Everyone knows that you shouldn’t go to Google with a weird health issue. The answer is always cancer. Cue panic mode.
I didn’t really think of this as a health issue. It’s just something kind of weird that happens to me once every few months for no apparent reason. I wanted to Google it to see if other people have experienced similar things. I thought there might be a support group.
Instead, I’m pretty sure it’s cancer. Thanks, Wikipedia.
Sarcasm (with some mild real fear) aside, here’s what happens:
Something is funny, and I start laughing. The laughter extends for an abnormally long period, which I also find funny instead of terrifying. For the first five minutes or so, this continued chain of laughter is sometimes aided by outside forces if I’m watching something or if I have friends with me, but even if there isn’t any external stimuli to continue the giggle fit, I keep laughing.
I keep laughing until it is no longer funny. I am thinking very clearly, and I am trying very hard to stop laughing. It starts getting hard to breathe. I can’t draw in enough air because even though I feel like crying from the fear of being unable to stop laughing, I keep laughing. It begins to feel like I am suffocating.
Eventually, I manage to stop. My entire body will ache from the strain of sustained laughter, and it takes several minutes for me to relearn how to breathe.
It’s not funny.
This has been happening for a few years now, but the episodes are so infrequent that I don’t really think about it much.
But then it happened tonight. And it started without any real prompting. And this time, there was no one around to help me if the episode went to the point where I completely couldn’t breathe.
So, I’m kind of freaking out a little. It feels stupid to see a doctor about laughing, but is that what I need to do?
Does this happen to anyone else? Am I worrying over nothing?
Any links or advice are much appreciated because all Google gives me when I look up anything involving uncontrollable laughter is gelastic seizures and Anderson Cooper having a giggle fit on-air. While that second one is painfully adorable, it is not particularly helpful.