Tag Archives: Dr. Suess

Laughter: The Caregiver’s Best Medicine

It’s no secret, the role of care-giver is tough. It’s frustrating, maddening and down-right disgusting sometimes. So how do I get through the days? I have a few tools in my arsenal (in no particular order): support group, blogging, prayer, tears, a good stiff drink (sometimes and don’t judge) and…laughter!

Even though much of my mom’s personality is gone, her sense of humor is still very much in tact. Often, when she’s taking her pills, she’ll ask, “What are these for?” When we tell her one is for her memory, a common response from her is to grin and say “Oh, I forgot.”

Laughter Is Best Medicine

There are many times we’ve been able to diffuse a tense situation by cracking a joke.

And there are even more times when finding the humor helps the rest of us deal with it all. Sometimes the situations are just funny and it’s ok to find the humor in them and laugh.

I remember a night about a year ago when we were all watching TV and my mom was holding Sissy, her cat, and petting her. Every couple minutes she would say, She’s a pretty kitty. She’s a calico kitty.”

Every time she said it the words were exactly the same and so was the sing-songy way she said it. After she’s said it at least half a dozen times, my oldest son (14 at the time) said, “We should turn this into a drinking game. Every time she says it, we should all take a drink of coke.”

This absolutely cracked us all up! Now, I’ll admit, as his mother, I’m still a little perplexed as to how he even knew what a drinking game was at 14 because I assure you he had never seen one or participated in one. Yes, I’m sure. But, I digress.

Sure enough, she said it again. We all raised our glasses and said, “Cheers!”

Now, when she gets focused on something and starts to drive us nuts, all one of us has to do is say, “Cheers!” and everyone relaxes.

The best part is, I know my mom would approve. She’s always been one of the funniest people I know. I’ll never forget during the visitation at my dad’s funeral seeing my mom and two of her closest friends, standing near the casket doubled over in laughter. No one remembers what they were laughing at, but boy, it must have been good! And, better yet, it was good for her!

If you’re a caregiver and you’re afraid to laugh because it seems disrespectful, I encourage you to read some of these articles and not just take my word for it.

I’ll leave you with one last thought, from one of my favorite authors:

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”–Dr. Suess

Share with me! I’d love to hear your funny caregiving stories!

 

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

No, I probably didn’t and if I did, you probably wouldn’t listen to me. But, you don’t have to. Listen to Dr. Suess instead.

Did I EverHis book, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. My copy was given to me by my parents as a Christmas gift when I was five.

As a child, I loved the fun illustrations, made up words and rhyme. Some of my favorites were the borfin that shlumps every night and Herbie Hart’s thromdibulator.

Now, as an adult, I like the message. Be thankful. Recognize that no matter how bad your predicament, you’re better off than some. So be thankful.

“When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad…you should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky! Some people are much more…oh, ever so much more…oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!”

And,

“You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not!”

And,

“Thank goodness for all of the things you are not!”

And, finally,

“That’s why I say, “Duckie! Don’t grumble! Don’t stew! Some critters are much-much, oh, ever so much-much, so muchly much-much more unlucky than you!”

What a terrific lesson for all of us!

A few weeks ago, I agreed to be a guest reader in my son’s class. I chose this book and was scheduled to read it to them this morning.

Timing. Is. Everything.

It’s been a rough 24 hours. I recently wrote about my husband’s new job. It’s still going great. He got his second paycheck today. But last night, about 30 minutes into his 90 minute ride home, the 2001 Honda Odyssey he was driving died. Long story short, the transmission (it’s second one) died. Well, no way were we putting a third one in a 9 year old vehicle with 125,000 miles on it.

So we had to buy a car.

Crap!

More than two years of unemployment and only two paychecks under our belt.

Hardly ready for a car payment!

BUT…

We’re more ready than we were a month ago, so it could have been worse.

We might not have had the resources to be able to go ahead and purchase a vehicle at all. It could have been worse.

We might not have been able to find an affordable and reliable vehicle. It could have been worse.

I may have sat around grumbling and stewing today, and, honestly, I had a tear in my eye as I read the first few pages to the class. As I continued, though, I was reminded that even though sometimes it feels like we never catch a break, we are far better off than so many.

stratusBut day is nearly done now and we are the owners of a 2006 low-mileage, great condition Dodge Stratus that we bought from the Nice Car Company in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.

And, now Michael can park in the good parking lot when he goes to work at Chrysler and he’ll get better gas mileage, too.

Overall, we’re a couple of Lucky Duckies!