(NOTE: This entire post just got deleted. I’m rewriting from memory.)
I wrote a whole long post about how I came to have what some might call a twisted sense of humor.
It was all erased.
My dad was going in for surgery on some herniated discs in his neck. There was a 50% chance he’d die on the operating table. But when his parents and brother went for lunch, my dad launched into a hysterically funny story about a hot female nurse shaving him “down there” as he would need a catheter after the operation — and how cold the room was.(look up the Seinfeld episode about Cold Water if you have questions.)
Then he pointed to a huge fruit basket he had received. “What am I supposed to do with that? I can’t eat solids for a month!”
When our family came back from lunch, my dad was smiling and I was hysterical laughing. He was literally facing Death but he had made me laugh.
As he was wheeled into surgery, everyone said how much they loved him. I whispered, “When you wake up, you’ll have a catheter.” My dad smiled, “I already do.”
He came out of surgery as well as could be expected, but I learned a valuable lesson:
As I grew older and amassed my own laundry list of illnesses and diseases, I remembered that lesson. Life can suck but if you are reading this, you are better off than most of the people in the world. If you have a roof over your head, food (or money to buy food), and a change of clothing, you’re better off than 70-90% of the world. (Sorry, but I couldn’t find an exact number to quote.)
I’ve been told I have a twisted sense of humor. But…
Here are a few links:
Laughter truly is the best medicine.
When I was in high school there was a girl I couldn’t talk to because she was so cool. We became Facebook friends and, I thought Real Friends. We supported each other and sent messages of encouragement. Recently, I made a joke to my ex- high school/ college boyfriend, based on this joke:
An elderly widowed gentleman in a nursing home became very friendly with an elderly lady. He told her his former wife used to hold his penis every night to help him go to sleep. The elderly lady decided to do this for her new male friend every night for a week. Each night he fell soundly asleep. The next week the gentleman told the lady that he was sorry but he had found a new partner. She was very upset and asked him, “What does she have that I don’t have?” He replied, “Parkinsons.”
The Cool friend replied:
NOBODY WITH ILLNESSES AND/OR DISABILITIES SHOULD EVER BE MAKING FUN OF. IT IS VERY CRUEL AND IGNORANT. HOW DARE YOU.
[i]t’s how my family deals with us all having chronic pain / illnesses. Mostly my dad and me when we were talking.
It’s from a joke about a couple who meet in an old folks home. One day the woman sees the man with another woman and calls him over.
“We’ve shared meals, we’ve slept in the same bed, I even put my hand on your penis! What does she have that I don’t?”
He answers with a grin, “Parkinson’s.”
If I couldn’t laugh I’d curl in a ball and cry. Sometimes the pain is so intense I’m laughing and crying.
When the muscle spasms started, it would scare my son to see me jerking around or flipping off the bed or, one time while making dinner, a knife flew out of my hand across the room. If I let my son know how much pain I was really in, it would’ve scared him and he would’ve worried more.
So I’d laugh.
Often hysterically, like a crazy person, but then he [my son] could laugh, too, instead of being scared all the time.
I hope you understand — I’m not making fun of anyone. When Michael J Fox was diagnosed an article said it was from head injuries playing hockey as a kid. I used to get my head slammed into walls daily by my biological mother so I was terrified I’d get early onset Parkinson’s.
It’s the best coping mechanism I have since my son is with me a lot. If I didn’t have a kid, well, I wouldn’t be using prescription pain killers, that’s for sure! I’ve been out of Lyrica for a week now & am praying I can get it today. Mixed with the heat… It’s been rough. And my son has to watch.
And then after finding out she had unfriended me on Facebook and Instagram, I wrote:
I see you unfriended me on Facebook and I had to request to follow your instagram account (again; As we were following each other).
If you’re that bothered by me making a joke, I wish you’d text me or messagenger me or dm me privately to discuss this.
I can’t believe this is the first time you’ve noticed my sarcastic / laugh-instead-of-cry approach to living with chronic pain. Even with my son, if I had to take a cold hard look at my future — in a wheelchair, in constant pain, completely alone — I’d probably be suicidal. It’s one thing to not mind being alone but to deal with never being held as I sleep, never being kissed again, etc… Once my son is grown, I will have to deal with such self-pity. But until then, I need sarcasm and humour or else I might as well pack it in. I’m sorry if I offended you but it’s how I cope.
And now I’m [re]writing this. Hoping she will see; hoping she will understand.
I’m very sorry that you misunderstood my comment on Facebook. If you don’t wish to talk to me, I will respect your wishes.
Please understand, I would never “make fun” of any illness or disease; I do use humor to deal with my situation and if that means we cannot be friends, I understand. I would like to hear your reasoning, but I wish you health and happiness no matter what you choose.
I freely admit that my mind goes to self-pity-mode a lot. It depresses me that after I have raised my son I will be, literally, alone. It upsets me that I will never be kissed or held by a lover again. But I need to stay strong for my son and for myself. Please do not mistake my joking as “making fun of” or “laughing at” others.
Con mucho amor,
Aka, D. K. Stevens