Is TBI a Laughing Matter?

Is TBI a Laughing Matter?

Traumatic brain injury is serious and heartbreaking, but just like many other serious life events, there is always something to laugh about "• at least when the initial trauma is behind you. Laughter is a natural anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety fix, a shot of oxygen, and a muscle relaxer … and, best of all, it doesn’t require a prescription.

Why laugh?

Laughter helps the whole body. It’s our EJECT button for stress. Laughter improves our immune system by releasing endorphins, our body’s pain-blocking chemicals, while at the same time, reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. It even increases blood flow and oxygen in the blood so it’s great for your heart.

Laughter is best when it’s shared. A back-slapping, belly-hugging, eye-watering laugh session can make us feel like we’ve just run a mile! Our troubles melt away, at least for a while.

Okay, so when is it appropriate to laugh about something as serious as TBI? Here are a few examples:

  • I’m telling Hugh, my husband, what to do in my usual bossy pants way. He’s had enough. He picks up the TV remote, looks me dead in the eye, points the remote at me and keeps clicking MUTE. I fall on the bed laughing.
  • Hugh puts on what he thinks is the red sweater I love to see him in. He walks downstairs wearing it, his biceps bursting against the short sleeves and the empire waist cutting a line through his chest. When he sees our faces, eyebrows raised, we all burst into hysterics. He is wearing one of our daughter’s dresses.
  • I go into the bathroom and Hugh keeps asking me through the door, “Are you okay in there? Do you need my help?” He’s mimicking me. Good thing I’m in the bathroom ‘cause I’m peeing my pants!

And how many times have you heard, “I can’t believe you just said that?” while talking to someone with a TBI or their exhausted, nonsensical caregiver? TBI and caregiving are rife with absurdity, quirkiness … and yes, sometimes even humor. So get giddy once in awhile. It will do you and your family a world of good.

Can you share a funny moment you have had as a caregiver? Please comment below, and give us all another laugh!

Comments (4)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Listen to 'The Matt Duffin Show'. Now that's TBI humor, understandable quips and occassionally he even gets down to serious surivor business. Funny, very knowledgable and trusting voice for brain injury. He even waits on 'his kind' to understand the joke! The best host on braininjuryradio.com Sundays 7pm pacific time
My husband is a brain aneurysm survivor with memory loss. One day I held up a spoon and said this is not a spoon. He looked at me, said that's not a spoon? I said this is not a spoon. At which point we both burst out laughing. I meant to say this is not a clean spoon. He said and they say I have brain damage!
I had the TBI in my family and find that my silly attitude similar to your husband's. I often joke with my husband when he asks me a question saying things like you are asking the woman who fell on her head? We both laugh. I think a good attitude and being able to laugh at yourself releaves a lot of pressure. That is not to say I don't have bad days or exhausted time or frustrations of what I used to be able to do, but I know how very blessed I am to be here and with my family.
Where do I start. One of the reasons I married Greg 19 years ago was that he was funny, sarcastic and quick witted. Post TBI, this have not changed. Just yesterday, I had to share news that one of closest catholic priests had to resign because of a relationship he had with a female parish member. His response was...I wonder if the last rights he gave me were valid? He makes fun of my memory lapses by saying..."I thought I had the TBI- not you?"