Does Christmas throw you into a massive nonstop FLARE??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by RedHeadEMT, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    Last night we brought home the Christmas tree. I ended up staying up until past 3am, decorating the tree and the house, then cleaning up the aftermath.

    I woke up and I literally could not move. I had to take my strong pain meds and wait till they kicked in until I could even get out of the bed.

    I rested with the cat lying on me until the late afternoon and then like I freak, I couldn't stand the pine needles on the carpet, and a slightly messy kitchen/dining area. SO, I decided to finish the decorating in that room, vacuum, finish cleaning, and to top it off, make a batch of rice crispie treats for my hubby.

    I just finished about a half hour ago and I feel like death.

    Nasty weather is rolling in; it's supposed to rain all weekend and it is making everything worse. I still want to clean the bathroom, but my husband walked in as I was sweeping the kitchen floor, took one took at me, and physically escorted to the couch and told that I am not allowed to do anything else today.

    Why do I do this to myself every Christmas, every holiday, at that? I still have to do all of my gift shopping, mail out my Christmas cards, wrap all the gifts, cook, cook, cook, clean, clean, clean.

    I usually bad about pacing myself on a regular basis as it is, but during the holidays, it seems SO MUCH WORSE. It feels like I am in a constant flare-up, punctuated by a day or two of lesser pain here and there, instead of having it the other way around.

    Am I the only one that this happens to or is it something that others experience as well?

  2. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    It's either something we've all experienced or something we've all learned to work around and avoid.

    We've all had to at some point, come to grip with our limitations and learn to live with them.

    That means that there's no way you can stay up until 3:00am to decorate a tree. Next year, get a 3 foot tree and put it on top of a coffee table with a red table cloth.

    See what I mean? We learn to tree this year is a 2 1/2 ft fiber optic and it's really pretty. I've decorated it a bit and it suits us. (Yes, my kids are grown but....)

    When they were younger, I watched while they decorated our tree (real) when I wasn't feeling well. Learning to let go is a thing you'll learn quickly if you want to avoid overdoing it.

    You need rest, your body needs rest and the other things will just have to wait, be pared down or delegated for someone else to do.

    Take care of yourself first, then everything else can take care of itself....and yes, we were all overacheivers at one time....we adjust.

    Hugs & Happy Holidays,

    Nancy B
  3. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    Nancy B. has given you some excellent advice. One way I cope with Christmas is I do all my shopping online. This year I was able to do it all at Amazon and Ebay. You would be surprised at how much you can get done online. Most places have free shipping offers this time of year too. Give it a try. And SLOW down :)

  4. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member


    Everything that you said to me makes so much sense when I THINK ABOUT IT, but it just seems like when I am IN the situation, I lose all ability to think responsibly.

    Also, often, once I know that I have already overdone it for that day, I continue to push myself as far as I can, with the thought that I am already going to be in a flare-up come the next day--might as well get the most out of it. Isn't that just crazy?

    You ARE right though...I really NEED to take better care of myself. It seems like the only time I do that is when my husband is home on the weekends, and refuses to let me get up. lol He's only home all day once or twice a week, so it's up to me the rest of the time.

    Lynna, I will definitely try to shop online, as I never really have. Thanks for the tip! I really appreciate it.

    Thanks so much, again, ladies. TAKE CARE!!!!!

  5. littlebrownwren

    littlebrownwren New Member

    hope this makes sense because I am under the influence of my drugs.

    I have been decorating the house for Christmas. Something I enjoy doing, Seems I over did it a bit.

    Have been in a lot of pain.

    Saturday afternoon I decided to go to the local mall to "ONE" store to look for a particular color of pants my husband wanted. NO luck, so I ambled on to other stores. Before I knew it I was at The opposite end of the mall from my car.

    I had to walk all the way back. Almost didn't make it. I could barely pick my feet up and when I put them down I had to walk on the sides of my feet.

    I got my hubby to massage my feet and took 2 darvocet. Had a hard time getting my body settled to sleep.

    Got up this morn and took my darvocet ,prednisone,plaquenil and B12 vitamins.

    Decided to finish my mantle{"It is beautiful"}.
    Had unexpected company with kitchen dishes still on sink. Decided to at least clean the kitchen.

    I did, but then I couldn't walk and my back was coming into.

    For the first time I sorta abused my Meds. I took 2 darvocet and 10 mg of zanax and called my daughter to come stay with me until I was able to lay down, as the pain was so severe I had to sit up in a chair and rock back and forth,, crying the whole time, to get any relief at all.

    Finally dozed off for and hour or so but it is still excruciating to put my feet on the floor. Back pain has abated somewhat.. but it is now time for night meds and hope that I will wake up in less pain in the morning and at least be able to walk.

    SO yes this happens to me too.

    I'm so sorry any of us has to go through this.


    Since I have fibro and rheum. arthritis I'm not sure if it the the arthritis , fibro or both. Either way I have no idea how I am going to finish my shopping.

    ****Somebody remind me not to post when I am in "Excruciating"pain. I am not able to spell 1st grade words.LOL

    I'm glad some one was able to decipher this mess.[This Message was Edited on 12/10/2006]
  6. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    I completely understand what you are going thru. Reading what you wrote put a lump in my throat because I feel like I am just going to DIE too, that's how much pain I have been in recently.

    I have been laying with my heating pad, on the couch, all day, luckily, first day in a loooong time, with my husband brnging me food and drinks, only getting up wto use the bathroom. God bless him.

    He has been doing so much today. I realized that our fridge is near empty, knowing how much my hubby hates grocery shopping, I threw on some sweat pants and a big sweater and meandered outside into the pouring rain. My husband tried to desperately talk me out of going shopping, but he knows that once I have made up my mind, there is no use in trying to talk me out of it.

    So, he walked me downstairs and helped me into the car, gave me my handicapped placard from the other car and off I went.

    When I got to the grocery store, I looked around for the electric cart for handicapped folks, but I couldn't find it. I figured someone else was probably using it, so I just took a regular cart and leaning on it, ambled on, shuffling slowly.

    (I had only used one of those electric carts when I was in a long cast after ankle surgery, just to show you how inexplicably WRETCHED I feel).

    It took me almost two hours to walk the entirety of the store. I spent almost 15 minutes staring at the various pads/tampons, as my brand wasn't on sale, until everything blurred together and I ended up leaving without anything from that aisle, because I was so frustrated from the fibrofog.

    Trying to put evrything up from the cart to the electric sliding rubber runner thingy for the cashier was horrendous. By this point I was in so much pain that I felt numb and was having that nasty cold sweat running down my back, while my face burned as everyone behind me in line watched me because it was taking so long for me to empyt my cart.

    The bagger asked me if I needed help to my car and even though I've only asked for this help once before, I really wanted it today. BUT again, I saw that only two lanes were open and if the bagger left, that would mean that the cashier would have to do the bagging and everyone in the line behind me's time in line would be doubled.

    So, I declined and staggered with the heavy cart to my car. By the time I had loaded the groceries into my trunk and somehow got into my car, I sat in the front seat, shaking, for another ten minutes, nauseous and exhausted from the pain.

    WHY THE HELL DID I DECIDE TO GO GROCERY SHOPPING?! Have I completely lost my mind?


    I will never learn.

  7. sixtyslady

    sixtyslady Member

    you know I"d almost get sick about christmas.when I"d just think about it.

    but this year I"ve scaled back and just given gift cetificats to all.
    I only shopped for my hubby and son that lives at home.and most of that I did on the internet,delivered right to my door.
    I cut back on decorating and trying to make our house look like Martha stewart,s
    and I"m really doing good this year.feel much more relaxed and in the spirit. merry christmas, sixtyslady
  8. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    I seem to be getting better every year at taking care of myself more. That hasn't meant that I have a less joyful holiday either, it is just being wiser about choices, and deciding what is worth my efforts..and what is not!

    I try to schedule only one busy day..between several quiet ones, and that alone is easing the stress..and the pain...that can come with the season. Plus I start a lot earlier in the year making plans, ordering or shopping for gifts etc. So far so good!LOL
  9. Chris3251

    Chris3251 New Member

    I'm getting the same lectures from my daughters because I'm up til 3am most nights, a couple nights ago I was still up at 4am.

    For the most part though I've been in such a bad flare, I have no choice but to lean on them. But I still manage to do something stupid which sets me back even further.

    I've done ALL of my Christmas shopping online. In addition my daughters bday is on the 14th so I did her bday shopping online and my oldest daughter is making her cake and doing ALL of the party decorations. She's 19 and really jumped in full force to make Caiti's sweet 16 a great one.

    We have a prelit, artificial tree, so I didn't have to mess with lights. Plus I'm a firm believer in "less is more" so I put mostly small bows and hand crafted ornaments on the tree to give it that "country" look. It didn't take long to put those on thank goodness.

    You're probably just used to the holidays being so busy and for someone who is healthy, it's not a big deal but for us its a totally different story. And if you're used to dealing with the holiday hustle and bustle its hard to change your mindset even when you have physical limitations. At least that's the situation in my case.

    I think overall the holidays require even more "pacing". I hope you get through the rest of the season with less pain and happier days.

    {{Take care of you}}
  10. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    I feel you on the grocery store the time I get to the checkout line I am dripping sweat and feel like everyone is staring at me. I HATE THAT !!!

    When I'm feeling really bad I order groceries from Safeway online.....they are usually able to deliver the next day. If it's something I need urgently I have a 20 year old daughter that is really good about running to the store for a few items.

    Try the online shopping thing.....I've been doing it for 8 years and it's AWESOME !

  11. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    Is there a fee for online shopping/delivery? If so, how much is it?

    If you want to get veggies or fruits, do they pick "good" ones, or ones that are unripe or bruised?

    Thanks for the suggestion, Lynna! I'll definitely check it out; could you answer the questions above, too, if you have a chance? I'd really appreciate it...

  12. kriket

    kriket New Member

    It does me. I end up in a shopping frenzy that seems endless. I wear my mind completely out, wondering what to get everyone and am I gonna have enough money. Blah, the list goes on and on. walk my legs off shopping, get stiff sitting in the floor wraping presents, and am just plain exhausted come x-mas. Whewwwww!!! That was a lot to get out. LOL

  13. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member



  14. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    I have had pretty good luck with Safeway, I probably use it 8 times a year. I think the regular delivery charge is 9.95 but if you are willing to wait a day it is only 5.95. Check the website on that cuz I could be wrong. Also, once you order they will start sending you cards in the mail for free or discounted delivery.

    My local store is very good at picking fruits and veggies and meat too. It takes longer to shop online until you get used to it but it is sooooo worth it to not have to go through the sensory overload and physical pain of going to the store yourself.

    I would say the only complaint I have is when they make substitutions, i.e. you pick a specific item that is on sale, they run out of it and substitute something different. They do have an option that you can check that says they are NOT to make substitutions. If you do get something that is not accurate they will take it back at delivery and credit your account.

    I also have had a situation where I needed a specific item to make dinner and they didn't have it, but in that case I could at least go to the store for only that item rather than having to do all my shopping in the store.

    It's not a perfect system but is definitely a good "tool" that I use when I need to.

    Hope this helps, if you have any other questions about online shopping feel free to ask, I've been doing it for MANY years and couldn't live without it.

  15. krchamp

    krchamp New Member

    I use to decorate the tree; do the cooking; wrap the presents; so on and so forth. Not anymore. I have a small tree that stays decorated all year - it comes out of the closet and out of the bag in December and back in the bag in the closet after Christmas.

    I shop online for gift cards. I do not wrap and if I do get that one thing that needs wrapping it goes in a Christmas bag.

    I don't cook. Ingles does my cooking. There is no way i am getting up at 3am to put a turkey in the oven (didn't do it at Thanksgiving either). They sell cookies and pies too. So, if anyone doesn't like the way I do it then they can cook it themselves.

    I hate to be mean but I have to take care of me. Otherwise, everyone else enjoys the holidays and I end up in complete misery. I have changed a lot of things after I realized that no one else was short changing me but me. My husband learns that if he doesn't help- then it doesn't get done and he has no underwear. He is really good about those things though- it jsut took a while to train FMS, CFS and other disorders, diseases and syndromes happen to us- we didn't ask for it. So, if others have to make adjustments for me then so be it. If I had cancer or someother disease they would.

  16. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    I read in your post:

    I have a small tree that stays decorated all year - it comes out of the closet and out of the bag in December and back in the bag in the closet after Christmas.

    OMG I am ROFL.........that is SOOOOO perfect. Why didn't I think of that? That's it, I am finally going to get an artificial tree and keep it decorated....although that probably means I'll have to BUY another closet (my house is small) LOL!! Such a great idea. We finally got our tree yesterday and it drives me nuts every time I walk buy because it's only 1/2 decorated (I ran out of steam last night).

    That's why I LOVE this board. Don't know why I was away for so long.

    I love your attitude. Keep those good suggestions coming.

  17. krchamp

    krchamp New Member

    Get the small tree with fiber optic lights that way you don't have to fool with lights. That saves a lot of time and pain. Get the small ornaments. They make some really pretty ones now. I also bought some small pretty flowers and wired them on the branches. Before you put a small star or Angel on top, take some pretty ribbon and drap it down the tree. It is very pretty and you have a pain free tree. Good luck!!
    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2006]
  18. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    For some reason, my husband bought a fruitcake during our stock-up grocery trip right before Thanksgiving. Last night he finally took it out of the refrigerator and cut himself a huge slice. He poured himself some eggnog, took it to the big chair in front of the fire, and he prepared to enjoy.

    Literally not 60 second later, I hear, "Well, I'm DONE with fruitcake forEVER! Why do I DO this to myself!!!"

    I keep telling him we need to write this stuff down -- and every year, we need to read through our *What I Learned This Year* book and refresh our memories. But we never will!

    And next year, I have NO DOUBT that my husband will buy yet another fruitcake. It's that special kind of amnesia -- like the kind that makes you forget the pain of childbirth and replaces it with warm fuzzies about having a baby.

    Now I get around to answering the original question -- no, Christmas doesn't do this to me. We actually get to spend Christmas at home -- and the entire week after. What kills me is Thanksgiving. I'm only just now recovering!
  19. Prunella

    Prunella New Member

    Juloo, you said it so well!!! Every Christmastime I have chocolate and walnut amnesia! I am paying for it right now. Can't wait for this to pass.
  20. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye New Member

    Christmas is when I feel the most I KNOW I am sick and the healthy people are all around me.

    The girls at work are chit chatting about going shopping here and there, going to this party or another and I run into the local Walgreens and come out drained...I can't imagine tackling a mall every weekend like they are cheerfully doing.

    I try to keep the chin up but it is hard this time of the year because I used to enjoy doing it all during the holidays but those days are behind me now. :)


    The irony of life is that by the time you're old enough to know your way around, you're not going anywhere.

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