two versions of the same home during the holidays, but one has far less decorations due to adjusting to holidays with myasthenia gravis

Holidays After Myasthenia Gravis

Last updated: December 2021

The holidays are coming up and for someone with myasthenia gravis (MG), that may mean they look different than we might be used to.

It took me several years to realize my limitations and to stop trying to recreate the same experiences that I had prior to my diagnosis. It can be challenging for us to accept that we aren’t able to do the same things we used to and the holidays are no exception.

Busy schedules

We all know how stressful they can be and for someone with myasthenia gravis, that stress only makes us feel worse. It’s one of our main triggers and can leave us in a flare for days, weeks, or even months which means if we aren’t careful, we could be spending the holidays in bed.

Like many, I used to book holiday parties, holiday shopping, baking, and all of the festivities into an already jam-packed schedule. I would wake up early and go to bed late.

I would worry about family gatherings and ultimately try to make everything perfect for my children even if that meant running myself into the ground. Regardless of putting myself and my health on the back burner, I’d still manage to recover pretty well though.

Learning to slow down

Fast forward to the holidays after an MG diagnosis and I just can’t push through the way I used to - which means I can’t recover the way I used to.

I’ve learned that in order to enjoy the holidays, I have to slow way down. I have to let go of the expectations I have. Listen to my body. Say no to some things, some events, and some people.

The holidays that are supposed to be about others now has to be about my needs first so I can enjoy as much of the holidays as possible with them. It may seem selfish to put yourself first, especially during the holidays, but what I’ve realized is that when I don’t feel well, I’m not the only one that suffers.

Being there for loved ones

The people I love, who want to be with me, also suffer. We miss out on precious time together. Putting my needs first actually means putting them first so I can be there for them the way I want to and celebrate these special occasions, in big or small ways.

After all, watching a movie cuddled up on the couch becomes just as special as a holiday party. Online shopping can be just as fun and it’s much more convenient. Baking one recipe of sweets, rather than multiple, turns out just as delicious.

Knowing your limits

It’s been a blessing to learn these lessons, to slow down and not feel the pressure of the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, it’s difficult at first especially if you’re someone who has been used to going all out in the past.

When you finally learn that it doesn’t serve you or your illness to push past your limits, you can finally enjoy the small moments with your family that much more.

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