Thursday, 24 September 2015

Finding Humour

There is humour to be found everywhere in life, even when you are living with ALS. Each morning I have to empty my jug from the night before. Each morning when I wake up I struggle with excessive shaking, clonus, as my motor neurons try to coordinate themselves. This morning I got out of bed rather quickly, something I don't usually do. I grabbed my jug and went to empty it into the toilet. As I poured out the contents I noticed that my hand was shaking so bad it helped empty the residual drops which almost always remain behind. Clonus wins!

Then, as I was reading the comments in one of the many ALS groups I follow, I saw a line from one fellow who is clearly further down the road than I am. He said, "My wife doesn't want me to have a second cup of coffee cuz it will make me poop again." Clearly his wife is somehow invested in maintaining, and even limiting, his regularity. She must be responsible for getting him on and off the toilet. Thankfully I am not that far gone yet. But it's a funny line.

Both of these situations, and many more on any given day, show the absurdity of this illness, how we can lose our physical capacity yet keep our intellect, and more importantly, our sense of humour. Truth be told, I laugh every day. I laugh often. I laugh over the smallest bit of silliness and the ridiculousness that happens to me on a daily basis. Given that there are no other medications for ALS, laughter truly is the best, and only, medicine.

It's difficult some days, keeping this perspective, realizing that life is how it is right now, not how it was yesterday or how it might be tomorrow. Tragedy plus time equals humour. I'm certainly dealing with personal tragedy. And given that my time is short, I need to find the humour as quickly as I can. It's worth it.

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