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M:IBD - Laughter Protocol

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease are not diseases to be taken lightly. Our suffering is great. Our pain is real. And let's not even get into the embarrassment of the situations that our bodies often cause.

It isn't easy to laugh while we're lying in a hospital bed, pumped up on Prednisone, unable to move in fear of running to the bathroom, praying you'll make it in time. Inflammatory Bowel Disease stinks (no pun intended). In all seriousness... it is NOT funny having a chronic illness.

My husband is a laugher. He laughs as everything. He can even bust a gut laughing over something that happened ten years ago... as if the thing he were laughing about happened right then and there. He loves to laugh. He has taught me how important it is to laugh.

During bad flareups, I had a hard time smiling at or about anything. Much less find reasons to laugh. I was negative. Angry. Cranky. Jealous of anyone who was living their lives. My pessimism began rubbing off on my husband. He started laughing less. We began to fight more. And it was usually my fault because I was always dragging him into my misery. The Prednisone Monster is never satisfied.

One day, out of the blue, it hit me. I realized that if I just sat there wallowing in my misery, dwelling on the bad things, I wouldn't ever be able to find joy. I couldn't keep taking everything so seriously. Despite the fact that IBD is sucky and the thing of nightmares... if I stop to think, there is some humor in having this disease.  It wasn't easy, and I didn't do a 180 overnight and suddenly become the most positive person on the face of the planet. To this day I have to make a conscious effort. I have to keep my focus on the good things in my life.

As I entered into the IBD community, I realized the extent that people suffer when they have Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I realized that many of them, like myself, were having trouble finding the joy and beauty in life. I resolved myself to help them. If they couldn't come to the joy themselves, then I would do my best to bring it to them. I started blogging.

I began telling my story, raising awareness, and spreading laughter any way that I could while still understanding that there is a serious side to these diseases. I learned that helping them has helped me! I have made some of the best friends in the IBD community. We understand each other. We may joke and laugh and throw around potty puns... but we also realize that the pain and suffering is real.

I want to help people. I want to encourage them. I want to support them. But most of all, I want them to find the joy and "healing" that can be found in laughter. Yes! There is something to the saying "Laughter is the Best Medicine." Don't believe me? Check this out. Or this. Also, check out laughter yoga!!!

Until next time, keep laughing and keep fighting!!!

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