My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

laughter, the best medicine

I think what keeps me from going into a rock-bottoming/fetal position/"goodbye cruel world" kind of depression is my ability to find things to laugh at - including myself - during the course of the day.

There are a few kindred comic spirits who have crossed my path with whom I am able to laugh at ANYTHING. My friend Amy, formerly of Holly Springs, currently residing in Denver-ish, Colorado and I had a couple of private jokes that we could always go to if things were going wrong. It all started when Anna Nicole Smith died. There were a series of odd things that happened along that time period and one of us (maybe me, maybe her, I don't remember) remarked, "things just haven't been the same since Anna Nicole died". Anna Nicole's real name was "Vicky Lynn"... so anytime we found ourselves in a moment of crisis, one of us would cry out, "Vicky Lynn" so as to summon her spirit to relieve our time of trouble. (disclaimer: no, neither of us really believes that VL has any powers or that anyone beyond the grave can continue to have power on earth.) Vicky Lynn died four years ago and we are STILL laughing over that joke.... Amy even said to me last week: "Sometimes you've got to put on your toga and your clown makeup and just deal with things"... referring to those famous photos of VL. Amy is listed in my cellphone under Vicky Lynn.

Some jokes are just that good.

I have a similar rapport with Purple Michael. We simply crack each other up. I'm funnier when he's around. He's funny all the time but I have to have a muse. He and I have some objects that we mention to each other that take us back to times of absolute hilarity... my favorite is "the pink sweater". I went through a stage of hiding my chunkiness by wearing muumuus. They weren't REALLY muumuus but they were these long dresses - maxi dresses - that I always wore with a cardigan. Ok. I still sort of dress that way... but not every day any more. During the time period when PM and I were routinely frequenting the bar in the bowling alley in Forest Park (for karaoke) apparently I thought that muumuu/cardigan combo was particularly flattering so that was my go-to going out outfit. WELL... inevitably... because he was so charming and talented... other patrons at the bar would buy PM drinks throughout the evening. And... inevitably... he would imbibe a bit too that inevitably... he would be a tad intoxicated and nauseated on the drive home at 2am when we closed down the bar (sidebar: can you believe that less than ten years ago I was closing down bars... and now I'm asleep most nights by 8? sad but true)... anyways... when we closed down the bar... I would end up driving home with the windows rolled down and his head hanging out the window spewing those gifted cocktails along the side of Tara Boulevard. And... being the charming, gorgeous gay man that he is... he wanted to wipe his face... and ... since there were no clean napkins in the car, I gave him my pink sweater for him to use. This repeated itself a few times... so now, whenever he starts to drink or feels nauseous for any reason, I encourage him by saying, "don't worry, I've got the pink sweater".

Maybe it's funnier to us. There's another story about him wearing my lipstick but that's not really appropriate for my vast readership.

And Dewayna... who I call Tay... she and I are a regular Abbott and Costello. If you ever catch a thread under one of my facebook statuses... do yourself a favor and follow it all the way through. We're just very, very funny together and have been since we were very young.

My brothers... all extremely witty fellows. My sister-in-law Angie has learned the family humor and we crack each other up at times. Sarabeth, my sweet little bright niece... she's catching on too. We'll make a comic out of her before she hits puberty. My boys... all pretty funny kids. My dad... he's mostly cheesy... here's a typical "Pop" joke: (you're pulling out of a driveway or street or whatever and you ask him: Is anything coming?") pop says "There aint nothing comin' but an ole greyhound..... (long pause for effect)... bus" Yep. That's Pop. Although we do crack each other up on the phone quite a bit.

My humor does tend to play off human nature and be a bit self-deprecating but that's ok. If you can laugh at yourself, you'll never be sad.

The point of this comedy review was because I went back to the pain doctor yesterday. This time I saw the guy who is the head of the practice and he spent a long time (over half an hour) with me answering my questions and developing a long term plan. My two main questions were: what is my "official" diagnosis and will I ever get better? The diagnosis... after all this poking, prodding and nuking is basically the same as it was four months ago: degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, bulging/herniated discs, osteoarthritis, sciatica, nerve damage to the lower legs.

They have not ruled out fibromyalgia 100% but Dr. Givogre agrees with Dr. Loomis that my fatigue may be related to the tachycardia more than fibromyalgia. Dr G also said something that I found encouraging... he will not give me a fibromyalgia diagnosis until/unless he exhausts every other possibility because fibromyalgia tends to be such a "cop out" diagnosis. He said, "once someone is diagnosed with fibro, doctors stop taking any of their symptoms seriously and can overlook legitimate problems by misdiagnosis".

Dr G doesn't want to change much about my treatment until we finish the cardiac work up and figure out why I'm having the episodes of tachycardia. My pulse when I first got back to the exam room yesterday was 120. Dr. G agrees with my regular physician that these episodes are not anxiety related because I had an extremely high heart rate while completely sedated. So... until the cardiac issues are addressed - and I have an appointment for Friday morning to get my event monitor - he doesn't want me to do any physical activity or change medications. He gave me certain symptoms to watch for and... I'm as anxious about that as I was waiting to go into labor... feeling like a watched pot. At any rate... there's a possibility that injections in a different part of my spine might help... we're trying a new external pain patch... we doubled one medication and... that's it.

The answer to the second question was... no. I will probably not get better. And seriously... that's one of those life changing moments for me... realizing that my quality of life is forever impacted.

SOOooo... instead of falling apart... I had to go back to work because we were shorthanded and busy and because I need the money. I got in my HOT car, turned on the a/c and the Rush Limbaugh show and laughed the whole way back to work about "the chickification of America" and (forgive me) how important it is to not be a peter tweeter. I laughed myself dizzy. You can go to and read his transcripts from yesterday. Or any day. I know he's way far to the right and ... a lot of you aren't... but it's still an interesting read most days.

And, because God is just so awesome, throughout the rest of the day I found things to giggle about.... some I could share with you and some, not so much but the thing that made me laugh the hardest was imagining the Saturday Night Live "Wayne's World" skit being remade as "Duane's World" with my boss as he might have looked in the 80's... with all of us in the agency similarly outfitted. I know. I know. It's goofy. But it got me through the day. Thank God for my ability to laugh... even if it's only funny to me.

Anyways... Happy Flag Day y'all... Happy Birthday Army... love and hugs and LAUGHS to all of you - as Rush would say, "across the fruited plain".


The Brown Recluse (TBR) said...

NOT that I'm saying you're old...but tachycardia can be a symptom of peri-menopause.

Here's a litte info on it:

It happened to me when I quit smoking years ago...and when I hit my 40's it started happening again...might be an avenue to pursue.