https:// Home ». holiday

holiday

Planning, Time, and Flexibility: Essential Ingredients for the Holidays

Christmas is a wonderful time of year; full of fun, excitement, and family gatherings.  For weeks beforehand, I spend time decorating, planning, anticipating the good times and envisioning the perfect holiday.  Like so many dreams, reality is rarely the picture perfect vision that I have in my head.  That is particularly true now that MS is part of our lives.
Lynn and I have three big family get-togethers at Christmas—my parents and siblings come the week before Christmas, our kids come Christmas Eve, and his family comes Christmas day.  Each is a wonderful time of creating memories and eating way too much food.  Even though these times are lots of fun, they are also very challenging.
Holiday celebrations are always held at our house since Lynn’s wheelchair cannot enter anyone else’s house in the family. Even though we often order pizza or one of the other family members will do the cooking, there is still a lot of preparation required to host a gathering. Everything takes more planning, more time, and great flexibility if you’re hosting the party at your house.  There’s the need to buy and prepare some, if not all, of the food, clean the house, and decorate (or make everything look festive).  When everyone gets there, you help make your guests comfortable, assist those who need to heat up items or put out food to do so,  make sure everyone has what they need to eat the feast (the fun part), clean up afterwards and put everything back into its original place.  Even if you and your family members are healthy, it’s tiring to host a party at your own house.  If someone in your family is not healthy, then it’s exhausting.
Read more at: http://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/planning-time-and-flexibility-essential-ingredients-for-the-holidays/

Will 2012 be any different?

Christmas decorations

So far, 2012 has not been a significant improvement over 2011.  Yeah, I know it’s only January 3, but to be honest, I’m not looking for a lot of improvement over the days ahead.
In looking back over 2011, I must say, it was not a great year.  Lynn started the year barely functional after having gotten out of the hospital after a month’s stay. Then he returned to the hospital in March, nearly went on a respirator, which wasn’t good, but came home after only a little over a week.  Then he went back to the hospital again in June for three weeks for plasmapheresis.  The last admission had some good results as far as increased function was concerned but ever since that time, he’s been struggling with anemia. 
Christmas was much better this year.  He was able to actually participate in all the family gatherings which was a significant improvement over the past two years which he doesnt’ even remember. However, the low ferritin level has him so wiped out that he’s barely able to do anything for himself.
Every year we have a New Year’s Eve celebration.  His family comes and a few of our friends. We (currently me) usually cook the traditional black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, cabbage, neck bones, and we usually add lamb and some desserts.  For the past several weeks, he’s been wiped out by night fall.  I tried to talk him out of the gathering this year, but he really wanted to do it so we did (I have trouble saying “no”, can you tell?), but we did compromise and decide to do it in the afternoon rather than at night.  I cooked most of the afternoon and up till about midnight the day before New Year’s Eve and we had the party from 2 until around 5. It was nice to have every come but it was also a lot of work getting it ready.  Several of the guests helped with the clean up so that was a tremendous help, but it was still very tiring.
Ever since then, Lynn has been exhausted as usual.  He stays cold so he drinks hot tea and then he gets hot so he drinks cold water.   I’m cathing him from 12-19 times a day, every day. I can hardly get anything started before he’s calling me back.  Plus since he’s miserable, he can’t get comfortable.  Honestly, I hear him calling me every half hour for something and often it is to repeat what I did in the previous 30 minutes. 
When I had young children, I was constantly being interrupted but I could get them involved in something or take them with me and still manage to get things done.  Lynn can’t be settled.  He’s so uncomfortable that he needs me constantly.  I can’t even get away to go to the grocery store to do all my shopping. I have to make several short trips because he needs to empty his blader every little bit.  I admit, I’m getting really tired of doing it so often.  I now literally pack a bag if we are going even a short trip because I’m sure to have to cath him at least once if not twice.
The constant attention has also impacted my ability to take down my Christmas decorations.  I managed to bring in the outside items on Sunday and it took ALL day to put them away because I could do such a small amount at any one time.  It may be July before I finish putting away the things inside.  I love the decorations and had help putting them out so I have them everywhere this year.  Needless to say, it’s going to be a while before my house gets back to normal.
The other way I’m impacted is in trying to work from home.  He constantly interrupts so it takes forever for me to finish anything.  I’m rather concerned too because my boss wants me to come in Friday to talk about my team.  She is concerned about them so I’m not sure what this is going to mean for me.  Lynn has become very concerned that I might have to go back into work.  I told him we would just have to face that if it happened because we both know I have to work now.  Hopefully I won’t have to make that transition but if I do, it’s going to take a major adjustment around here and quite frankly, I just don’t know how I would be able to manage it.  But I’m not going to dwell on that until there is no other choice.
I need to go give Lynn a bath now.  It’s the only thing that seems to bring him comfort but it’s such a long process that it eats up all my spare time.  I hate to begrudge him a bath because I know how good it can make you feel but for me, it’s just one more chore.  Oh well, better get to it.
So, maybe the ball dropped at midnight on January 1 and 2012 rolled in but I didn’t see it drop (although I was up) and I haven’t seen anything different…just more of the same challenges.  Wonder what will be ahead???
I hope that for you and yours, 2012 will be filled with many blessings and that the Lord will provide you with whatever strength you need, whenever you need it and a heaping measure of peace and comfort to help you make it though each day.  Happy New Year!