It’s been almost four years since I made anything about Christmas, the festive period and how being chronically ill can make this time a little different to others.
My past four Christmases have been pretty varied, from working during the period to being able to go home and celebrate with family. We’ve travelled home for the period, cooked our own Christmas dinner and actually forwent it once when I was rather unwell.
So as you can see, Christmas can be different each year or it can be really consistent.
When it is consistent, you can prepare ahead without too much worry and anxiety.
In times like this, I tend to follow these steps:
- Ensure you have your medications and supplies ordered well before the Christmas period to avoid delays and running low. Chirstmas is a busy period for every aspect of this process so its always simplier to be ahead of the game. Depending on when the Day and bank holidays fall, depends on cut off dates for delvieries etc. So always keep that in mind. Most GPs and supply companies will work ahead of this and keep you informed on when the last day is to order.
- Have some flare up safety items in your house. Extra fluids, easy meals, simple and plain food, just in case you have some symptoms.
- If you are travelling for the holidays, pack extra of everything you might need if you get sick away from home. I take extra stoma bags, medications including my pain relief and something comfy to lounge around in if i needs to. I never travel in very tight clothing and have extra pants and socks just in case too.
- You don’t have to eat like it goes out of fashion or drink excessively because its the holidays! I have one or two drinks while with family and try to not overcrowd my plate with food. Food is always different at Christmas, and while it gives me really fond childhood memories, I always don’t want to overdo it. I’ve been unexpected sick at family’s house and it was super stressful. I would not recommoned.
- But in the same breathe, I always have a good time. I try to not worry too much about controlling everyrthing because sometimes things just happen. And all of my family understand and know about my IBD and stoma. If i disappear for a while, they don’t worry.
But when its a bit more unpredictable and plans don’t go to plan, I have these backup steps in place to make the most of a possibly uncomfortable and new situation:
- Don’t cook a huge meal if you don’t want to! There is alot of pressure each time you go into a supermarket, or speak to someone or even go online, to do a massive and tradditonal Christmas, and if its just you and your partner, a big and fancy spread won’t do you any good to prepare and make, let alone eat it all. Be sensible.
- Also, if you do want to make a meal, be realistic. Cooking can be exhausitng when you are unwell.
- If you spend the holidays resting and not soclaising like everyone else or spending it at home just being cosy, thats okay too.
- If the worst happens, and you are unwell, make sure you have plently of meidcaitons, supplies and flare up food to get you through a couple days. Hospitals tend to be busier during the holidays and while they might be the right place for some, it might not be for you. I always prefer to ride it out abit and avoid an admission if my team are on leave.
- But that being said, if you are very unwell and need help, don’t hestiate to call 111 or attend A&E, you will always be seen.
- Enjoy the relaxing and unexpected gift of time alone. If you don’t enjoy this, you can always video chat or call family and friends. You’re not alone.
Here are some articles from around the internet for more tips and tricks:
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada – Festitivies, not flare-ups: 10 tips to survive the Holidays with Crohn’s or Colitis
Until next time,
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram