Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Fart and you stand alone


What we've learned - Sunday

There's a quote I like by Nicholas de Chamfort; "The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed." I love laughing. I love to make people laugh. When someone tells me I make them laugh, my head practically will explode from the sheer joy of it all.

I'll never forget a comment I once received on my other blog when I wrote a post about starting Death of a Pancreas:

To encourage other parents like me by captioning your blog with "Death of a Pancreas"? How morbid and stupid is that? if your goal is to encourage and enlighten us who have kids with diabetes, you might want to be more positive and check your facts first. The pancreas DOES NOT EVEN DIE with diabetes. Geez.

This was my response:

Okay, so I was going to just delete the above comment since it most likely is a drive-by comment from a crazy, but on the off-chance that this person is being truthful about who she says she is, I'll address her rather snarky comment.

1) Believe me, I know EXACTLY what diabetes is. I've been living this hell for the past three months. But "Death of the Pancreatic Beta Cells in the Islets of Langerhans" just doesn't have the same ring to it. My daughter's pancreas has failed to function as it should, and to me, it feels like a death. TO ME. Got that? ME!

2) I'm so sorry that you are so easily offended by a simple blog title. If you really are a mother of a child with diabetes, you should know that the only way to not let this disease get you down is to have a sense of humour about it. You should read some of the things we joke about on the diabetes board I frequent. Actually, no you shouldn't. Your head just might explode from the offensiveness of it all.

3) Since you have blocked your ID, I have no way of knowing if you are a crazy or not. I have no animosity towards you, or your comment. I even welcome a response to my comment if you are so inclined. But please, you handle diabetes your way, and let me handle it my way... We're both (supposedly) fighting the same enemy anyway, right?

I was disappointed that she never came back to reply. My point is this; if you cannot find anything to laugh about while battling this horrific fight, then you are already beaten. If Elise grows up seeing me grim-faced all the time while giving her a shot, then that is how she's going to deal with it too. You need to show your child that their life will be what they make of it, not what diabetes makes of it.

I choose to laugh at diabetes (when appropriate, of course), and respond in my own sarcastic way. It's how I deal, how I show diabetes that it's not the boss of me. So, you can choose to let diabetes bring you and everyone around you down, or you can face it with a smile, laugh, or maybe even a jig... because who on this earth can be sad while dancing a jig?

What I have learned from this beating of a disease, the DOC and my own experiences is that laughter can really be best medicine.

Of course, if you're a diabetic, then insulin is the best medicine.
(joke credit - Norm MacDonald)

I thought I'd end this post, and this week, with my video, "What NOT to say to the parent of a type 1 diabetic". Because it still makes me laugh. Every time.

Edited to add: That is not to say that you should pretend everything is okay when it's not. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to grieve. And it's okay to hurt. As someone wrote (and I cannot remember who - I have read so many brilliant posts over the last few days), just don't LIVE there. So cry iff you gotta cry, scream if you gotta scream. Just don't forget to laugh during the in-between times.


  1. I completely agree. I must say, even my husband reallyyy appreciates me having a sense of humor about my diabetes because it helps him relax, take a deep breathe, and not get so overwhelmed worrying about me. And in turn that calm sense about him helps me right back. It's awesome :) LOVE your video!!!!

  2. WOW, so much to comment on...
    1st - LOL, the 2 things my daughter cannot eat...poison and cookies made w/poison. Cracked. Me. Up.!!!
    I too love to add humor to our diabetes...otherwise it is just too frustrating and sad...what a stick in the mud that woman was!
    Loved the Norm M. joke...funny!!! Thanks for sharing, you did make me laugh!!! :)

  3. If you don't laugh, you cry.

    I love your humor. You make me laugh. Thanks, Jo!

  4. Laughing is required. I think diabetes educators should have a class on how to laugh, don't you? Parents who deal with this disease are amazing, IMHO. Congrats on handling it with such flair. (poison cookies....hahahahahaha.)

  5. Just the title of today's post already had me laughing!!
    Totally love the part about diabetes not being the boss of me!
    Keep it coming, Jo! Your humor is a medicine I, and a lot of others, need!!

  6. You always make me laugh and I am so grateful for it. Some days it can change an otherwise horrible day. Laughter IS the best medicine!!

  7. Love you and I love that story about your blog name!! and of course the video, come on now...amazing!!

  8. Agreed - Agreed - Agreed!
    Oh and it still makes me laugh every time too!

  9. my most favorite video EVER! and you're right- a sense of humor is absolutely necessary. there's times to laugh, and times to cry. wonderful post!

  10. Do you think she would have preferred "the useless Pancreas"??
    I think your blog title is unforgettable and creative... Just like your videos.

  11. Perfection. I love the name of your blog. I love your video. Your humour. Sarcasm and all of dat good shtuff!

    Youre awesome!!

  12. Agreed, if you don't have a sense of humor about all this...then you are screwed.

  13. SO true! If I took everything so seriously and never laughed at this crazy life I've been living I'd have been committed a long time ago! Thanks for being here as part of the DOC! And btw, LOVE LOVE LOVE the video...makes me laugh every time!!!

  14. I couldn't agree more. I love the name of your blog AND the post!

  15. am I allowed to say I HEART YOU?! Because I do, I love your sarcasm, I love your honesty and the fact that you just share it with us, I love your passion for caring for your children and taking hold of each day with them. I love this blog - death and all!

  16. I never, ever, not for one second took the slightest, even teeniest bit of offense or anything remotely to it, to your blog name. It always seemed fitting to me!

  17. Thanks for always adding some humor to the DOC Joanne! I so wish I could come hang out with you on your monday night D Mamas night out! Glad you found the waterproof pouch btw!

  18. Heres to laughing and jigging!

  19. Joanne,
    You are right about laughter - I call it attitude, but same difference. I have to admit that the first time I saw your blog title (didn't see the subtitle until the second time), I cringed a little because I once had a patient/parent who learned that the child's pancreas had died and was just "floating around in there doing nothing". So there actually are people out there who think that is the case. But anyway, your blog title is great - love the subtitle - and most of all, love your sense of humor and balance in this life with diabetes.


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