Thursday, January 10, 2008

GERD Girl Guide 3

Laughter is the best medicine, unless you have chest congestion and GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), then laughter is your worst enemy.

I couldn't figure out why I was having GERD symptoms during my battle with the flu since I wasn't eating any food. Then my husband watched me have a coughing fit and realized the violent stomach action was causing my acid reflux.

It appears a GERD stomach likes stillness. When I was first diagnosed, I was told not to jog then quickly discovered that sit-ups were out of the question as well. I was upset about the running but oh-so-happy that I finally had an excuse not to do crunches. No rock hard abs for me, no sirree! A squishy torso was a medical necessity! Joy!

So, for the last two weeks, I have been trying to avoid laughing because laughing leads to coughing and coughing leads to GERD.

For some people, this would be an easy task. But, I'm a standup comic...who is married to a standup comic. We can't get through a funeral without trying to make each other crack up. It's just the way we operate.

My husband's method for making me laugh during our co-illness, was to wait for when I was at my most vulnerable--head two inches from a bowl of chicken soup or lying on the bathroom floor-- and then, doing his best Frasier Crane, would say, "My, you're looking lovely today." It got me every time...laughter, coughing, GERD.

He doesn't have GERD, but I did make him laugh then cough so hard he pulled a muscle. We were all smelly and feverish, lying side by side on the bed when I turned to him and said, "So, do you want to have sex?" A more insecure woman would have been hurt by his almost cruel aversion to the idea, but I was just grateful he didn't call my bluff and take me up on the offer.

Sex during the flu would have certainly lead to laughing, coughing, GERD and more a few pulled muscles.

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