Rest Ministries

Finding Humor in the Side Effects of Chronic Illness and Prednisone

Living with a chronic illness or chronic pain doesn't mean you can't laugh! Join speaker/author Lisa Copen for some giggles as she shares about the humor in weight gain due to medication and the limited mobility from her rheumatoid arthritis.


San Diego, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/04/2010 -- Living with a chronic illness can fill one’s day with chronic pain, and a long list of side effects. One only needs to listen to the television commercials from pharmaceutical companies to realize that sometimes the side effects of medications can be as uncomfortable as the illness itself.

Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, which is the largest Christian organization that serves the chronically ill, and the person behind National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. She recently released a six minute video clip of the humorous parts of being on the steroid prednisone available at .

While a great deal of the population has taken the steroid for short-term use to treat an acute condition, Lisa has been on 20 mg a day for nearly 2 years, due to a variety of circumstances with her illness, rheumatoid arthritis.

The result? Over 80 pounds of weight gain, a puffy face, and some humorous other parts of body fat that are actually named by the medical world, such as a "Buffalo Hump.”

Laughter has been proven to actually relieve pain and recently Dr. Lee S. Berk, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunology researcher at Loma Linda University's Schools of Allied Health (SAHP) and Medicine, and director of the molecular research lab at SAHP, Loma Linda, CA, and Dr. Stanley Tan, confirmed this and also found in their studies that repetitive "mirthful laughter," which they call Laughercise©, can cause the body to respond in a way similar to moderate physical exercise.

So let's laugh! Cheryl, who recently watched the video said “I dream of the day when I can get off Prednisone. I think to myself, ‘Would I rather be alive and fat, or dead and skinny?’ I choose the fat life, but not because I want to--it is the lesser of two evils. And when people stare at me and make comments about how I should lose weight, and how much better I would feel, they have no idea that I am on steroids to feel better as it is! Not to make it unpleasant for them to look at me this way! I have to come to realize that unless someone has gone through a debilitating disease, they will never fully understand. Thanks Lisa, for trying to educate the people who don’t have a clue and for supporting us who know exactly how tough this really is.”

Nearly 1 in 2 people in the United States live with a chronic condition, and approximately 96% of illnesses are invisible. So take a moment to watch the video that describes the realistic part of living with a chronic condition. If it is not you who lives with one, it is someone you love.

You can read more about Lisa Copen at . Her Newest Book "How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry" was published in April 2010.