Symptoms & Reactions

Holiday “Break”

Christmas Cookies

It’s two days before Christmas, and as I struggle to gear up for the holiday “break,” I’m reminded that there’s really no break from Lupus. The holiday is full of memories of Christmas sugar cookies and hope for the future. I cling to those while dealing with the pain and limitations of the present…. **



One word to describe my Lupus body today:  Throbbing

Which habits and rituals did I practice to soothe my Lupus body?

  • Slept well
  • Smiled and laughed
  • Protected delicate skin
  • Breathed fresh air

More details about my physical symptoms:
It’s nearing the end of the year, and my insurance for physical therapy sessions has run out. I’m limited to 25 sessions per year, so we try to spread them out as much as possible—one session per week. It’s really the worst possible time to run out, too, because with all the holiday activity, my body is literally throbbing all over. Even with the pain, I pushed myself to bake my traditional gluten-free Christmas sugar cookies today, an indulgence that I refuse to give up at this time of year. My son and I used to bake them when he was much younger, and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. And, after all the heart a-fib drama just before Thanksgiving, I’m reminded that life is too short not to have my gluten-free Christmas sugar cookies! (I’m sure I’ll pay the price with a bit more inflammation, but it’ll be worth it, I hope.)



One word to describe my Lupus mind today: Pensive

Which habits and rituals did I practice to strengthen my Lupus mind?

  • Managed expectations
  • Managed time and energy
  • Asked for and accepted help

More details and thoughts about how I’m feeling emotionally today:
Being chronically ill at holiday time gives you a lot to think about—much like the story, A Christmas Carol. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future haunt me—as I reminisce about happier holidays when I was healthier and felt better, mostly during my childhood; as I think about how much of a physical struggle it is now just to get through this “festive” season; and as I wonder whether or not I’ll be around next Christmas at all. I remind myself that these are just thoughts and that I should not let them consume me, but it’s difficult….



One word to describe my spirit today: Comforted

Which habits and rituals did I practice to nurture my Lupus spirit?

  • Enjoyed sacred space
  • Meditated, prayed, visualized

Thoughts about my spiritual connection and spiritual lessons learned today:
My spiritual connection at Christmas time is the one thing that has remained constant no matter how poorly I’m feeling. Celebrating the birth of the Light of the World when there’s so much darkness and pain gives me comfort, hope, and joy for the world and for myself. It puts everything into perspective—giving me just what I need to get out of my own head and into the celebration of the meaning and Spirit of Christmas.



Today my meals were:

  • Breakfast: Omelet, homemade salsa
  • Lunch: Paleo banana muffin, Gala apple
  • Dinner: Homemade pasta sauce with gluten-free penne pasta
  • Snacks: Gluten-free pretzels
  • Water: 37 ounces



At least one thing that I’m grateful for today:

  • Christmas Light
  • Family



**(This post is based on the format of the Lupus Diary that I developed for keeping track of how Lupus affects my body, mind, and spirit, I check-in here once a week to let you know about the more interesting days of my Lupus journey. To learn more about the Lupus Diary, how I developed it, and why I use it, click here.)


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