The “emotional labour” of living with heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

“My hubby is stuck with me for another 15 years as long as I keep following doctor’s orders.”

“I told my family that I now had a pig valve in my heart – but I was disappointed when the doctor told me I couldn’t keep the bacon.”

“I am determined to outlive my husband – because I want to clean out his garage!”

Heart patients often use humour* like this to distract themselves from the high levels of stress and fear often associated with a life-altering diagnosis like heart disease – such as distressing symptoms, upcoming surgery, diagnostic tests, or even the ongoing awareness of a significantly increased risk of future cardiac events.  So reports Nicholas Lockwood, whose research focused on how heart patients use humour to help them cope with their condition – but ended up showing some surprising results.  Continue reading “The “emotional labour” of living with heart disease”

One Grain More! Les Miz meets gluten-free

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From the brilliant (and allergic) Michael Bihovsky comes this musical parody of Les Misérables on the plight of finding allergen-free food-like substitutes.

Since its release in July 2012, “One Grain More” has been hailed as “The funniest nutrition video ever made” and “…a must, must, must watch!”

So you must, must, must watch this now. Then send it to all your gluten-free friends . . .

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Q: How have you managed this kind of allergic drama?

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Have you ever been in Cahoots?

InCahoots-RoadSign2I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I live close so it’s a short drive.   Continue reading “Have you ever been in Cahoots?”

Finding the funny when the diagnosis isn’t

Note from Carolyn: “I’m taking the weekend off as we celebrate with family and friends the wedding of my favourite daughter, Larissa to her longtime beau Randy.  So meanwhile, I’ve obtained permission to republish this guest post by Casey Quinlan for you. Enjoy!”

It’s not easy hearing your name and [insert dread diagnosis here]. I know this only too well after having to find the funny in my own journey through cancer. Cancer is, however, most often a diagnosis that you fight to a defined end. What’s it like to find the funny in a chronic condition?

I have a number of friends who are battling MS, one of whom, Amy Gurowitz, shared a link on Facebook the other day to Jim Sweeney’s online empire of improv humor and chronic disease. Jim’s MS journey started with vision problems in 1985, he was officially diagnosed in 1990, and has been dealing with the disease – finding the funny most of the time – ever since. Continue reading “Finding the funny when the diagnosis isn’t”