Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Hot Flashes, Power Surges & Laughter.

Readers' Digest had a regular feature called Laughter is the Best Medicine. When I was a sullenly rebellious adolescent, it was my favourite reading material at my grandmother's house where my mother would send me because I was "getting on her nerves".

Last month's brouhaha regarding Québec Docteur Clown's request for a modest amount of funding - the first time since programs were launched in 1999 - reminded me of laughter's documented therapeutic value.

You think clowning around is a joke? It's certainly not for the faint-of-heart.

Humour is the armour required when one is required to act as an advocate for one's own health care challenges or for a family member. Navigating those uncharted waters, interacting with medical and nursing staff, obtaining information, establishing boundaries and ensuring follow-up. It can become a full-time job.

My Brief Life As A Woman, a tongue-in-cheek personal essay from the NYT was enjoyable and poignant to read.

As my wife and I sat on the couch one night this past winter, reading and half-watching the inevitable HGTV, I started sweating hard and my face got so fevered and flushed that I felt as if I were peering into an oven. I turned to Deb and said, “Man, I’m having a wicked hot flash.” And she said, “Me, too.”

Then we laughed. You laugh a lot — unless your hormones are making you cry — when you’re having menopause with your wife.

I was in the middle of treatment for an aggressive case of prostate cancer last winter, and it included a six-month course of hormone therapy. My Lupron shots suppressed testosterone, which is the fuel for prostate cancer.

When your testosterone is being throttled, there are bound to be side effects. So, with the help of Lupron, I spent a few months aboard the Good Ship Menopause with all the physical baggage that entails. It’s a trip that most men don’t expect to take.

Jennings' witty observations made me laugh to tears.


fern hill said...

The comments are pretty good too. Thanks for that, dBO.

deBeauxOs said...

Sometimes it's good to remember that the majority of people are kind, decent, civil, empathetic and NOT rightwingnutz.

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