When laughter is the best medicine


I ring Kelly and the phone answers. “Welsh Potato Association how can I help you?” I answer back in my Welsh accent (doesn’t sound like Welsh at all by the way). “Hello I am wanting to speak to someone about entering the Welsh Potato Championships” ” Oh well you have rung the right place”. Most of our phone conversations start off this way and can last anywhere from a minute to five minutes of us pretending we are someone else. It always ends with one of us laughing or snorting and then we catch up on what is happening in each other’s worlds that 30 minutes to an hour is predominantly made up of laughing at highly inappropriate things let’s say we are not very PC in our conversations.

These phone calls are just one part of the laughter therapy which keeps me going. I laugh on the phone with mates, when we catch up and we laugh at home alot too. Mostly my kids roll their eyes at my humour but it always, always changes the mood and when it matters it will make them laugh out loud to redirect them.
I could not live without humour or laughter it’s all part of a balanced mental health care plan.
Life has been good in our house, Lizzy is five months seizure free we had returned to some standard of normality.
And then because well life is never dull for very long in our place. I put that down to my dodgy genes.
Mackenzie my oldest girl has had an interesting start to the year. We had a great school holidays relaxing and keeping cool and then just before the end of the break she had a migraine. The migraine progressed to eye pain, nausea and just not recovering properly and went on for weeks and then progressed to fatigue, nerve pain, joint pain and muscle pain that has progressed up her body. We don’t know what we are dealing with but its not very nice and watching your child in pain and in tears every night for six weeks has been incredibly hard to see. No pain killers work and although we have started something that is helping a little it’s not enough so pain is a constant.
It doesn’t sound right to be using humour at a time like this. May I remind you we are not your average family. Well it was the right time to be using humour.
We can’t do alot to help her so we had to find an alternative medicine. Humour is prescribed in large doses at the moment.
It has included suggesting we cut her legs off or that she could chew her limbs off, it has included identifying what parts of her body don’t hurt. So far forehead, belly button and nether regions have no pain. So on one particularly bad night it seemed right to start tapping her on the forehead and saying it will help take the pain away. When I did this it resulted in Kenzie laughing her head off and it’s now a running joke at the moment too. My arm hurts don’t worry I will tap your head to get rid of the pain.
Kenzie has come up multiple times a day saying my legs hurt can you fix them, my legs, my legs. This turned into me reciting donkey from shrek “my legs my legs I can’t feel my legs” every time she said it. We found a pop head toy donkey to keep donkey close to us lol.
We have even made fun of the side effects sheet for the new medication she started. We were laughing hysterically in the end because some of the side effects included headache and joint pain mwhahaha. And we are now aware to look out for orange urine. Kenzie was excited to see hallucinations were one of the side effects and suggested seeing a unicorn would be nice. Damn it! Still no hallucinations.
When the girls were little and they had blood tests or scans. Things that were scary or unknown we would always use humour to redirect them. When Kenzie was in pain the other day doing physio while in hospital she was laughing instead of swearing or remaining tight lipped it is a natural response.
When I was in labour a midwife said she had never seen someone laugh so much.
When my dad had open heart surgery last year humour abounded everyday. Things were serious really serious. Humour was to be found in so many things including the machine that goes ‘ping’! (Got to love Monty Python)
If I’m under stress, in pain or just not coping the humour and laughter rises to the top.
I was brought up with family that had great dry senses of

humour with a touch of sarcasm and laughter and comedies were always big in our house.
Now here’s the thing we laugh to get through things and then we have a big old cry to get it out too.
It doesn’t take away from the heart ache or seriousness of a situation. It allows our bodies to destress to keep on going.
So back to the start. When Kenzie ended up in hospital a couple of weeks ago I rang Kelly and demanded she make me laugh yep I was pushy “make me laugh Kelly”. Sounds rude but she came through and has many times in the last month and a half (let’s be honest in the last three years). I do it for my mates to brighten their day and they do it to brighten mine. In a life where stress, anxiety and frustration abounds a good old laugh snort can be enough to make you see things differently
Life is to be laughed at.
Ragdoll Mumma Zoe

Vice President of the Welsh Potato Association

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