I have restarted this article so many times I have lost count. I want to talk about living with a debilitating disease with a sense of humour. It’s really challenging to write about such a topic without coming off as insensitive, or just plain off my rocker!

Let me explain, I have fibromyalgia, a debilitating painful condition. FM also afflicts people with cognition difficulties, physical challenges, and most people who have FM, also are afflicted with one or more other conditions. I also have a warped and quirky sense of humour along with a very positive outlook on life. Put all of this together, and its a recipe for a one way trip to the rubber room.

How can I laugh? Well, I have learned to find the funny in everything. When my legs decide they don’t want to work, I have learned to accept it, and rejoice and take advantage of it.  I go for walks when I can, or when that’s not an option I take the scooters out on the back roads and have a blast. When I have to stay home and rest in chair, I take joy in that by watching TV, reading, and cuddling with my pups, I also pretend that I am a queen and every body has to do my bidding. (Shhhh, that is a secret we will keep between us).

The cognition challenges were daunting at first. i got lost in my own neighbourhood, i once had to ask a twelve year old how to get home due to confusion.  I have learned to enjoy seeing things for the first time over and over again.  I have surprised myself with purchases I made on line and forgot about. When a package comes to the door,  wow, it’s Christmas!  My friends and family have also learned to play charades and twenty questions when I can’t remember words or phrases.  My arms start going, my feet start moving, and before you know it, a couple of people are shouting out words they think I am trying to describe, and they can’t help getting excited, so their voices get louder.  It’s really fun In public places, you can see people watching, trying to guess the word as well and wishing they could have so much fun.  By the time my friends have guessed my word, I have forgotten what point I was trying to make was. Needless to say, I don’t do well in debates.

Although having a great doctor, the proper mix of medications, and a fabulous support group are all integral parts of living with a challenging disease, the most beneficial therapy, is the therapy of laughter.  I have found I don’t hurt when I am laughing, so I laugh as often as I can.

So here is to the good life, and remember, as Helen Keller wrote, “Life is a daring bold adventure, or its nothing at all.”   No matter what your circumstances, dig deep, see the light at the end of the tunnel and know its not a train.