Have Yourself A Merry Little “Chronic” Christmas

As Christmas Day fast approaches I imagine most of us, in the chronic illness community, are musing about what we want to realistically achieve over the holiday period.

For those of us with Chronic Disease it can be an incredibly overwhelming time. Just trying to be happy for others, when your body is screaming at you, is enough to make you want to run and hide.

Even if, like me, you have a super quiet Christmas for two planned, there are still concerns. Will I be able to function on the day? Will I manage to stay out of hospital?

No amount of pacing or planning can ensure my body will do the right thing. I will pace though and my husband and I have removed all expectations. We will go with the flow and it doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a struggling day does it? Does it?

Does It Matter If You Can’t Handle Christmas?

Hmmm…..let’s be honest….it does matter. I’d be kidding myself to say it doesn’t. It matters a lot to me. I want my husband and I to enjoy Christmas dinner at the very least. He sacrifices so much without any complaining, so I want him to enjoy turkey with the trimmings.

I want to feel as pain free as possible on the day so I can enjoy opening presents and chatting to family on the phone. I’d like the energy to look forward to phone calls.

I want to have some energy in reserve to really enjoy the Christmas movie we’ve chosen to watch on Christmas night. I don’t want to be wishing it would be over because I can’t find a comfortable position for my broken bones.

I don’t want to be dealing with a stoma blockage because I’ve eaten something on the “naughty list” in the lead up to Christmas.


The Things I Miss

Then there’s the things I miss. I miss not being able to travel to see my Dad and his wife for Christmas. They are so close, only a 2 hour drive away, but it’s so far when you have a broken body.

I miss not getting to a Carol Service and Christmas Eve/Day Church Service. I miss not being able to go to large shopping malls and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

Even for those of us who don’t suffer mental illness, the lead up to Christmas can be a melancholy time. It’s important to acknowledge all those feelings. They are real, important and very, very normal for the chronic illness sufferer.

Feeling a Little Melancholy Is OK!

If you are feeling a little melancholy…….you are not alone.

I will have a lovely Christmas but it will not necessarily be a season of constant joy. It will have moments of delight, moments of extreme fatigue, moments of excruciating pain and then moments of relaxation and rest.

This is the reality for those of us with chronic illness.

Moments full of comfort and love with my husband will always be the highlight for me.

Click here if you’d like a glimpse into my Merry Little Chronic Christmas plans.

This Christmas season, whether you are surrounded by loved ones, home alone, in hospital or dealing with worsening health issues, my hope and prayer for you all is you’ll have moments of a “Merry Little Chronic Christmas”.

Lots of love

Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

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6 thoughts on “Have Yourself A Merry Little “Chronic” Christmas

  1. I have long ago given up on the happiness and joy of the season. I know its age, and really that is OK. Sheryl and i have started a tradition of no music until the last week (it helps my season go easier), We do church and have the family to a Japanese restaurant. We have mostly done away with gifts except for the children and our life is tamer and easier these days.

    I never thought as a child I would come to this, but I started when my mom passed and has only gotten worse as the seasons go on. I am looking forward to January, normal suits me well.


  2. It’s such a shame you can’t see you dad for Christmas, but I wouldn’t consider 2hrs a short drive! That’s hard for me to manage, so I can imagine how difficult it is for you. You’re right, we can’t avoid and ignore the things we can’t do and the things that are disappointing or challenging at Christmas. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge that parts of a chronic Christmas are pretty rubbish, and that it’s okay to not be okay. There’s a lot of pressure on staying positive and being grateful. That’s all great, but we need to give ourselves the chance to breathe and be human, because swallowing down the negatives doesn’t make them go away. Lovely post as always, Sam xx


  3. I think that the not knowing about how our illnesses will behave on any given day is especially difficult for big holidays. Here’s to hoping we all have as good a Christmas as possible!


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