Happy Chronic Illness Week!
Monday is the start of Chronic Illness awareness month. There is so much I want to write about, express, and I see some amazing ideas from amazing writers that share their own experiences. I will be taking a word and expanding my own illness and life surround a particular word. Stay tuned Monday September 10th until Sunday September 16th for words that celebrate life with an illness.
The word for Monday is Laughter, what helps me make it through those tough times. Laughter! Yes, I know that sounds like crap. Sounds like I am jumping off some kind ledge in a manic state. How can laughter make a chronically ill person celebrate life? Let me share a scripture with you that help me a lot during times when I just don’t feel like dancing in the streets. I would love to have a plaque of this to hang on my wall to remind myself of this all the time:
New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a]no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink,and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
I do want to make one thing clear. I do not use laughter to mask my fears and grieving over my illness, but I also don’t mask the fact that there are moments in life that I do enjoy a lot. When you become ill and it is chronic and there is no cure the first thing that popped into my head is how am I going to enjoy life? Just because I get tired easily, have issues with breathing, and have joint pain does not mean I cannot enjoy laughing, telling jokes, watching comedies, or even go enjoy the ocean. Or have healthy, fun loving, growth oriented relationships with others. I just have to do it differently. There are a ton of things I cannot do. If I focus on the words I can’t, then I forget about what I can do. An example, last week I had another surgical procedure to put back in my T-tube in order for my airway to stay open so that I can celebrate life. I hate having surgery, I hate waking up in the recovery room with strangers I do not know, needles in my arms, bells and whistles going off every time I move. I have to stay the night in ICU. My sister Carri came up to stay with me while I had the surgery and recovered in ICU and the recovery room. She brought something fun for us to do to keep my mind off of my woes.
Mad libs, I remember doing mad libs as a teenage girl with my friends and we would roll on the floor laughing. I felt my spirit lifted while hooked up and that is what laughter does. It helps the human spirit heal during the struggles in life. You can laugh and celebrate life even when you are hooked up to bells and whistles in ICU. Remember that.