If you’ve read my most recent posts I don’t think you will be surprised to hear me say that life has been pretty tough lately. The endless state of wait and see mixed with a loss of independence is really getting to me. And I know it’s vague, but I just haven’t been feeling well. Then there was also the whole acupuncture debacle that resulted in a flare up of all of my symptoms for several days. I also received the disappointing news last week that the specialist I’ve been waiting to see has retired and now no one knows where to send me (a post for another day).
So it’s been tough.
And then yesterday happened.
Yesterday, on a rare day off from working two jobs, my best friend came over. We’ve been friends for approximately 92% of our lives and we were so young when we met that I don’t have any memories of life before I met her. This is the girl who shows up the morning of my birthday just as a fun surprise to say hi, even though she’s coming back later that day for dinner. This is the girl who brings me scratch and win tickets and scented hand sanitizer when she visits me in the hospital just because it’s fun. This is the girl who fulfilled one of my life long dreams (a dream I didn’t even know I had until it happened) and bought me Ellen underwear for Christmas. And it doesn’t matter that I got sick and my life derailed a bit, and she went on to live the normal university, early 20’s, working life, she is a true blue friend.
She came over yesterday and we laughed. We laughed a lot. We laughed so much that it made me nauseous but I didn’t want to stop so I popped a zofran and kept on laughing. Honestly, I don’t even know what we were laughing about. We watched silly YouTube videos and took silly pictures and recalled silly memories. I laughed until I was lightheaded and out of breath.
After she left I was exhausted. And really nauseous. Plus I felt like I might faint so I spent some time lying on the floor. Last night I felt as if I had run a marathon while my legs literally shook with exhaustion as I walked up the stairs. 24 hours later and I’m still tired. I was going to shower today but every time I stand up my body reminds me that it has no extra energy for such activities.
But I don’t even care because yesterday I laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long time and it was wonderful. Sorry to use a cliche (let’s be honest I’m not sorry – I love a good cliche!) but laughter is the best medicine (exceptions to this rule include, but are not limited to, recovering from abdominal surgery and having a feeding tube balloon lodged in your abdominal wall).
I think every chronic illness patient, and actually every person, has at one time or another weighed the option of doing something they knew they would pay for later, or just passing and saving their energy. I do it all the time. Sometimes it’s not even a choice I have to make because I just don’t feel well enough to begin with. Other times the payout, or what I often refer to as the aftermath, ends up not being worth it, and the memory of this payout makes me more likely to pass in the future.
Well, I feel terrible today, but you know what? It was worth it. And I’m so happy to be reminded that sometimes the fun is worth the payout. Sometimes the mental health benefits are worth the physical consequences. Sometimes two hours with your best friend is worth two days of recovery.
Tis better to have laughed to the point of nausea than never to have laughed at all.
And just in case I forget those words, I luckily have an embarrassingly large number of embarrassing pictures to remind me! Key word being embarrassing (read: ugly) so you can look at this much cuter picture instead.