STAY WELL – & SPARKLE: Ou pa feb, nuh!

Dr. Sam Christian
Dr. Sam Christian

Doctor: Did you take the patient’s temperature?

Nurse: No doctor. Is it missing?

So what you gonna do? Either you get on your high horse and say something like, “Don’t you know who I am?!” Or maybe you just crack up and say, “Good one, nurse! Good one!” – then it’s back to work with renewed zest.

Humour is the oil that makes the wheels of life turn smoothly. Without it, our journey is full of grinding and creaking and squeaking; the kind that quivers your insides, like a teacher scratching her nails on the blackboard.

Believe it or not, laughter actually decreases blood pressure, relieves stress and boosts immunity. Laughter is also said to be a natural painkiller. How? It releases endorphins into the bloodstream which lowers pain levels. Comedy is huge when it comes to helping folks cope with their troubles. Laughter is the only real antidote to grief, something that Dominicans do so well after a funeral.

I went to Children’s Ward at PMH to check on one of my patients. The 7 year-old was all bright and cheerful with a toy in one hand and an I.V. attachment in another. As the nurse efficiently gave me a progress report, I could see her hopping a ride on a little plastic car and scurrying around in the play room. During that time, I heard not a whimper. Instead, squeals and giggles filled the air. The children had no idea how sick some of them were. Leading hospitals are now introducing play and laughter therapy for adults as well. The results are quite promising. Of course there are those who frown upon the notion just as they do for laughter in church.

Giving thanks

“I’m thankful for laughter,” Woody Allen quips, “except when milk comes out of my nose!”

Amusing people are more attractive, even Woody. Some people think they can get by just on their good looks, talent or degrees. Indeed, at first blush, they are blessed with advantage. However, sooner or later others discover the real personality and react accordingly.

If I hear people laughing, curious me want to know what the joke is – and I’m not afraid to ask. Granted, sometimes I wish I hadn’t, or may be slow to get the punch line.  Nevertheless, I am drawn to people who are happy in their own skin. We often take ourselves way too seriously. The ability to laugh at one’s self and to take things lightly is a huge talent to develop at any stage in life.

On the job, big corporations increasingly sponsor laughter yoga sessions to promote esprit de corps, problem solving and shared visioning. Humour is amazing at healing hurts from rejection or rogues busy undermining you. The best revenge is massive success – and doing that with dismissive laughter is the cherry on top!

And praise

Growing up with both parents having decent government jobs, I knew we had it better than most. However I’m only now finding out how tough it was raising seven children including one who was challenged. Through it all, my parents remained strong in faith, praying fervently for God’s guidance and protection – doing that for the most part with a brave smile on their faces. I think of them when tempted to whine and complain. Their legacy reminds me that thanks and praise must continually be on my lips.

At times, it seems like we are in competition with each other to see who can be the loudest, the angriest and spew the most doom and gloom. After a while it gets rather boring hearing folks continually spreading negative energy of mistreatment and how bad their life is. Just remember that most people really don’t care and the rest are just glad it’s not them!

But what if every once in a while acquaintances look at you, shake their head and say, “Ou pa feb nuh – you not easy!” Maybe it is because out of the blue you had them rolling in the aisles. Maybe you picked up on a whimsical angle in casual conversation, some silly double meaning and hit it for six. When that happens, it dawns on you that you have the right stuff! Call it pizzazz, cheekiness or a bit of mischievous delight in the funny side of things, it comes to define who you are.

There was a prominent politician from Portsmouth who pushed Dominica along a pragmatic, progressive path internationally. Most agree that he was quite the jokester even as he laid a firm foundation for the progress that followed. The daily grind can make us sick. Stress and worries can drain us. Laughter is the booster that can infuse back a lasting burst of energy.

This month, rediscover the humour in you and they will see you sparkle!

Dr. Sam Christian is surgeon who runs the Urgent Care on 137 Bath Road. It offers general medical care, surgery and acupuncture. He is Medical Adviser to the Dominica Cancer Society, radio host of the Medical Minute and author of the faith and fitness nutrition book, ‘Mannafast Miracle.’ Dr. Christian can be reached at 440-9133 / 613-8345 or by writing to urgentcare.da@gmail.com.

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12 Comments

  1. Quicaeyea
    February 4, 2014

    Ou pa feb, nuh! I like to know that you have the authenticity of Dominica. Mixing patios and English. Doc thanks. You are a real Dominican. Laughter is truly the best medicine. Growing up in a small house with 10 plus people. Papa met. Now I live in a 4 bedroom house with 5 people. I have come a long way. No need to complain. We are blessed. Thank God. Ou pa feb, nuh!

  2. cot
    February 2, 2014

    Great read!! Laughter is the best medicine!

  3. Erasmus B. Black
    February 1, 2014

    Dr. Sam, ou pa feb mem, mem mem! “You mean you sending people to go and laugh, but you never hear some people say I laugh so such I pee pee on me? And “pee peeing on yourself” is not a laughing matter you know. Why do some folks pee pee on themselves when they laugh nor?

    Norman Cousins, an American writer in his book “Anatomy of an Illness..” documents how he used laughter to overcome what doctors told him was an incurable disease. His is an autobiographical case study detailing how he left the hospital after his diagnosis, checked into a hotel with better food, rented some comedy movies, changed his attitude and literally humored himself to better health.

    The Biblical King Solomon, in his God given wisdom offers another strong case for laughter in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” The question is if I take the counsel of King Solomon when I am sick and can humour my way back to better health, would the old adage “God heals and the doctor takes the fee” ring true or would it be posited as another one of the “beasts on the prowl”that you wrote about last week?

    • February 3, 2014

      @Erasmus B. Black– You wrote: ”The question is if I take the counsel of King Solomon when I am sick and can humour my way back to better health, would the old adage “God heals and the doctor takes the fee” Your comment of Feb 01, 2014

      My regret is that I posted a comment with the theme of the Proverb 17: 22 which you quoted–must be that it was too long DNO did not print it.

      First of all I don’t believe that wise old King Solomon meant that “humor” would simply heal our sickness when we know we have it–but because our mind is conditioned to nature the “bliss of laughter or merriment”, that bliss will keep us away from the thoughts being sick, even to the point that we are healed–just like a medicine from the doctor would do the work.

      In other words our mind is the ground of both Life and death–it nurtures whichever of the seeds that are sown on its ground–from the human senses, which feeds to death or from conscience–which is the home of the Spirit of Life, when God is connected to us.

      And so the person with a mind condition that will accept the seeds of Life, but rejects the seeds of death even when sickness comes into the body–Life and health continues to overpower those seeds of death–just as well or even better than a medicine will do that job.

      Perhaps you know that two of the Fruits of the Spirit, Love, is “Joy” and “Peace–those two substances of Love are the “antidotes” which fights against all the seeds of death that enters the ground of our mind–that is the reason Solomon says “a broken Spirit dries the bones”

      In other words, doctor or not the person with a broken spirit is a person without “Joy” and “Peace–no physical medicine can replace them” He or she who is without Joy and Peace has no “Light” and no “Laughter” darkness and gloom overshadows the heart; people like those remain “walking dead” in existence until it is time for them to return to their original form of dust.

      Yes it is true that “God heals and the doctor gets takes the fee–I would even say he “gets” the fee”–for the doctor is physical just as the fee is physical; but God is Spirit and the things of the Spirit belongs to Him.

      What the doctor needs to know about his “fee” is that it is his “reward” from God, in that he allowed God to do His work of healing through him–that certain doctor.

      However God wants the glory, which has to be from the doctor, who will say to the patient, who was healed–I did not heal you by my own strength, God did the healing for you through me–however He did so; even if it was by blessing that sick patient with a merry heart.

      That is what Jesus meant when He told us through His disciples: “I can of Myself do nothing—John 5:30–even if He claimed that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. John 14:11

  4. Louis ben.
    February 1, 2014

    This is not only,interesting but also educative and same time informative too……..I like this !!!!!

  5. AmazingFace
    February 1, 2014

    Thanks Doc, I look forward to your articles every week-end. I must remember to laugh more often…trouble is, sometimes the circle of friends one has don’t always contribute to laughter and humour.

  6. Look story!
    February 1, 2014

    Ou meme, Dr. Sam, ou pa feb nuh!

    Where u getting all those stories? Interesting though…

  7. Badadam!
    February 1, 2014

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Dr. Sam. We have to have an attitude of gratitude and not criticizing and tearing down all the time.

    I like people who at least make an effort to be funny. Naturally, some people are better at it than others. But everybody can always laugh and smile. I don’t know why, but I always preferred girls that giggled a lot!

  8. just a joke
    February 1, 2014

    So an old lady went to a shop to buy some dog food. The cashier told her. “Mam I need proof to know if you really have a dog because elderly people eat dog food and there is a law against this.” So the lady went for her dog and the cashier gave her the food. Next day the old lady came back for cat food. The cashier told her the same thing because elderly people eat cat food. Same thing here,the lady went for her cat and the cashier sold her the food. Next day, the old lady came back with a box with a small hole.
    “Put your finger in the hole” said the old lady. The cashier looked at the box suspiciously.
    “Is there a snake in here?Or anything that would bite me ?”
    Nope” said the old lady.
    so the cashier put her finger and touched something soft.She removed her finger and smell it.
    “This smell like poop”said the cashier upset.
    “It is poop.Now can I have some toilet papers ? “

    • looool
      February 2, 2014

      All you not easy nuh on Dno.That person put a joke there one time. Thats a nice way to laugh after reading the doctor artcle.

  9. iz that u hear wii
    February 1, 2014

    lol

  10. lol
    February 1, 2014

    What an article ! Doc YOU had me smiling through out this piece. I quite agree with you. When ever i smile or laugh i feel so light and free. It was proven that all you muscles work when ever someone smile.Thank for the reminder doc.

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