It's the second week in December and I haven't bought one present, sent one Christmas card, or hung one Christmas tree ornament. Every December my husband and I take our son to New Hampshire to get the festivities rolling. This year I couldn't even get around to planning our winter getaway. At first glance, this could be seen as having the holiday blues but in fact it's quite the opposite. You see I've been stable since March when I first started Tecfidera. After a few months I felt so well that I started the adaptive rowing program at Spaulding Rehab in August and began rowing a total distance of 2800 meters a month. This month I am on pace to row just shy of 14,000 meters a month. To the trained athlete this may not seem like much but to a person suffering from secondary progressive MS it's the difference between losing hope and feeling like I can fight back. So you see, I can't afford to expend too much energy on the holiday. Besides, no one ever remembers what you bought them for Christmas.
My days are carefully orchestrated to include the right amount of exercise, a well-balanced diet, and most importantly enough rest. Both my husband and I come from big families and our calendar is full from Thanksgiving until just after New Year's. Unfortunately, not everyone understands how stressful the holidays can be and what a great impact they can have on someone with MS. Contrary to how it may sound, I am not opting out of holiday season activities. I just can't allow my condition to take a step backward. in order to reduce stress, save time, and energy I am going to opt out of finding personalized gifts and instead give gift cards, send electronic Christmas cards instead of the paper cards and put my tree together a little later than usual. I am meeting my new neurologist tomorrow for the first time and if Santa is kind, she will be at least half as good as my former doctor.
My husband reminds me that I must adapt, innovate, and overcome. If you have some tips or suggestions that work for you, I would love to hear them.
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