Thursday, November 18, 2010

Simply Survival

Sometimes, it is not that we are not looking forward to the holidays, but simply trying to figure out how to survive the holidays. Its a time of being together, and not of "let me lie down for awhile". As is the case for most migraine sufferers. We love the holidays. Love the time spent with friends and family. And, who doesn't love getting gifts? But the holidays present a lot of problems for migraine and other chronic illness sufferers.

Having a time of year to reflect on our religious beliefs and share our God with others, is a great thing. We should not take this for granted. There are places in our world that others cannot show their religious beliefs for fear of being tortured and killed. Here in America we are tortured in another way. Christmas is commercialized and trivialized. What we don't necessarily love is the bright lights, the loud noises, and even the smells of the holidays that affect our migraines. Holiday shopping with the stress due to throngs of people vying for the best deal. Every store playing the same songs over and over and over. They even pump it out of speakers in the parking lot. And, I believe, they are wafting the smell of Christmas tree through the ventilation systems. These can all contribute to our migraine Christmas woes.

We love to have visiting time with the people we love. Sharing stories and making memories can make us feel better. But, the preparation, the stress, and late nights can affect us in a negative way. We need to control our environment, to keep our stress levels low, and getting the right amount of sleep is super important in preventing our illness from knocking us down.

It's simply survival. Plan in advance by having break times built into your day. Let others know that the camera flash needs to be announced prior to pushing the button. Find a potpourri that doesn't cause you nasal stress (I can't stand evergreen or worse wintergreen permeating my breathing air). Set the Christmas muzak to a bearable decibel level. And take any other precautions that will help you make it through the holidays. How do you plan to have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas?

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