Day-to-day life after a catastrophic injury such as a spinal injury, broken bones or reconstructed ligaments is never easy. Each day presents a new challenge such just getting around the house or struggling through another day of rehab. These challenges are compounded by the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season.
The Holiday Season is never easy. Enjoyable, fun, filled with family and friends, gift giving and fellowship, but never easy. There are places to be, food to prepare and, though we all love seeing our families and friends during this festive season, exhausting. Imagine doing all these things when you’re hobbled by a catastrophic injury.
Well, there are some things you can do to eliminate some of the stress – and pain – of dealing with the Holidays with an injury that can help you to still enjoy the upcoming Holiday Season.
You know your limitations. Plan your holiday events around those limitations. If you need help going to the restroom, wider lanes so you can move around and visit or comfortable chair that allows you to prop up and injured leg or rest your back, let your loved ones know. They want to help, and they want you to be there and enjoy yourself. Let them help.
Your recovery takes priority – even during the Holidays. If you have a routine of physical therapy, rest and routine checkups, do your very best to stick to it. If you feel you cannot do to travel or other impediments, speak with your primary care physician or physical therapist about alternative ways you can continue your treatment at home without the need for an in-house visit.
Sometimes no amount of accommodation will allow you to do what you used to do – at least for now. In that case, it’s time to create new traditions. If your extended family used to decorate your Grandparent’s ten-foot tall tree each Christmas, maybe, switch it up and have a Christmas crafting session that allows everyone to remain seated. If you used to go volunteer at the local homeless mission, maybe consider making bags with items the homeless you can use and having a friend or family member deliver them for you. You can make it work, you can feel the Holiday Spirit just as strongly, you just have to be creative.
You might not be able to everything you’re accustomed to. That’s ok. Understand your new limits and be patient and understanding with yourself. Know that when you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to step back, take a break and evaluate. In fact, we encourage it.
Catastrophic injuries require a period of adjustment. It’s a system of trial and error. Be patient with yourself while you figure things out. Communication is key. Keep the lines of communication with your doctor, physical therapist and family.
At MSA, we specialize in helping our patients through the times in their recovery. We understand that the Holidays are stressful. Let us help. Contact us today!