Laughter: Good Medicine; Best Dave Chappelle Sketch Ever

I remember a summer when I was 23-years old and bedridden for two weeks because of my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS.  It hurt like a mother.  (If I had known that I would later be bedridden for over a year with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), I would have treated those two weeks like a “dress rehearsal.”)   During those two weeks, my friend Pat showed me the importance of laughter in battling pain.  Below you’ll see the Dave Chappelle video that made me laugh sooo hard and still does.

Healthy People, Please Understand…

If you have a loved one who is chronically ill, please understand the toll it takes on our social lives.  Pain and fatigue are very isolating, lonely experiences.  Before I got MG, I was the one who hosted the big five-course dinner parties for the holidays and initiated birthdays for friends.  But when MG came, I lost the energy to cook, call friends, and plan events including small ones.  What’s helped me survive is when friends initiate events even something as simple as a night in watching movies.  If you’re friend lives far away, you can still help.  Just calling up and telling a funny story about your day is comforting.

My Afternoon with Pat and Dave Chapelle

As I said, I first experienced the power of laughter during those two weeks.  It wasn’t the first time I was bedridden from PCOS, but at that point in my life, it was the longest stretch of time I ever spent staring at the ceiling.  I was writhing in pain constantly screaming.   Pat came over and brought his collection of Chappelle’s Show DVDs.  We had a marathon; Pat accurately predicted the episodes I would enjoy.  Since I never watched the show before, it was all new to me.  I was lying there in my bed while he sat in the chair next to my bed.  One sketch made me laugh despite the earthquake rocking my ovaries.  Check it out:  Dave Chappelle plays a blind black man who is a KKK leader.  His character, Clayton Bigsby, has no idea he is black!  Comic genius.  Even now when I’m in pain, I sometimes watch this and it still makes me laugh:

Your Turn?

What makes you laugh?  Who makes you laugh?

–Your stylist, Jessica Gimeno


Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

9 thoughts on “Laughter: Good Medicine; Best Dave Chappelle Sketch Ever

  • August 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Jessica! I came across a glimpse of your life on twitter and was intrigued. I loved that you appreciate the healing powers of laughter. I’m so sorry to read about all your health problems and think that you have a wonderful blog here. I, too, find that laughter has helped me over the last 38 years of illness. You’ve done what I did almost six months ago…started a blog. What better way to fight these awful illnesses? (Though being such a dinasaur, I have almost no idea what I’m doing computer-wise!) I wish you much luck and health and hope to read more as you start this new chapter in your life.
    Irene xx

    • August 22, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Hi Irene,
      Thanks for reading. I appreciate your kind words and am encouraged by your resilience–38 years is a long time spent being strong. Welcome to the sisterhood for all women with chronic illnesses! I know having a blog is hard especially if you’re tired all the time. Keep coming back for more.

  • August 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    funny video, However I was wondering if you could tell me some of the symptoms in relation to your pcos, I have it. I fight my weight all the time. You look so gorgeous was wondering if you have ever had a weight problem and how you are dealing with the pcos.
    Thanks Teresa

    • October 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Teresa,
      Sorry I took so long to respond. I’ve had PCOS for ten years-it’s hard to remember all my meds in addition to my 7 autoimmune meds. Maybe 8 years ago my weight fluctuated because of PCOS though it was nothing compared to the weight gain caused by Myasthenia Gravis between 2008-2010 when I went from a size 0 to size 10. Wanted to email you but couldn’t find your email address. I’ve tried Yasmin (ouch-made pain worse), Seasonique (didn’t take), Loestrin (worked for a few months I found relief until I got MG which “reactivated” the PCOS), and now I’m trying Safyral. Recently some of my periods have gotten shorter–not the 7-10 day ordeal I’ve always had. Still painful. I hang upside down in bed–do Pilates positions to deal with the pain. The only exercise I can do is Pilates–I lost about 30 pounds–all my MG weight gain but am still on steroids. Watching what I eat (being more mindful than I was before Prednisone), doing Pilates most days (when I’m not in too much pain) has worked. Dealing with the pain–tools of my “resilience bucket:” 1) faith in Christ–prayer, Bible 2) family, friends 3) Pilates makes me feel better 5) laughter 6) setting goals.

    • October 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Oh Basic symptoms of PCOS: weight gain before, pain-always, long periods, –hope that helps-what other symptoms would you like to hear about? I didn’t get acne but I’m working on a post about great makeup for acne. And I’ll be doing lots of posts about dressing for different kinds of weight gain-bigger calves, bigger thighs (which I get when I have my period), larger chests, etc. What particular symptoms should I cover?

  • October 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Hi Jessica! For me, laugh therapy is VITAL! Some of my go-to tools: Silly movies, playing the Rabbids games on Wii when I’m able (esp the “Go Home” game), tv shows like “New Girl” + zany ones like “Invader Zim” (love love love Gir!) and of course random silly fun w/ppl who make me crack up, like best bud/sis Radene. Then there’s Twitter pals too, of course! Gotta get your fun wherever+whenever possible 🙂

    • October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Dear Heather,
      Thanks for sharing! I love to see resilient people. We have to do whatever it takes to survive. A good sense of humor is essential to surviving the pain but it’s probably the most overlooked aspect (as compared with faith or family or exercise). Yes I’ve watched a few episodes of “New Girl.” Right now I’m watching the Greatest Hits of Carol Burnett. What other topics–besides comedy–would you like me to cover? I’m checking out your blog btw.

  • October 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Absolutely, laughter is a huge help! That’s why my blog is called “Laughing from my sickbed” and I’ve survived 38 years of my cruddy illnesses, on 25 plus meds, two major near death surgeries in just the last 10 months and countless hospitalizations. I am so very happy you are covering the fashion, etc., aspect of our illnesses, which is something I try to do also, if only to show that we are NOT just our illnesses!

    Now, do you have a recommendation for the over 45 crowd (ok, over 55 – I go no further!) and with fair skin? I don’t do lipsticks b/c they make me look like very cheap hookers and (pink) gloss is no longer doing the job. My lips are blue, white or colorless and I can no longer get away without lipstick, but somehow despite the massive amount of lipsticks I seem to accumulate, nothing looks even remotely non-hookerish! Thanks for any suggestions! xx

  • February 8, 2015 at 12:26 am


    I discovered your blog while doing research for my chronic pain blog, Nip Pain in the Bud & Let Your Soul Blossom. Then I found you on Facebook. I mentioned about my car accident which crushed my wheelchair lift. Thanks for suggesting I contact Pearl Gannon. I’m following up on her advice.

    I was looking around your site for posts to share with my followers by linking back. I found this one, and I agree that humor is a key element in not just surviving but effectively coping with chronic illness/pain. I wrote a blog post about how science proves that humor heals, and in it I also shared other ideas for how patients can find ways to laugh more. Here’s the link:

    At the end of that post, I wrote a hospital Mad-Lib for a little extra dose of laughter. Besides the other ideas in the post, I thought you might enjoy doing the Mad-Lib as part of your vacationizing – we always did them when we were traveling to a destination when I was a kid. I hope it gives you a good laugh! (see below)

    Thank you for all your thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring writings. I look forward to reading more. I hope you’ll find something on my site that moves you, too. BTW the link to the Chapelle video doesn’t work. I would love to watch it if you can find it again.

    A Quick Trip to the Doctor
    (Mad Lib written by Shannon at ‘Nip Pain in the Bud & Let Your Soul Blossom’)

    Here I am at the office of Dr. (a friend or famous person’s name) in the (a verb ending in -ing) room before my appointment. The (an adjective) nurse calls me in to check my vitals. I roll up my (a piece of clothing) and she takes my (a liquid) pressure. She also listens to my (a part of the body) (a verb) and counts my pulse. Next she tells me to put on the (a color) (an item of clothing) and get up on the examination (an item of furniture). There’s a (a type of noise) on the door and in walks the doctor. “My nurse says you are (an emotion) that you might have a (an adjective) type of (a nonsense word) fever. You know it’s only transmitted by the (a verb) of a (an unusual animal) from the deepest jungle of (a location). Have you ever been there?”


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