Recent Entries
The First Five Years
My Journey to a Grateful Life
Now What?
Medical Home Sweet Home
Still Cliché’?
To My Village: Thank You
Education is Key in Spreading the Word about CHD
My Own Distinct Voice
A Birthday Reflection on Medical Advancements
No Middle Ground?


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

Laughter: My Favorite Coping Mechanism

Feb 5

Posted by: ACHA
2/5/2013 1:54 PM  RssIcon

By Melissa Nelson

The most important thing my dad taught me to do was laugh, especially while sitting in the ER. When psychologists talk coping mechanisms, I would say the most important is laughter. My favorite thing to do whenever I go see the doctor or I’m getting ready to have a medical procedure is crack jokes and be sarcastic.

I have always found that life is always serious, no matter your journey, so why not bring in a little humor? It works with doctors, friends, family, and especially for my students. But, most importantly, it helps me cope with my lifelong struggle.

I wrote these jokes when I was 20, about six months before I was going to have a revised Fontan procedure and get a new pacemaker (named Pete):

"The difference between pacemakers in old people and pacemakers in young people is...well, there is no difference—it’s the only thing keeping them alive."

"If you weren't so heartless I wouldn't need to be here."

"I'll lead you straight to the heart of the problem."

"There are so many electronic devices out there, why wouldn't you want me?"

"It doesn't matter where you put me, I'll always know the rhythms of your heart!"

Share your jokes in the comments!

Melissa Nelson is a spunky elementary school teacher born with tricuspid atresia who has a pacemaker. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and being as active as half a heart allows her by swimming, running, biking, golfing and trying out tai chi.

Copyright ©2013 ACHA

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

4 comment(s) so far...


Re: Laughter: My Favorite Coping Mechanism

I have been in chronic A-fib for a while, starting around the time I met my wife, so I told her, "You set my heart aflutter...well, the top half of it anyway."

By Brad Wuggazer on   2/5/2013 3:23 PM

Re: Laughter: My Favorite Coping Mechanism

My good friend's father received a pacemaker last month. When I saw him last week he asked about mine, including coping with it. At the end of the evening when we went to hug goodbye I shouted out "CLEAR". It gave him a good laugh and said we will do that every time.

By Joanie Dorsey on   2/6/2013 9:07 AM

Re: Laughter: My Favorite Coping Mechanism

I always put in my mind that laughter is still the best medicine. If we are always happy and knows how to laugh to our heart's extent, we can somehow say we are healthy. I would love to share some joke.

Teacher: “Johnny, Im Glad To See Your Writing Has Improved.”
Johnny: “Thank You”
Teacher: “Now, Finally,
I Can See How Bad Your Spellings Are!!!”

By Jesse on   2/15/2013 9:34 AM

Re: Laughter: My Favorite Coping Mechanism

I always have to find humor or I would have to be put in the funny farm by now, thankfully I married a man who handles situations with humor as well. Our last trip to the ER as I was in A-fib about to be cardioverted my husband says to the doctor, oh I learned how to do this let me try. We joke all the time how he married an 80 year old woman with 5 different meds. Laughter truly makes this seem not so scary.

By Melissa on   2/18/2013 4:29 PM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel