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5 Tips That Will Make Trick or Treating With a Chronic Illness Less Frightening

5 Tips That Will Make Trick or Treating With a Chronic Illness Less Frightening

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Halloween can be a frightful time, especially for the chronically ill.  We may not be afraid of ghosts and goblins, but we do fear the pain and fatigue that we will experience while and after we take our kids trick or treating.  When my daughter was a wee one, I feared not having the strength to walk the neighborhood with her or having my body give out before we arrived home.  I worried about how many days my body would need to recover afterwards.   Done fearing Halloween and the beating my body was in for, I made some changes.  Here are the changes that I made and how they can help you too!

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1. Use a mobility aid or drive

So what if you can’t walk your children around the neighborhood?  Use a mobility aid! Because it is Halloween, you can work a wheelchair or walker into your costume, or better yet use something different like a bike or have your family push you around in a wheelbarrow.  Don’t want to use a mobility aid and are worried about how far you will be able to walk? Take your car and park at the end of the streets you plan to visit.  This way if your body begins to wear out you will only have a short walk to your car and can get home without extra pain.

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2. Choose a different venue

Walking around the neighborhood isn’t always the best option.  There are many reasons for this such as; uneven or lack of pavement or sidewalks, distance between homes, or having to go up and down hills.  By taking your children to a local church or community held event you will have less walking between stations where candy is being dispersed and a better chance of having a smooth or flat surface to move about on. Your vehicle will also be close by and many local events have areas for guests to sit and rest.

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3. Give yourself options

Before my daughter outgrew the need to have her mommy take her trick or treating, I began giving myself options. Not knowing how we feel one day to the next makes it difficult to make plans.  There are some churches and community events that do not take place on Halloween evening.  I marked my calendar with the ones I thought my daughter would enjoy the most and committed to attending at least one.  We attended events on the days that I felt well enough to get my daughter dressed up and both of us out of the house.

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4. Rest

Don’t wait until a few days before Halloween to decorate or go costume shopping.  Part of pacing ourselves requires planning ahead.  Don’t listen to your abled bodied friends, it is okay to decorate for Halloween in September! Give your body and schedule a break by making sure you have time to rest before your outing as well as afterwards.

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5. Have a back-up plan

Prepare for the worst by finding a friend or relative who would be willing to take your children trick or treating.  I know you would rather be there to watch your children smile or hear them squeal when the receive their favorite candy, but sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we can’t be there.  Don’t worry, your children will still have plenty of smiles and squeals to share with you when they return home with stories of their adventure!

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