Two years ago, when I created this blog website, people from all over the world contacted me to tell me how I inspired them to open up about having thalassemia.
One of those people was Marsha De Salvatore.
Her second email to me was amazing. It said:
“I think…God if I had Josephine while going through all that nasty stuff I went through as a teen…I would have done things differently…but I guess I had to go through it to be funny and have my one woman show.”
Marsha’s stage performances incorporate the good, the bad, and the funny things that have happened to her in life.
Here’s her LOL skit that makes fun of customer service in Italy (she’s the American shopper):
In this week’s blog, we get to learn from Marsha by reading her “5 Ways to Bring Comedy to the Hospital.”
Marsha De Salvatore writes:
Okay, so going to the hospital isn’t like going to a comedy show, but you can use some comedy improv tips to make the experience less painful.
Having said that, going to see some stand-up comedians could be more painful than getting stuck by a new nurse who is half blind. Trust me. There are some BAD comedians out there.
These tips have helped me get through my time at the hospital — which is like a second home that has no heat, a bad use of pastel colors, and smells like cleaning products.
1. Let Go of Control
Not so easy to do when we talk about our health and bodies. This is more to not lose your patience or cool so easily. Those with thalassemia have no choice but to go for treatment, so it’s best to tell yourself that this is something you can’t control. That will make your attitude less resistant and frustrating.
2. Listen and Be in the Moment
You are at the hospital and you can’t change the situation. Don’t think of anything else but being present. Don’t create situations in your head of assuming anything. Example: I go to the hospital and I get freaked out when my favorite nurse isn’t working because she always finds the right vein and is sooo gentle. So, instead of having my Marsha drama moment where I say “Oh my God, they are gonna butcher my arm. I am gonna look like a heroine addict.” I get to know my nurse who is going to stick me and get comfortable with her. Important not to jump to any conclusions beforehand, because maybe this nurse is better than my favorite one.
3. Find Your Space and Bring Props to Make it More Comfortable.
Remember when I said my hospital is my second home, well make it like yours. I always bring my iPad to watch video clips or work on my personal comedy stuff. I also bring my own blanket from home and my own snacks. I love snacks, but Rice Crispy Treats and peanut butter crackers aren’t always healthy options for a lady like myself that gains weight by looking at food.
4. Watch funny TV Shows or YouTube Clips
Louie CK or Steven Hart or my favorite Jimmy Fallon shows. There is no need to watch depressing or intense programs. We are already having a transfusion…let’s have a bit of a chuckle. Patients and hospital staff around me always want to know what I am watching, because I laugh out loud at what I am watching. Everyone LOVES laughing no matter what the situation is.
5. Afterwards, Treat Yourself to Something Nice
Nothing fancy, folks. That would be a problem. Especially since we are always in the hospital. Some good ideas include a quiet walk, a yoga class, meeting up with a friend, a yummy home cooked meal (no hospital grossness), or a nice night on the sofa watching more comedy. 🙂
If you know someone who needs a good laugh, share this blog post with him or her.
LET’S HEAR YOUR VOICE: let us know what makes you feel better by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.
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