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  • MS_Navigators
    The holidays can be a wonderful time to connect with loved ones, celebrate the season and reflect on the year. But, let’s be honest, coupling all that activity with MS-related fatigue can also be physically and emotionally exhausting! Planning what you will or will not do around the holidays is one way to help conserve energy for the activities you deem the most important. What difficult decisions has your family had to make around friends, work or family get-togethers? What strategies have you found to limit the effects of fatigue on holiday celebrations?
  • robertjon
    I just don't have any excitement or energy remotely to face X-mas. The few people I need to buy gifts for is a hardship pysically and financially for me. Thats before even facing family and friends getting together. I don't deal well with multiple people getting together for hours on end. It's not fun for me anymore. I struggle with making coffee and putting instant oatmeal in the microwave for 2 min. not to mention trying to help put together a meal for a dozen or more people. The idea of it simply sounds exhausting, then presents and clean up! My Christmas wish is to cancel the holiday and be left alone. I know I sound like quite the scooge, but I really feel that way. I'm very grateful for my family and friends, yet I'm confused and overwhelmed easily. Due to my MS cognitive problems and mood disorder I'm simply not the extravert I use to be. I feel like an idiot who doesn't know whats going on, I don't fit into the conversations, and could hardly wait till everone leaves and I could go lay down. Sorry I sound so bah humbug about christmas.
  • garycadle441
    When I was a kid I couldn't wait for Christmas, and now as a bigger kid, I still can wait for Christmas. We go home every year and what always starts off awesome usually ends up with my Dad doing his yearly picking at me, and makes me wonder why we even go back...but, we still do. He likes to say things like, "You know if you would just exercise more you would feel better." Oh, and this is one of his favorites, "You don't look too tired to me, you sure seem to be fine using your iPad." I was a Paramedic for 13 1/2 years and stress never was an issue that bothered me, but now what used to be a simple annoyance, sets my symptom into overdrive. We even had to come back one year ON Christmas day because of an argument between 2 other family members that just made it too unbearable to be there, and, we ended up eating at Denny's for our dinner (which was actually pretty good, to be honest). So, I suggest Valium and an awesome spouse to keep you centered (my wife is my rock and always has my back) and get lots of rest when you can. This year I am determined to take it easy and enjoy what Christmas is all about, rest a lot when I can, and eat lots of pumpkin pie. 
  • jennifer_m
    I love Thanksgiving and also Christmas. This is just my second Christmas with my M.S. diagnosis and I'm still trying to figure out my limits, but one thing I will NOT do is give up testing those limits. I come from a long line of baking women and when I get the yen to do up some cookies I ask my husband and brother to help me out if my energy isn't up to snuff. I also acknowledge that other people may get teed off during the holidays (me included) but I don't have to indulge those feelings. 
    Lean strong on your family and, if you're a praying person, lean on The Allmighty and you can have happy holidays too.
  • tonyasm
    My first ur w dx but they have suspected ms for awhile and I too love holiday tradition and baking ! I always cook thanksgiving for at least 30 and bake all weekend in December for the holiday to share with people I love! But this year I struggle a lot but I keep pushing my self I refuse to not create good memories because my kids deserve it thanks for letting me know I'm not alone 
  • maria1
    Stress does not equal tense muscles. As long as i remember that the increase in activity and emotion are no reason to keep the muscles tense it is a beat the clock exercise that doesnt cost too much, haha. Soft muscles make for a better year.
  • flash1011
    How do you celebrate when you have no get up and go!!! This has depressed me this Christmas and I don't want to be a failure to my family.
  • lveglatte
    Thank goodness for online shopping!!
  • judymanza
    Amen to that and grownup kids who want money!!
  • jlwagner12
    Amen to that!! I did 99% of my shopping on line and the rest was gift cards.
  • bugseroni122091
    My family on my mom's & dad's & step-mom's family all meet on Christmas Eve for boos & food & I am finally at the age where I can make my own decision to leave or not even show up. I will 25 in 4 days...I'm over this. 
  • KatrinaCo
    This is my first year with MS.  My family has been very supportive.  For Thanksgiving I hosted and between cleaning the house and cooking, I was toast.  I couldn't follow discussions and it was too noisy for me.  Quite upsetting.  So for Christmas, I thought about the things that REALLY matter to me.  I did not host any people.  I baked the cookies that make it Christmas for me.  I planned out gifts for the little ones early and wrapped them early.  And, since we were going to celebrate Christmas elsewhere, I didn't decorate.  No tree, no decorations.  I was surprised how much stress was avoided by nixing the tree! Lights went up in the windows and advent calendars were used.  
    We also shared meal prepat our family gathering.  Each of the family units took care of preparing one meal. I prepared brunch Christmas Day.  I chose simple recipes.  It still felt like a lot of work but it worked out.  (And I apologized for my crabbiness)
    I opted out of going to the park with the kids and generally steered clear of the noisiness.  
    I know I am fortunate to have an understanding family.  I have also provided updates as I learned more about MS (as some family members and friends expressed questions).  

    Happy new year!
  • ginnyfree
    I'm tired!  It isn't until you say these words to another person who battles chronic fatigue that their meaning and impact is fully appreciated.  I get soooooooo tired, breathing seems to take effort.  Zapped.  I am flattened and have to wait for time to pass before I can begin to do all that I need to do.  I am new to this place and just finding my way around.  I liked this article.  It is great to be able to share with others finally.  People who understand what I'm going thru.  I DO also have a "new normal," and it is much worse than my old "new normal."  I want the old normal back, but it doesn't look like I'm going to fully get that back.  Once things even out, and I am still waiting and hoping, I'll have some place in between the two.  I'm not there yet.  Merry Christmas everyone.  God bless.  Ginnyfree.
  • prenticestudio1
    I have simplified in almost every possible way short of ignoring the holiday entirely. I put up a tree (artificial) but I have help to do it.  Almost every gift (and there are not that many) is bought online. I do not bake cookies, I do not entertain in my house.  My inlaws host a lovely Christmas Eve get together.  After 20 years with MS, you'd think I would have learned to accept my limitiations.  I have not.  I seethe with fury because I cannot participate in a way that I did pre-MS.  I stop often and take a deep breath. I get out in nature and walk around--alone--because I am often not fit for human interaction.  I remind myself that this all goes away on December 26th. I find these things temporarily soothing. Then I just "white knuckle" it and bite my tongue.  I have help, I have support, I have a lovely family.  As I write this I am confused about why I am so CRABBY but there it is.  And now it is December 27 and I am just fine again.
  • Pamela64
    I am now in my 5th year of being diagnosed and this year for the holiday's I relinquished my Christmas Eve family gathering to my brother to host.  It was always my favorite thing to do at Christmas.  I usually take time off around Christmas but I couldn't this year, so the party had to go.  It bummed me out, but there's always next year.
  • Tim-D
    2.5 years since DX. I love Christmas, and especially having extra time off work to cook and host our large family, including married kids with grandkids. I throw myself into each day of happy domestic activity with the best intentions, and often hit a wall of fatigue. I'm ok with it, because the family has come to understand that hubby, Dad, Grandpa loves everyone, and loves to host everyone, but often needs to "tap out" and recover. We have all learned to anticipate a bit, prepare a bit, understand and pitch in a lot. Living with MS, I appreciate each happy Christmas moment even more, even if I'm a reclining observer and not the life of the party.
  • g3rdas
    At first just to relax, start meditating. Notify others that You are starting a peacful life.