A Journey from Victim to Survivor…to Living Freely

Humor in Healing

on November 22, 2015

I’m inappropriate…highly…when it comes to finding humor in thing that others A-don’t think are funny or B-do find funny but NEVER should be discussed.  In a Women’s Group I’ve joined from church (still undecided about where it is good to be involved or totally undermining my recovery–but that’s another post), we talked about caregiving last week…someone mentioned keeping your sense of humor…I added a vignette about a hospital trip that included being on the bed in the hallway (the closest I could get to a room) and a patient needing assistance and the nurse not getting there in time…the scent of fresh feces filled the ER…and, my friend who was with me (a 1st grade teacher and mom who can handle urine, vomit and feces with the best of them) finally needed to move aside (the “accident room” was directly across from us) and asked if I minded her moving to fresher air for a few.  I assured her it was fine.  5-10 minutes later, in the very busy ER, the nurse came out with a bowlful of feces…and began walking with it down the hall…because the ER was busy, she needed to stop her trek and let some gurneys and an EMT group through…the place she stopped?  Right, 100%, directly in front of my friend…who I could see turning her head through the EMS bay with any chance of grabbing fresh air…knowing there was not way she could hold her breath for those 2-4 minutes or only mouth breathe.  The crowd cleared and my friend rushed for fresh air…coming back to me…where we both burst into hysterical, 1am giggles…I joked that it was like a poop parade and she said she was on the parade route…we were in hysterical, slap happy giggles with no hope of not laughing…trying to keep quiet, which only made it funnier.  I was in the midst of a mini-stroke and with a lot of deficits (including smell) and the fact that it was bad for me had me knowing it was horrible for her.


Now, in sharing the story at the women’s group, I simply said “Humor in crisis, especially when it comes to hospital trips is part of my self-care and I appreciate that those closest to me understand and “humor” me.  One time there’d been an accident with feces which were then carried through the hospital halls…my friend and I still laugh about the Poop Parade we were part of”…Now, maybe there women needed the full story to find humor, maybe even that wasn’t enough…still, they looked at me like I was totally inappropriate and I sense judgement in their gazes.


I share this story because my bff sent me a book the other day–“Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson–telling me “I know you will love this!!!!! And, I am buying it for you–it will be there in 2 days!”.    Jenny suffers from anxiety and depression and has written a book about the humor and folly to be found in this mentally ill world.  I’ve only read bits and pieces (it arrived today) and I am finding it so spot on!  It made me think that Jenny probably would be one to help make costumes for the poop parade, to laugh at the inappropriateness of our humor–if not because it was funny, then because she would know that mini-stroke trips can be terrifying for me and that focusing on poop parades helps distract my mind from the vision, hearing, smell, sensory loses, the loss of words and being able to explain what symptoms I have and more.  Humor is my common denominator…and, humor has always been my go-to…especially in time of trouble.  Not to pretend my problems away, but because there is humor in medical crisis, divorce, etc. And, when I cannot find humor (ie. court case for protective order), I spiral fast…putting me in danger from myself very quickly.  Very much looking forward to “Furiously Happy”–more than any book in a while!!


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