Book: Fall Down Laughing by David L. Lander

Fall Down Laughing by David L. LanderIf you know David L. Lander as Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley, then you know why I read this book. If you don’t know who Squiggy, Laverne, and/or Shirley are, well then, I weep for you and judge you harshly. Really. Get on the stick here.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for several years, but I’ve got a great gift for not doing things I mean to do so I just got around to it recently. And I’m kicking myself for waiting as usual.

For those not in the loop, Mr. Lander, actor, writer, serial barger-inner, has multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease in which the nerves are attacked, stripping them of their protective coating and diminishing their function. It can lead to a wide array of symptoms and outcomes including loss of balance, loss of feeling in the hands and feet, bladder issues, loss of the ability to swallow, and ending up in the wheelchair. the disease is a bit of a snowflake in that it affects different people differently. The one constant is that there is no cure. People find different ways to cope with it. I’m not just talking about medicine either.

That’s what the book is about. How Mr. Lander coped with being diagnosed and how he coped was by hiding his illness from everyone but his wife and daughter. He would have rather people thought he was a drunk than know he was sick.

It’s a funny, but heartbreaking look at his life and his head space at that time. It’s also an inside look at a devastating illness that affects millions of people. It’s cautiously hopeful and blatantly honest.

I’ll make up for waiting so long to read it by reading it again.

And again.

And again.

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