I Laugh to Keep from Crying

I Laugh to Keep from Crying

We’ve all heard the saying: “I laugh to keep from crying.” Sometimes that’s the way it is with lupus. There are always new changes, symptoms, and hospital stays — more coping, coping, and coping. Then there’s still real life, like family, work, and bills. At times, it gets to be too much for me. That’s where humor comes in.

The people around me know that I say whatever comes to mind, and what comes to mind often has us bent over with laughter. I like making others laugh, especially if it’s when tensions are riding high. I might say something inappropriate, but those who know me best still laugh.

I was once a fitness competitor and a personal trainer. One of my fellow trainers had a client who’d had a stroke while he was training her. He was shaken after the incident, but in comes Kellie with her inappropriate humor. I told him not to fret because his business was about to pick up. He asked, “What do you mean?” I said, “People are dying to work with you.” He laughed and then he was able to sit down and deal with what had happened with broken tension. Inappropriate humor saved the day.

It’s easy to complain about the bad things with this illness. I want to complain all the time, but I instead joke about what I am going through.

What do Almond Joys, rock ‘n’ roll, and baggy leggings have to do with lupus? If you have been on steroids for any length of time, you’ll know that they cause mood swings. Sometimes I’m so excited and happy, but on other days, I want to go out and punch people. So I refer to my steroids as “Almond Joys” because of the candy bar’s tagline: “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.” If I tell those who know me that I’m having an “Almond Joy day,” they know I’ll be keeping to myself.

Many of us have heard of “painsomnia.” It sounds, well, painful. I don’t want to embrace pain by giving it a name, like that character from “Harry Potter” whose name is best not mentioned. Instead, I refer to the nights that I can’t sleep because of the pain as rock ‘n’ roll nights. I’m in so much pain that all I can do is rock and roll. I think it sounds funny and at least it makes me smile.

The baggy leggings reference is about a funny thing that inspired me to write this column. Most people gain weight when they take steroids, but I always seem to go against the grain by losing weight when on steroids. I was in a hospital recently, and my almost 5-feet-8-inch frame weighed in at a whopping 115 pounds. I went to the doctor a week ago and found out I’ve dropped 10 pounds, bringing me to 105. It’s been cooler in my city, so I decided to wear a pair of leggings I rarely wear anymore. They were, well, baggy in the behind. Who has baggy butt leggings? This girl. Picture a grown woman with baggy leggings. If that doesn’t make you laugh, then you must be having a really bad day. Feel better soon.

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Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

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