Saturday, December 29, 2007

LAUGHTER--INTERNAL JOGGING


I didn't know I'd lose my hair when the treatment plan for GBM brain cancer became radiation only. I naively thought chemo did that.

Now, after two weeks of daily radiation zaps (with four more weeks to go), I feel deep-fried and over-microwaved. My head feels like a giant marble with grits inside. If I lie flat on my pillow, the left side hurts (how can something as hard as a marble hurt?). It also feels like I'm lying on a child-size inflatable beach ring: my head flops, so I have to lie on my right side only.

I have thick, bushy hair and cut it myself, like a hairdresser taught me years ago. Every six weeks or so, I also thin out the extra bushy areas with a special cutting technique.

The first of this week, I thinned out two areas.
That night, my hair started falling out.

What can you do but laugh?

Haha.

It is so true what the Bible says: "A merry heart does good like a medicine."

***

TRUE OR FALSE?

1. Laughter can rescue you from almost any embarrassing situation.

2. A sense of humor will help you deal with the pressures of daily life.

3. A sick person who laughs is healthier.

ANSWERS:

1. True. Behavioral scientists at Michigan State University and Florida State University found that humor can serve as a face-saving device as well as a way to avoid losing one's composure when an embarrassing moment occurs.

One time Milton and I were listening to a well-known minister preach, and his false teeth jumped out of his mouth. He managed to catch them in his hands, and we could tell he was mortified as his face turned purple, and we were all embarrassed for him and with him, and he turned around with his back to us and put them back in, and then he turned back around and continued to preach, stammering and stuttering from his embarrassment. If only he'd laughed and said a funny quip, it would've helped him, and it would've helped us.

Maybe he should've said, "My teeth are like stars. They come out at night!"

Haha.

2. True. Researchers at the University of California examined the role of laughter as a stress reducer. A six-week study showed that people under stress who were taught the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter learned to handle the stress better. Another study at the University of Waterloo proved that having a sense of humor reduces the harmful effects of stressful experiences.

3. True. Laughter stimulates the brain to produce hormones that trigger the release of endorphins, natural opiates that can reduce pain or discomfort.

***

Internal Joggin: the very act of laughter is good exercise. In an average laugh, the diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs, and possibly even the liver get a brief workout. If the laughter is especially vigorous, it reflexes muscles in the face, arms, and legs, and can relieve boredom, tension, guilt, depression, headaches, and backaches.

***

Laughing 100 times a day is equivalent to 10 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine.

The average 4-year-old laughs 400 times a day.

The average adult only laughs 15 times a day.

So laugh more!
***

You can raise your humor quotient (learn to laugh more) if you aren't someone who laughs much. 1) Learn to look at the funny side of things. 2) Lighten up. Just flat laugh more. 3) Read joke books. My Aunt Jo and Uncle Joe used to sit together in the evenings and read joke books to each other. Since Aunt Jo told me that a long time ago, I started collected joke books. Some of them are church-based and are a scream--at what happens in churches.

***
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Laugh!

8 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Kristy. Sometimes we all forget to laugh.

Beth

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

My favorite line about life giving you lemons came from Maxine:

When life gives you lemons, stuff 'em in your bra.
Can't hurt - might help.

I laughed till I turned purple. :o)

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Kristy,
We love to laugh at our house too. This Christmas my husband gave me two special animal/bird feeders to put up in the yard. One is a squirrel twirler with ears of hard corn on it. We can't help laughing when we watch those crazy squirrels hanging by their toes and twirling around to get that corn. The other is a bird feeder with a weight activated spring. The birds eat at it normally, but when a squirrel gets on, it spins around and he flies off. It doesn't hurt the squirrels, and they are so silly they just climb the tree and try again. Maybe they enjoy the ride. : )

Hope you find a lot to smile and laugh about today!

Love and prayers,
Carrie

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Florida State should know. We Gators beat them often enough! LOL

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

You are so right! We all need to lighten up! What a great sense of humor you have, Kristy. I'm praying everytime you come to mind, which is a whole lot, friend.
I've enjoyed seeing all of your Christmas lights, etc.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Ane, I just read your comment. I'm laughing OUT LOUD!! Thanks!!

The first week of radiation, I was so exhausted from side effects of meds and the rad, I had Milton buy me some face masks, thinking I COULD NOT GET SICK AT THIS TIME, and that I'd wear them at the cancer center since everybody, it seemed, was sneezing or coughing.

But I ended up not using them. So one day, I held one up to my daughter Jennifer and started inserting it in my bra, laughing, saying, well, I've found a use for them.

They're made of some pelon-like material and they're pointy.

Haha.

Thanks, all. You all made me laugh. Carrie, those feeders sound great. I'll have to tell Milton. He took up gardening as a hobby last Spring.

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger MondaythroughSunday said...

Hello Kristy and Milton..I was blog perusing tonight and came across your blog. I think I have spent about an hour reading over your blog..and going back this year. I have cried and smiled. :) I hope I can offer some words of encouragement to you both. My sister was diagnosed with a tumor by her ear when she was four. The doctors gave her months to live. They said the tumor would grow and grow..eventually growing across her esophagus and causing other problems..but she would die. I will never forget my mother. She refused to receive any of the reports and would tell them they would be seeing a miracle..she would not die. The tumor did spread and one night she was taken the hospital to put a trach in as she could not breathe. A tummy tube was put in. More bad reports from the doctors..she would not be normal..it would stunt her learning..she would never be able to eat again...and she would die. My Mom again would declare..she will not die. One night she was praying for K and the Lord showed her it was a demonic attack and she and the others that came to pray changed the way they were praying. Within a week the tumor started to move away. That was 26 years ago. She graduated with honors and paints murals and loves people and she is our miracle!! I hope you are encouraged....God shows no partiality..he does not pick and choose whom He heals... You are His child..He loves you...God bless you!!

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Dear "MondaythruoghSunday," Thanks for that wonderful testimony of faith, hope, and encouragement. Fantastic! Isn't God good? I'm glad you found my blog and hope you'll be back.

 

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