Well here it is already and the Holiday season is just beginning, what I call Holiday Hangover. Funny how it has it's own name and it feels just like it sounds, horrible. I can imagine when you read the word hangover for you it probably means you drank too much alcohol and woke up feeling like you were hit by a bus. Imagine not drinking any alcohol and still waking up with that same, being hit by a bus, feeling. For me and many others who are chronically ill this is just a way of life but it gets even worse during the holidays. It seems during the ten months before all the holiday rush we have a little more control on our schedules but when November and December hit we are faced with many more gatherings to attend or to host and for some there is just no way to get out of them, for lack of better words.
I did it! I had Thanksgiving dinner here and this year it was a small group of us, only six for the actual dinner. I made all the food except the salad and dessert. I was smart, or at least thought I was being smart, and prepared everything the day before, which didn't seem like a big deal to me. On Thanksgiving day I made the turkey, heated the sides, set the table, and cleaned up. Things that every other person did that day with no problems. It was a very low key nice day. As I rested later in the day, feeling tired but okay, I wondered to myself if the day would catch up to me. I hoped and prayed it wouldn't. I woke up on Friday tired but we were meeting some good friends for lunch so I took a shower to wake up. I felt a scratchy throat but didn't think to much of it. We had a nice lunch and a laid back day. Insert laugh here, everyday is a low key day for me, who am I trying to kid? Anyways last night I started feeling worse the sore throat the headache and the burning in the chest. Yup, here is comes, I thought to myself.
This morning I was awaken from sleep with a searing migraine, once again this week. I got up took my excedrin migraine and drank the strong cup of coffee hoping it would fade away. No such luck so I laid back down and fell asleep to awaken to just a regular headache. I am happy for that I can handle this! Now I just deal with the cold and hope it does not turn into more, which nine times out of ten it does.
My point here is that when you deal with the daily struggles of illness everything you do has a give and take attached to it. If I entertain, the give. I get sick, the take. If I attend a party, the give. I get sick, the take. If I go out in public in any way shape or form, the give. I get sick, the take. If I get stressed about going to a certain party or meeting with certain people, the give. I get sick, the take. For me every single thing I do, not only during the holidays, is a give and take. A reality I live with. I don't like it but it is what it is. My immune system is shot and it forces my body into over drive when I do to much, this is why my life has become so limited.
This year because of my illness the Holidays will be very low key for me, I can hardly get through a easy Thanksgiving so I must make some serious decisions as to how I will spend my time and the little energy I do have available to share with others. Seriously people, you have no idea how much energy it takes your mind and body to just socialize, it is something that is unexplainable to describe. So this year I will celebrate with my side of the family the week before Christmas and then with Rich and the kids on Christmas Eve, that's it.
I have made the decision this year that is all I am doing. I am not attending anymore parties and I am not putting my health at risk of catching more germs by being in large crowds. It pains me to have to do this but only I can make the choice because in then end it is I who must live with the consequences. Although I must say I do feel at peace with my decision. Plus, I am almost sure I will still be sick with whatever this is at Christmas time anyways. You see, when I get sick, even a little cold, it lasts weeks to months for me. A week to ten days of having a virus would be a breeze for me, I am never that fortunate.
So yes, my immune system is in overdrive right now not working properly. Making me sick every time I go in public or decide I am going to be the person I use to be. My immune system and body control my life, but the crazy part is I wouldn't change it for anything else. I mean really, who can get a hangover without even having a drink? That is pure talent all by itself.
May God Bless you and keep your immune system working in proper fashion this Holiday Season!