Reaching for Christmas

A%20Charlie%20Brown%20Christmas%20coverChristmas this year is proving to be difficult. While Christmas pasts have held some level of mental fatigue in both the years before MS and the years since, I have never been denied any of my Christmas physically…until now. The weekend after Thanksgiving is when we decorate. There are three Christmas decorations that are a part of Christmas that really matter to me and are traditions that I don’t want my family to be without – the tree, the Nativity and the mantle. I know these things are not the important parts of Christmas but, as a mother and a homemaker, they feel important to me. They are my contributions to my family’s Christmas. Unfortunately, my body is having no part of Christmas this year and decided to take it out on the tree first. Whether it was trying to balance on the ladder, keeping a breakable ornament in my hand and off of the tile floor or being able to use my arms and legs long enough to get things done without going numb I failed. After a few days, I naturally began to stress and feel guilty that it wasn’t done which only makes it worse. While it isn’t certain if stress can cause a relapse, it does worsen symptoms and can do so rather extremely. This made for a rather pathetic cycle. It took me almost two weeks to finish our tree! I still have to get the mantle done which isn’t anywhere close to the job the tree is and the Nativity is really just a matter of finding the right storage box but I know that it isn’t going to get done today and most likely tomorrow. As I was feeling pathetic getting the tree completed I kept seeing the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and every time my body failed in someway I saw Lucy pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown was going to kick it.

Christmases

Everyone reminisces and daydreams. Today, along with everyone else with a disease like     MS, I’m thinking about Christmases of yesterday as well as trying to imagine my Christmases in the future. I’m trying to balance my emotions and especially my fears. When I think of Christmases in the past I’m left with not only smiles from the memories but regret because I’m sure I could have appreciated it all more at the time. When I imagine my future Christmases I immediately fret about the scary possibilities. Fortunately, I almost immediately have excitement for how it can be. I could still be relapse free and even better I could be symptom free. It seems like as soon as one new therapy is released talk of three more is all the buzz. This is a gift indeed. As the story goes I will too. I can only react to today and by realizing all that is good, even with my MS, I am laying the groundwork for merry Christmases to come as well as seeing my past Christmases through a rosier lens. Despite my MS, I am truly blessed. Merry Christmas!