All I Want For Christmas Is You: A Very Multiple Sclerosis Christmas

by Sara on December 22, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis ChristmasAh, the holidays. When everyone is relaxed as sparklingly clean homes are aglow with candlelight reflected in bright smiles at gifts left by santa, toasting glasses, shiny giftwrap ribbons and bows…

Let’s be honest – in many ways the holidays suck.

The magical atmosphere is typically created by hours upon hours of methodical dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and scrubbing. The candles are really just there so the cats can catch their fur on fire. There may be no more stressful time of the year for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis than the holiday season. And with gender roles typically still carried out in stereotypical fashion, the fact that women with MS outnumber men by a large margin means that most of the work will fall on those of us who could really use a break before we break ourselves.

If I told you how many projects and chores are on my to-do list you would just stop reading right away. So let’s skip the boring part and suffice it to say at least I got an A on my first course back in college after 12 years, and I am currently cramming everything I can into my winter break.

Things I Hate About The Holidays Things I Love About The Holidays
struggling to meet expectations creating realistic expectations
shopping shopping for gifts
heartbreaking stories of poor children helping disadvantaged children
road rage and traffic relaxing at home
working through christmas my first christmas off in five years!
family drama family harmony
consumerism creating traditions without gifts
cold fingers holding hands with my husband
huge credit card bills creating a plan for next year
glitter on the floor glitter on the cats

 

Sometimes we tend to be the least important person in our own lives. But even from that perspective, you can’t be your best YOU for everyone else if you go past your limits. When facing a gathering, ask for help. Stress for me means severe fatigue, mental fog, worsened muscle spasticity, the MS hug, and occasionally even a relapse.

  • ask for help cleaning your house (before and after)
  • ask for help shopping locally (or shop online)
  • ask for help wrapping gifts (especially) if you have issues with mobility
  • ask for help with meals (potluck!)
  • ask for help managing your stress

Don’t spend your holidays like a house elf. Plan ahead, ask for help, and do your best to relax, make memories, and love those that love you. And don’t forget, saying “no” is always an option (particularly if you want to simplify your life).

If you aren’t part of a Multiple Sclerosis support organization, find or create one. Now is the perfect time to spend some time enjoying the season with others who will understand even your invisible symptoms.

Happy holidays to all!

 

 

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Clark August 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Hello Sara. Are you still there? I just found your article about MS from 2012.
I have recently been diagnosed and looking for information. Would love to hear from you.
Heather

Reply

Sara August 24, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Hello, Heather. I am still here, although it has been awhile since my last update. I hope to begin updates again soon. Dealing with a new diagnosis is so difficult – I sincerely hope that you have some loved ones to support you. It can make all the difference.

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