So the holidays are here again! Everyone is excited, running around decorating, shopping for gifts and planning their holiday menus. Most importantly they are making their holiday wish lists. All I want for Christmas is a new body!
I honestly DREAD the holidays! Don’t get me wrong! I LOVE shopping, I love giving gifts and well, lets face it… I LOVE GETTING GIFTS!
But truth be told, the holidays for someone battling an illness is STRESSFUL!
Most people worry about the credit card bill they have to pay at the end of the month but for people like us, who are physically ill, we have to worry about the bill that comes in for over extending ourselves. There will always be a price to pay!
I sat in line, on my scooter, for 7.5 hours on black Friday to get my Mom the laptop she wanted. During that time I dislocated a hip, my knee and my wrist. I got home and the next 48 hours were excruciating for me. Swollen feet, blazing back pain that takes your breath away, skin so hypersensitive that clothes were not an option!
Was it worth it? Well, if it made my Mom happy OF COURSE, but on the same token it made me realize that this disease robs me of time. For every day that I do something “too strenuous” I lose a day or two or more for doing it. Grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner lost a day! Tidying the house for company, lost a day! Sitting in line for Back Friday, lost 2 days!!
People want the illusion that everything is fine, especially around the holidays, so we are expected to look good, feel good, suck up the pain and slap a smile on our faces but sometimes its asking for a lot more then we can offer. I then think to myself that sitting around like a scrooge doesn’t make me feel any better either. My pain is there no matter what, and while it does its best to destroy me and everything I love, I will be damned if I allow it to destroy the joy of my loved ones this holiday season! With that being said, I will do my best to not complain during the decorating and possibly just take a more supervisory role. I will holiday shop online instead of dragging myself through the stores. As for cooking the holiday meal, well if I had more visitors this year (I relocated to warmer climates!) I would do a “pot luck” so that the cooking duties are minimized.
I will give a big gift to my loved ones this holiday season; I will remember that there is more to life then just my illness. That I can grin and bear it so they can have a day free of worrying about me and my needs. I will enjoy myself, truly no matter what because holiday memories should not be overshadowed by bitter replays of the pain. Since being miserable does nothing to help my pain, I will be making a conscious decision to look past the feelings of guilt, hopelessness and despair. I will look past the physical pain as much as possible and I will enjoy myself. I will laugh, sing, eat, drink and gosh darn it, I will be merry!
I wish you all a pain free, happy and blessed holiday season.
Peace & Paw Prints!
So this blog entry question: What do you do differently to enjoy the holidays despite your illness?
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.