Recently, I was hospitalized for pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and was admitted to the same hospital as always, which I prefer.
Upon arrival a laboratory technician entered my room to draw blood cultures. She immediately recognized me and asked if I had been there before, I laughed and said, “Yes, this is my second home.”
As the nurse went over my medications and conditions, she couldn’t help but question why I had so many and how a person my age could be so sick. She inquired with genuine concern and I made light of the situation by telling her that I carry all the auto immune diseases for my family tree.
It isn’t that I find my situation or pain humorous, but I would rather laugh about it than cry sometimes.
My coping mechanism is that I try to find some sort of happiness in every obstacle or challenge. While I was in the hospital I tried to keep a smile on my face and that positive attitude is the main reason why I didn’t fall apart. The nurses didn’t understand how I could be in so much pain and still manage to make jokes.
Although it wasn’t the best of circumstances, I knew I was the only one who could make myself feel better emotionally.
I’ve come to the realization that my attitude has a lot to do with my recovery. When I’m sad, stressed, or depressed it takes me a lot longer to bounce back. I’m not saying that being upbeat about it has ever been simple, but it sure does beat feeling low and gloomy.
Not only does humor help me feel better, but it sometimes helps break the ice when others don’t know how to act when I’m sick or in pain. Often times others don’t know what to do or say, so if I try to make light of the situation by laughing at it they feel more at ease and less uptight. If others can see that I’m still the same person no matter how much pain I’m in, they tend to treat me like a normal person.
Just because my life is different now that I’m sick, doesn’t mean that I have lost my sense of humor. I’ve always been a happy person who loves to laugh and continue to be. It brings me joy to know that I can also make others laugh and feel comfortable around me when it seems like things have taken a turn for the worst.
No two people are alike and what works for me may not work for others. But I do believe that if we all give it a try, we may find that it’s the best natural treatment for most pain. Although I suffered from terrible abdominal pain and laughing did intensify it, my spirits were high.
Like the saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine.”
Arlene Alonzo Grau lives in Lakewood, California. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s disease.
The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.