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It’s that time of year when everybody is busy making plans for the holidays. They are excitedly booking flights and planning menus.
There was a time when I looked forward to figuring out where we would travel and who would visit. But not now.
Now I dread it.
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Why Holiday Plans Are Difficult With My Chronic Illnesses
Making plans with one or more chronic illnesses is extremely difficult. In my case, I have fibromyalgia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (spondylitis), bowel endometriosis, abdominal scar tissue, and nerve damage from a surgical error to contend with.
While all are painful and unpredictable, I had been able to do more in past years after finding treatments that better help me manage fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. But even then, I had to be extremely cautious in my planning.
This year, endometriosis and scar tissue on my bowels will prevent me from making plans. They tear, twist, and pull my internal organs and abdominal muscles. An update will be posted soon explaining some of the new pains I am dealing with.
Travelling is a no-no this year. I could not endure the pain that a flight or long-distance car ride would create with my current abdominal situation.
Currently, I spend days recovering after riding in the car for an hour or two.
I could possibly travel if it were not for my abdominal pain. It would depend on how my body was responding to current treatments, but it would at least have been a possibility. In the past, when my abdominal pain was not at its current level, I could travel as long as I followed some rules. (Come back Monday to read my new article about surviving holidays with psoriatic arthritis).
Hosting a holiday celebration is also out of the question. I do not have the stamina to prepare, clean, or decorate. Sure, I could pay to have all the prep work done, but what good would that do when my current state of affairs has me bedridden?
What good is a hostess who can’t even appear at her own party? Or one that is in so much pain that all she does is scowl or sit in silence. Because that is what pain does to me. I try to smile. I try to participate in conversations. But pain blocks what I want to do and leaves me looking like the Grinch.
What My Holiday Plans Include
My holiday plans include spending time with people who won’t be offended when I sit in silence. They need to be okay with the fact that pain will limit my ability to converse.
The plans I have made are flexible. Meaning that they can change dates or end the celebration early if needed.
Avoiding my personal social media feed. I am depressed enough from the amount of pain I am in and lack of ability to do what I want. Seeing holiday posts about how gathering with family and friends is the most important part of the holidays will likely push me over the edge.
I wish things were different. Knowing how well I managed my other chronic illnesses before my abdominal mess went into overdrive frustrates me. To have achieved so much relief from a couple of very nasty chronic diseases and to have something that could have been prevented by my doctors be what effs my life up breaks my heart.
Are you or have you made holiday plans?