|During the holiday season, families are busy with present shopping, eating, parties and good times with friends. Although it is a great time of year, for someone with a chronic illness, it can be an incredibly taxing and stressful season to maneuver through.|
First of all, people with chronic illness, and yes, even Lyme Disease, are often on special diets. Many adhere to an organic diet and/or a gluten free diet in order to eliminate any side effects related to over consumption of gluten and insecticides. Many also avoid alcohol (common at holiday parties) and sweets (also available in extreme amounts at holiday parties). Offer tasty, healthy alternatives to these commonplace items at your party. Confer with your friend in advance to see if there is something you can provide at a get together which would be festive but healthy.
Tired and in Pain
Holidays are exhausting. Many who are battling Lyme disease and its associated illnesses are fatigued and in pain 24 hours a day. Please don’t be offended if your friend has to leave early, asks to lie down or tells you that they can only stay for a little while. Believe me, they would love to stay longer, but, for many it hurts to stand/sit too long.
Last Minute Cancellations
One of the difficulties of Lyme disease is that you cannot really see from the outside that someone is ill. Sometimes pain and fatigue sneak up on someone and cause them to have to cancel plans. It’s not anything you did, it is the unfortunate circumstances which surround Lyme disease and its accompanying ailments. One painful night with no sleep can cancel the entire upcoming week’s schedule.
Acts of Kindness
It is not only difficult for the individual suffering with a chronic illness such as Lyme Disease to prepare for the holiday but it is also overwhelming for their partner and family. If you have time, offer to wrap presents, provide them with a meal, take the children for a couple of hours or help with housework. This would be a special gift for them to remember.
Learn more about Lyme Disease and/or Volunteer
By learning more about this illness you get a deeper understanding of how this effects the individual and his/her family. You begin to understand how someone can look just fine but are suffering silently. You will learn the importance of awareness, education and more research funds needing to be allocated. Volunteering will arm you with the necessary tools to help others know the necessity for prevention and what they can do to make a difference. The hours spent will be rewarding!
by Jennifer Coe