Funny, Not Funny

By Lauren Kovacs

OK so there is nothing funny about a chronic illness. Injecting a little bit of humor can go along the way. Don’t force it.

Yeah, the fire breathing dragon on my path to a decent night’s sleep is not funny. His blow torch breath on my arm for hours kinda sucks. But, maybe he can get a part on Game of Thrones instead of being part of my nightly nerve pain.

So my right leg identifies as a tree log. A very heavy log. It is my Barbie Leg. The Floppy Fish Foot is a special added MS gift. 

If I can’t manually bend Barbie Leg, Floppy Fish Foot steps up and makes movement extra hard. It gives 110%. It really knows how to increase the difficulty.

I left many things behind when my boys became teens. Not so much in reality. I load my van for a trip with as much stuff as when my boys were little. Only now my bed rail has replaced the pack and play. My wheelchair replaced the stroller and protein powder pushed out the baby food.

Ah, to be young again. Wait… my special fork replaced baby spoons and my water bottle with a straw replaced sippy cups. At least I am accustomed to needing lots of stuff.

Try and find a wee bit of humor in things. Not everything is funny though. I spend many moments in frustration tears. Take something you deal with and turn it around. The back of my thighs are starting to burn a bit.  Nothing big or painful yet. Getting ready to turn that around with humor.

Yes, my right leg is spastic, but I turned it into something silly. I can laugh most of the time. Plus I am finding people understand a Barbie leg better then spasticity. Make your descriptions as simple as possible for everyone. Your silly analogies can clarify things for people.

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  • Ben Hofmeister says:

    We laugh, we scream, sometimes we cry, but mostly we laugh. It’s not always the easiest option but it’s the best for the mental and physical health of us all.

    As luck would have it, I just wrote about finding bizarre ways to describe MS to people who don’t have it and picking the most bizarre so at least we get the seriousness across.

    “Cog fog is like trying to think through concrete”, is one a wise MS friend came up with.

    If I’m describing the visual problems that come with fatigue, I tell people it’s like trying to look through cling wrap that’s wrinkled and wadded up on the edges instead of being stretched tight.

    In an earlier post I wrote about being tased (Army course. I wasn’t misbehaving) and how it was the perfect way to describe my worst MS symptoms, but was nearly useless as a descriptor since only people who have been tased get it.

    As tempting as it may be at times, I don’t recommend buying a taser and using it on people as a way to get them to take your symptoms seriously.


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