Nobody wants to be the party pooper, but for those in pain, uncomfortable with the bloating and heavy bleeding that can plague women with uterine fibroids, ‘making merry’ doesn’t always come naturally.
Here’s a 5-step plan to get through the holidays with your own ray of sunshine.
Acknowledge that it can be tough.
These feelings are appropriate and legitimate. That’s an important message to internalize. There’s nothing wrong with you for not being an eternal light of happiness and perfection. You’re right… it’s hard. Once you lose the guilt over the unchosen situation in which you find yourself, you open up the possibilities for finding personalized solutions.
Prioritize and strategize.
Get your calendar and make a list, with the assistance a friend or your partner, of all upcoming events over the next, say… six weeks. Also list any prep-work (cooking a large meal, decorating the house, baking cookies) that is normally included over this period. Take some time with this list, perhaps even returning to it numerous times over a few days.
Now, with whomever you choose, or even by yourself, find three colored pens. One will be for the “musts”, one for those items that depend on how you’re feeling – the “maybes”, and the third color will be your “skip” list. Yep, SKIP, as in you don’t need to be everywhere and do everything. Let. It. Go. Sometimes, just seeing a schedule that is less intimidatingly full is, in itself, a relief.
Check your stock of medications, pads, tampons and any other supplies you need to feel as comfortable as possible. Make sure the supply is more than enough to keep you out of long lines in the stores. If you’re unsure what to have at home, read our suggestions and see what makes sense for you. Have everything in a convenient place. This will avoid the frustration of searching through the house with nerves on edge and energy at a low, for items you need.
Find your joy.
Life, even life with a chronic condition like uterine fibroids, does hold joy. Children’s smiles, the beauty of winter, certain smells and the excitement of the season can bring you joy. If life is still overwhelming, how about running on the bliss of your own hot, scented bath? Nobody needs to know the source of your smile. Let them think that you simply adore the non-stop, tinkly music and gaudy displays while in actuality, you have found your own sources of happiness.
Use the buddy system.
Much as loved ones may try to be understanding, only those experiencing similar challenges can truly, wholly understand. Find yourself a fibroid buddy, either through your doctor, suggesting she give your contact details to a patient she feels may be an appropriate match for you, or through internet-based support groups, or just sending out feelers through friends, family or clergy. Share your ups and downs with someone who really knows exactly what it’s like. As T.A. Webb says, “A burden shared is a burden halved.”
When seasonal joviality starts to make you nauseous, bouncing back or at least managing is entirely possible. Realistically consider the whole story, within the framework of what you’re dealing with in life, then systematically figure out how to handle this year’s merriment. Keep your own happiness, health and comfort as your primary goal. We wish you a fulfilling holiday season and a year of health and happiness.