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To Laugh or to Cry

When caring for a loved one with a long term illness, it is helpful to bring some laughter into the situation.

When I was getting married several months ago in California,
across the country from where I live, I had to have an emergency tooth
extraction in California, the day before my wedding.  I was in extreme pain before the extraction and then I had to be on pain killers and antibiotics the day of my
wedding.  My face was swollen and I could barely open my mouth to talk. I had a choice. I could either cry or laugh about the situation. Do not get me wrong. I
was upset about my situation. However I wanted my wedding to be a joyous
occasion.  If I cried and no matter howhard I cried, my situation was not going to change. Therefore I decided to laugh about my unfortunate experience and turn some negatives into positives. For instance, I was happy that my unbearable toothache started a couple of days before my wedding and not on my wedding day.

The reason that I brought up my wedding is that, when caring
for a loved one with a long term illness, there can also be a fine line between
laughing and crying. The stress involved can be overwhelming. This stress can
affect your physical, mental and emotional health. It is helpful to find ways
to ease the situation so that you can be stronger for the person you are caring
for.

When I was helping to care for my mother, I made sure that I
spent some time laughing when I was not with her and also when I was. I was
able to laugh with her and not at her. 
No matter how much I cried, it was not going to make her disease or the
situation any better.  I wanted to be in a good place emotionally so that I could help her as much as possible.  If I was constantly distraught, my frame of
mind would have made it impossible to do that. I had also heard that there were
studies done that showed that caregivers died before those who they were caring
for due to stress related illnesses. I did not want to be part of those
statistics. And one of those ways to do that was by changing how I reacted when
I was away from my mother and how I was when with her. I decided that for my
mother’s sake and my own, I would be as positive as I could possibly be. And
that is how I got through.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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