This is the 10th holiday season since I got sick. Ten years! In many ways things are a bit easier as my kids are all grown, so I have less running around to do. But, I'm older and my health is worse. I Think I've finally (mostly) gotten the hang of how to handle the holidays while dealing with a chronic illness. For one, I do most of my shopping online. This year, I probably did 90 to 95% of my shopping online. I thought I'd miss being out amongst all of the "holiday cheer", but I don't. When I'm ready to shop I just put on some Christmas music, grab some of our baked goodies and go to town (so to speak). As far as the gift wrapping goes, well I try to spread it out over several sessions. I do, somewhat guiltily, use gift bags. I still remember a request from my then preteen daughter "please don't use so may gift bags". I found out that they aren't nearly as much fun to get. And here I thought they only cared about what was inside, not how the present itself was wrapped. Anyway, something else I have found to be rather helpful is the gift wrap that comes in flat squares. Remember that? It seems like all you see anymore, besides the bags, are the rolls of wrapping paper. They are so much harder for me to handle. The problem is, the flat wrapping paper is almost impossible to find. I couldn't find any of it this years. Thankfully, I had some left from last year. Another way I'm dealing with the holidays is how I handle my baking. I really made an effort this year to find easy recipes. We've made bar cookies because they are easier (no rolling the dough into dozens of balls!) and easy microwave fudges and candy barks. I've also relinquished some of the control to my daughters. Most importantantly, I've been able to enjoy my friends and family more because I'm pacing myself and learning what I can and cannot do.
A few weeks ago, I fell. I don't exactly know what happened, but I was leaving the house and I fell when I stepped off my front porch. I don't know whether my leg just gave out on me or if I twisted my ankle. I was a bit sore for a few days and I had a sprained ankle, but, thankfully, I was really okay.
I finally broke down and got a shower chair. I have thought about it for a while, but I kept putting it off. Well, I love it! I was no longer able to stand for very long without having a lot of pain and numbness. The blood pooling is so bad. Plus, I'd get weak and dizzy. Sitting has helped with all of that. If you've ever thought about getting one, don't wait any longer. I got mine at Walgreens for about $35. It doesn't have a back and it isn't very wide (our tub is so small), but it does what I need it to do.
After the first of the year, I'm going to start back on my diet. I'm sure millions of other Americans are going to do the same. I want to do everything I can to get healthier. Plus, I want to lose some weight for our daughter's wedding. I'm also going to start a few of the supplements the doctor prescribed. I know I can do it, but it won't be easy.
I've been seeing a counselor and I'd like to share some of that, but it will have to wait until next time. I'm so tired! I'm off to bed.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year