Today’s post is based on real facts; some names and the dates aren’t. Nevertheless, Dr. CJ’s was the name of my character in Laughter Therapy (Risaterapia). I wasn’t as strong to help as an active member visiting children in hospitals, so I decided to help in a different way.
That’s the reason for this post, I hope to be of some help at a distance and tell you guys a bit about my routine at a hospital visit and maybe, who knows… inspire you enough to help.
Saturday, April 4th, 2005. I woke up like any other Saturday hurrying up to get to “Laughter Therapy Center” (Risaterapia). I carry with me make-up, white robe, and my huge hat. Minutes after arriving we are all in front of the mirror fixing our faces with clown make-up. I draw a big smile around my red nose, sparkle my eyes and enhance my eyebrows, Dr. Big-Brows is here, Fritania is at home, sleeping a life that doesn’t make her happy.
We start with the dynamics and we are having a good time. Everybody as a good joke about my new hat. I got it at the Children’s Museum in the “Circus” exhibition, it’s huge, you can’t miss it. After the dynamics we are ready to go, we get in the “Ambulance” and “off we go”!
We arrive at the hospital where we’re assigned by trimesters. Before we get to the cancer board we go through the clinic. Pablo, a kid in one of the cubicles is waiting for his doctor accompanied by his mom who sits at the back in a lock-down attitude. He’s really exited to see us, so he starts to play around and pull our robes. He wants to play so bad, Pablo is a strong kid! He steps on our shoes and runs to hide, laughs out loud, and Pablo’s mom is still in a lock-down, doesn’t reveal any thing.
After a while of playing with Pablo, his doctor appears at the door with an envelope that, I guess, was full of Pablo’s analysis and tests. He hands it to Pablo’s mom, and they are on their way. After that, the doctor reveals that Pablo has just been diagnosed with leukemia. After this, I feel somehow, my heart is heavier…
We get to the cancer board and we say hi some of our old friends. With sorrow I count the days they have been there. So, we start our dynamics, we draw smiles on them, and make them laugh out loud. We play, sing, color paint, and start the piggy-back ride races. I run and run but Dr. Choco-latino is so much faster than I am… we can’t catch up! He keeps on winning every time, the kids are having fun and my back is killing me! “Wow… this kid is heavy!, ha, ha!!” I think to myself. Aside from all that I always have a really good time with these kids.
We go from room to room, the ones who can manage, follow us around. We get to room number four when from the bottom of her heart, from the bottom of her stomach, from the depths of her skull Carolinas’ screams break my heart. She had been crying since we got there, I did listen to her in the background and somehow, she managed to fall asleep, but our noise woke her up and now she was in pain again.
Carolina has been recuperating from surgery for several days. She lost her leg to a long and brave battle against leukemia. She screams out of pain… the leg that is no longer there, and it still aches. It’s there were everything goes wrong for me, not my robe, nor my clown face, nor my games or songs can make her pain go away. So I stand next to her father and start to rub the void where Carolina hurts…
In Mexico, cancer is the second main cause of death for people under 21 and there is a very high percentage of people who die undiagnosed and never make it to be in the statistics. They are mostly children. There are many ways to help, “Laughter Therapy Center” (Risaterapia), is one of many. It’s worth the try.
Maybe the word defined below (straight from Webster.com) can explain something that can make our lives worth living for.
1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species
So, with a red nose, and my heart swollen with good memories of my times at Risaterapia, I hope you find time and will to help… people smile.
Fritania de las dos Cejas