Holiday Celebrations for Me with MS

From mid-October until January it’s a bit of a mad panic of holidays for me. When you have kids there is a lot that goes into Halloween, with family there’s a lot that goes into Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Then there is all of the school things happening between October and the beginning of January.

Part of me is grateful I forget this every year because I don’t stress until it approaches, the planner in me thinks if I could remember maybe I wouldn’t get so stressed out every year around the same time.

Having chronic illnesses (yes multiple) makes the stress a little bit harder. Stress tends to make my Meniere’s and my MS worse. This does explain why I have had increased vertigo and hearing loss in the last two weeks and why I have had a migraine for the last 5 out of 7 days. As I type this it is suddenly dawning on me that THIS is why everything has been a bit worse the last couple of weeks (forehead smack, though not literally because I don’t need more head pain).

For me, socializing with other people can aggravate my MS symptoms, and in settings with a lot of people (as you do with holidays) my constant need to have people speak up, face me so I can read their lips or talk into my “good” ear always makes me a little more aware of the impact it has on me.

Don’t get me wrong, people are important, socialization is very important so I don’t withdraw into my little chronic illness bubble tending to my needs and napping frequently.

If someone in your life has a chronic illness and shows up to events, just know that they are choosing to spend time with you in spite of the effect it will have on their body in the coming days. Also, don’t be too hard on them if they don’t look super stoked or have to bail early. I know I would love to feel great and be able to talk all day long but the truth is, I am in constant pain, some days worse than others and being with people and pretending to not be in pain takes a very large toll on my mind and body.


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