FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
The Absolutely Best Medicine
Researchers at the University of Maryland, School
of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first
time that laughter is linked to healthy function of
blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue
that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the
endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to
increase blood flow.
When the same group of study volunteers was shown
a movie that produced mental stress, their blood
vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy
response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood
flow. That finding confirms previous studies, which
suggested there was a link between mental stress and
the narrowing of blood vessels.
Well, there it is folks—proof positive that
laughter is good medicine. Some say it may even be
the best medicine. Yet, asking any group of family
caregivers could have saved the good doctors the
time and expense of the study.
We have been
sharing the humor that we have heard on the road
at the Fearless Caregiver Conferences, as well as
the stories that you have emailed us for the past
few years, and what better time than the exhaustive
heat of early August to share some more?
At the Minneapolis Fearless Caregiver conference
a few months ago, a family caregiver shared with her
fellow attendees that a few days previous to the
event, she visited her mother in the assisted living
facility late one afternoon. She asked her mother
what she had for lunch earlier that day. Her
mom replied, “Dear, you know I have short-term
memory disorder—ask me tomorrow.”
At our most recent event, when soliciting
humorous stories from the attendees (go figure that
there would be so many funny people living in Boca
Raton, Florida), a lady told the tale of her
husband’s visit to the neurologist. Her husband is
living with dementia and during the visit, the
doctor asked him to spell the word “world.” He
looked the doctor directly in the eyes and
responded, “W-o-r-l-d.” “Good,” replied the
doctor. “Now, backwards.” Her husband promptly
turned his back to the doctor and repeated,
You really can’t make this stuff up!
Please share your caregiver funnies with us.