder pain, leg pain, chronic back pain, angina, hiatus hernia, high blood pressure, and several other tumors. The list goes on. Including unavoidable weight gain. I am also a 2 time cancer survivor.
I certainly know what depression, pain and wanting to give up is all about. We have three children but had five pregnancies. It took me a long time after being so active and normal to get used to the fact I was not the same person any more.
I believe that if something is taken from you it is given back another way but it is up to you to know how and when to use it. I always wrote poetry but now I do a lot more, I use my pain in a positive way in order to find the feelings I need to do that.
I truly believe that without the world of laughter, I may not have made it through as well as I have. Many Drs. have told me they are surprised that I am still walking. I pride myself on not letting those who don’t know me see that I’m in pain.
One day while watching Oprah she had a lady on the show from Arizona. She was complaining that when it rained she had pain and wanted to commit suicide, I was there all by myself and out loud said, “Give me a break!!!! I’ll show you pain!! I live in Canada!” I’m sure anyone walking by would have thought I was a nut talking to myself.
I do get comments, about me having pain so long I should be used to it by now. lol yeh that happens. One learns to live with it maybe.
A while back when my surgeon told me I had thyroid cancer he asked me how I was able to keep my sense of humour seeing as I had so many health related problems.. My answer was how could I not. Life is much too short to spend it moaning and complaining. Furthermore who wants to be around someone who always complains. I am not interested in broadcasting that I am in pain and my friends & family already know.
One day while talking to a friend she said she noticed she forgot about her pain because we laughed the whole time we were on the phone. I was surprised at her reaction when I told her I always wanted to start a support group. She said her and her friends would come. With that in mind I forged ahead. Soon we had a support group called SAS “Share a Smile” a place for those with pain to come and laugh for a while. A good belly laugh. I know this was not a cure-all but, if for just a moment you can forget the pain how wonderful! RIGHT?
I made an arrangement with the funeral home in town. Asking the families to donate flowers to our group. We in turn took them apart and hand out individual flowers to those in nursing homes. All we asked in return was a SMILE lol. Let me tell you we got many of them with hugs to boot. It is a great feeling to be able to share like that.
One of the main rules of SAS was that while we were at our meeting, we DID NOT dwell on our problems, we were there for support and not for complaining.
I struggle with my weight now due to meds and I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if this accident never happened. But because of it I would like to think I have become a better person, more understanding and loving.
I believe that laughter is the best therapy and that with this form of therapy we can each control our own dosage.
I do not go into this blindly. I know about DEBILITATING pain, suffering, and being discriminated against because of it.
Two very potent chemicals in our bodies, serotonin which make us happy and endorphins that are natural pain killers are released through laughter. I try to release these as often as possible (giggle). It is nice to know there is something other than pain meds from a bottle.
Laughter should not be reserved as a pain-killer as I believe it should be something we do each and every day just for the heck of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all found more to laugh about or even someone to laugh with.
Maybe we could all do our share in making just that small but important thing happen.
Come tickle your funny bone, and share stories, jokes, embarrassing moments, poems and friendship.
"Share A Smile"
Listen! Can you hear it?
The laughter that eases pain,
Feel it, swirl around you,
The warmth of caring once again.
Reach out, and we will guide you,
Into our special world of fun,
Share it, for it's contagious,
It can be had by everyone.
Find it! but do not keep it,
Pass it on to all you know,
What is it? It's "Share A Smile",
Plant the seed and watch it grow.
Dear Lord, it's time you take things over for me,
I've got too much to handle at this time,
The burdens of this life are full upon me,
And I find life's mountain just too high to climb.
It's not that I am shirking all my duties,
Or that I want to give them all to you,
It's just that I have finally reached my limit,
And I know this is the only thing to do.
I need my time to be a wife and mother,
These things are more important to me now,
And once my mind is clear from other worries,
I know everything will be all right somehow.
I copied these poems on a stickies and put one on my fridge and another in my wallet. This way I would not forget to do these very simple things.
First to share a smile, and secondly remember someone out there may need me to be kind. They might be suffering and I don't need to make their day worse.
If you have a story to tell, please share. To make someone laugh is a glorious thing.