Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming!
I know that people always comment on how fast the holidays get here after the year prior, so I wanted to write a post to provide some resources for navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness. This way you can be prepared as you move into the holiday season!
Last year, I experienced my first Thanksgiving and Christmas post-diagnosis. Symptoms had come and gone for years prior to diagnosis (and I can actually remember multiple Christmases of not feeling well), but last year was the first time things were debilitating enough to change the way I participated in festivities.
When I started thinking about the holidays, I honestly felt sadder than I did when thinking about my daily way of life. My treatment protocol was intense, but adding dietary restrictions, depression, and low energy levels to the mix caused uncertainty about participating in anything.
While there were certainly some low points for me during the months of November and December of last year, I learned some things about navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness.
Hello there, sweet reader!
I want you to know that I am so glad you are here!
Since our community has been growing in recent months, I wanted to write a blog post that tells a little bit more of the heart behind the writing on this site.
My name is Emily Lofgren. I’m 26 years old, and I am currently treating Lyme Disease, co-infections, Pyroluria, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and more. Life with chronic illness has been a hard journey for me. I’ve hard periods of times when I wanted to give up, but there was always this deeper, lasting hope within me as the Holy Spirit worked to keep me aware of His presence.
I am a Christian. I love the Lord and desire for my life to reflect Christ. My goal in writing here is to help others who are facing similar life experiences with chronic illness. I want those who are hurting to know that they are not alone and that the Lord will meet them in the midst of the pain.
A little over a year ago, I released an eBook called Finding Hope Through the Fog. It shares about my struggles with chronic illness and what it meant to turn to God when it felt like things are hopeless. I’d love to give you a free copy!
Do you ever wish you could take back something you said?
Do you think about what would have happened had you done something differently?
Do you hold onto regrets?
Holding onto the regrets of my past keeps my mind in a place of frustration. It keeps thoughts swirling and then spiraling until I convince myself that everything in life is horrible. I know it’s not, but when you combine the neurological symptoms of Lyme Disease and co-infections with normal insecurities that people face, I can quickly get into a place of deep, deep melancholy. This kind of mentality isn’t healthy.
When I hold onto things I did wrong and think about ways I didn’t “measure up,” I miss out on the present. Not only that, but negative feelings regarding my past keep me from embracing the woman God created me to be.
Throughout my time of living with chronic illness (pre and post diagnosis), I have made a lot of mistakes. I’ve said and done things that were not kind. I became the needy person I never imagined I would be. I tried to control in whatever ways I could because nearly everything in my life was falling apart.
The whole process of starting Lyme Disease treatment is overwhelming! Information can be conflicting, leaving you unable to figure out what will actually help as you work toward stability.
Lyme Disease is a complex condition. There’s usually a lot more than just Lyme going on in your body if you’re experiencing a whole list of symptoms.
(Before we go any further, I want to make the disclaimer that I am not a medical professional and am unable to diagnose, prescribe a treatment plan, or give medical advice. All information here is informational and is from my experience in treating Lyme Disease.)
Throughout the process of treating Chronic Lyme Disease, I’ve learned a bit about the things I should and shouldn’t do during treatment.
I wrote this blog post to tell you a little bit about the things I did wrong when beginning treatment for Lyme Disease.
I’m not naturally someone who likes rest.
Some people like to take naps and lounge. I often wish I were like them! It would be nice to be able to focus on a Netflix marathon without getting the itch to go do something else. It would be great to be free of thinking of the next thing I would like to be doing.
I don’t mind curling up in a blanket on the couch, but I’d rather be reading a book than watching a movie. If not reading, I would prefer to be writing or brainstorming for a new project. I am all for being cozy, but I like to do it with purpose.
Many days, I wish that resting came naturally to me – that I was someone who could easily watch hour after hour of TV shows to pass the time. When I feel miserable from the pain, fatigue, and brain fog that come from managing several chronic illnesses, I would love to just veg out on the couch and enjoy it!
I’m not a good rester because I desperately want to be doing something. I like to be involved in activities. I like doing work that matters, and I am not very good at stopping.
Have you ever felt this way?
What happens when those of us with chronic illnesses have great intentions but the illnesses we face stop us in our tracks?