The Holidays with Myasthenia Gravis
Last updated: September 2023
I remember the busy days of preparing for the holidays. There was always so much to do, but I never gave it a second thought. Between preparing meals, decorating, shopping, and the steady stream of visiting friends and family, it was always a wonderful blissful time. Not to mention, attending all the different programs at school to church. The last 90 days of each year were always filled with activity.
The smells, sights, and the sounds swirled constantly, creating their own fantasy world. I looked forward to that every year. But as the years went by, I knew something was not right with my health. The doctors couldn't figure it out either. Slowly, all the magic of the holiday seasons started to dwindle. I could no longer keep up the pace of socializing or decorating. Shopping turned into a chore.
The stress of MG
I was only in my mid-20s, but I assumed I was just exhausted from being a mom of 2 small children. I kept pushing to keep up the appearance. After all, weren't all parent exhausted during the holiday season?
Now at the age of 60, and with a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis, I understand why I had trouble keeping up that pace. It wasn't because I had small children. It wasn't normal to be that exhausted and fatigued all the time. I also understand why, as years went by, that magical time turned into a real nightmare for me.
Now, those smells, sights, and sounds are almost overwhelming. Myasthenia gravis stress is stress. It causes my muscles to fatigue quickly - it's like a shot of adrenaline and then everything goes weak very quickly.
Holidays after diagnosis
My husband and I prefer to stay home. We don’t go to family get-togethers or out with friends. Occasionally, we have our kids and our grandchildren over to eat an easily-prepared meal. We no longer decorate. All of the decorations are packed neatly away.
Handwriting has always been hard. It's kind of a hit or miss if can actually write legibly. Now sending cards is a thing of the past. And trying to wrap gifts? Well, let's just say a 3-year-old could probably do a neater job!
Most of my shopping has come down to ordering online and having it delivered to the house. By shopping this way, I can spend as much time as I need. I get tired, I just have to log out and my shopping cart is still full ... even if it's a week later! The best part is, some of what I have in my cart can go on sale during that time, I don't even have to worry about looking for deals!
It's okay to say "no"
If you have to say "no" during the holidays it's okay. Although I would truly like to have that magical time again, I am content just the way things are now. Myasthenia gravis alone has too many twists and turns. I don't need to add stress, just to feel like I'm fitting in. Health is way more important!
How often do you experience MG exacerbations/flares?