Laughter really is the best medicine
December 2, 2003
Beth Rothstein Ambler
Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis
IT HAD BEEN A MISERABLE SUMMER. My MS had cost me my ability to stand without holding onto something for balance. This was not fun! Most of the time, I was either falling down or trying to pick myself up from the floor.
Adding to my misery was the fact that my legs were so weak that I couldn't easily get up after falling. My house has only a few reinforced places where I could lean. So I spent my time and energy crawling to the closest one when I found myself in a predicament. I was so exhausted that even my sense of humor had deserted me.
But then one day, things changed. I'd just gotten out of bed and was still wearing the T-shirt and underwear that had served as my nightwear. As I passed the door to my home office, I remembered something I wanted to do and went in the room. Passing the desk, I lost my balance. One thing that I've learned in the last 8 years is to relax when I fall to help avoid more serious injury. Well, I relaxed and let myself go on this particular morning.
Suddenly, I was halfway to the floor and I stopped falling. I was relaxed, but I seemed to be hanging in mid-air! Looking around, I began to survey the area to determine what had caused my suspended state. As I hung there, I noticed my underwear was creeping uncomfortably out of place. Yes, I'd given myself a major "wedgie." I'd been caught on the desk drawer knob and had a difficult time untangling myself because I was laughing so hard!
That incident was the turning point of my summer. It's impossible to take yourself too seriously when you're literally hanging by your undergarments. My balance hadn't improved, my energy hadn't improved, but my sense of humor was back.
As long as I can laugh at myself, I will survive.
My balance hadn't improved, my energy hadn't improved, hut my sense of humor was back.
Jana Clark lives in Mission, Kan.
Copyright © 2003, Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis