Christmas, a time of excitement when I was a child, when my daughters were you & now that we have grandchildren, but is it possible to have A Merry Spoonie Christmas?
Like most of you I have lost count of the amount of times that I have explained my health to family members. They go from not understanding to sudden realisation of what we go through and then give it a few weeks and they go back to how it was before.
Last Christmas my mum insisted that we all go to her house on Christmas day, I explained that it could be a problem if I am having a bad day or if I am having a flare up, but she very firmly said no, she wanted us to go to her.
Yes sods law played its hand and despite resting up, I went into a flare up on Christmas eve. So on Christmas day I said to my wife and daughters to still go and I would stay at home. Needless to say it was the worst Christmas I have ever had, I didn’t tell my family that but when they left, I am not afraid to say that I shed a tear or two.
This Christmas it is just us at home, yes it will still be hectic and will drain my energy levels because we have two young grandchildren and it will be a long and noisy day, but I will be at home, I can go to bed for an hour if needed.
Boxing day we have my wifes Dad and his wife over, her mum, step dad and brother and so it will be a hard day. Occasions like this when there is more than one conversation going on and general noise merry-making. A crowded house (and yes that is crowded in our bungalow) always causes my health to dip.
So how do we survive Christmas?
- Rest. Make sure to rest up before the day, gather a store of spoons.
- Attending Church isn’t compulsory, I am sure your God would understand.
- First off, don’t be afraid to people how you feel.
- You have a right to enjoy Christmas so tell people what you need.
- If possible, let others do the work.
- Preparation. If you are the one that has to cook the dinner, prepare some bits the day before.
- Cheat. So what if you buy Aunt Bessie’s roast potatoes, parsnips & Yorkshire puddings!
- Don’t be ashamed to do what you need to do, even if it means taking time out.
- Explain that you can’t sit up at the dinner table for too long.
- Ear Plugs. I will be putting my Flare Audio ear plugs in on Christmas morning & leaving them in.
- If you think just going for it and paying for it once the day is over, do it!
At the end of the day, our health has to come first.
Yes we can try to push through and pay for it later and we have all done that, sometimes I find that I can handle a flare up better when I know that the cause was worth it.
Make sure that you take your meds regularly, stay away from foods that cause problems and yes I know that is difficult at Christmas. It has been three years since I have had Christmas pudding and I have also stopped making a Christmas cake, mince pies and stopped eating a whole box of the Aldi Stollen bites!
But at the end of the day, we will always end up paying for it after Christmas. Despite trying all of this, I still have a flare up after Christmas.
Also we will have to put up with the “You look like you are feeling okay today”, yep that old chestnut. Just because we have decided to enjoy ourselves, family and friends will presume that we are okay. We have become good at masking what is going on inside, the pain and the fatigue that would put anybody else in hospital.
People don’t understand that we can laugh and joke whilst feeling as bad as we tell them. We learn to function despite what we go through and that is a credit to our strength and determination but also the fact that we have no choice.
I hope you all have the best Christmas possible, make this Christmas the year that people listen to you and don’t let them ruin your day.