Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Laughter is the best medicine
On Monday we had a girls day. Ashlynne, Jordan, my mom, and I all decided to go to Salina and do some shopping. Normally shopping trips for us start out fun, but by the end of the day I am so mad and frustrated by all of the rude stares and rude comments that we have gotten throughout the day that I am just ready to go home. The questions about Ashlynne, I can understand, and in all honestly, I welcome them because it gives me a chance to spread awareness. But the ignorant comments that come from some people continue to blow me away, even after 10 years of dealing with it.
However, Monday had a different feel for me. It wasn't just Ashlynne this time. Jordan was there as her ally. We had a pretty smooth day, no stares, no comments (that I heard) until we got to Target. We were checking out, and the guy looks at Ashlynne and says "Looks like someone got a sunburn!" I replied with my usual "no, she has a skin disorder called Ichthyosis", but this time I was holding back a laugh, because I saw the man's eyes drift to Jordan, and I'm sure he was thinking "do these people not believe in sunblock?". In my mind, I was thinking of all of the comments I could make back to him such as "Ya, she's sunburned, and this girl (pointing to Jordan) was the babysitter. They spent the whole day at the beach." When we got back into the car, we all laughed so hard that tears were rolling down our faces as we were saying all of the things we "should have" said. The girls both have confetti ichthyosis, which means they have white spots all over their bodies. So one of the scenarios was "ya, we were at the end of the sunscreen tube and it just splattered out, so we just left it" and, "they were sunbathing on the deck. They use rotisseries to get it so even! Isn't that such a good idea?!" Another story could have been that my mom was all of our mom, and that she said oldest to youngest with the sunblock, and I hogged it all, which is why I am so pale, and they were burnt to a crisp. The list goes on an on with all of the things we were saying. In fact, a road trip has been discussed, to see just how many funny scenarios we can find ourselves in. We could do a video montage, or even a book, we could call it "The good and the bad of Ichthyosis".
To some people, from the outside looking in, this may not seem that funny, or it might kind of even seem morbid. I know that Ashlynne's skin disorder is no laughing matter. In fact, i know just how serious it really is. But for the first time, I can honestly say that I was able to laugh about Ichthyosis. For the first time, I didn't walk out of that store mad. We were able to turn an upsetting situation into a light hearted matter. Ashlynne didn't feel alienated or singled out, or like she was being stared at. With Jordan there, she felt like she was part of this exclusive club. She had someone there who knew exactly how she felt in that moment. It made me realize that sometimes, I need to not always take life so seriously. It's always good to be able to find a reason to smile. And I know that when I look back on that conversation, and the laughs we shared together, it will always bring a smile to my face.
I guess what they say is true... Laughter really is the best medicine.