Friday, November 28, 2014

Surviving the Holidays with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Surviving the Holidays with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Holidays can be stressful for anyone, but when you live with a chronic illness like Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, it can be especially challenging. Even if we can participate in the festivities, there is likely to be setbacks and payback afterward. On the other hand, if we don't participate, we feel isolated and risk being alienated by family and friends.

Holidays were usually hosted at my house, and I loved it. The house would be decorated, I'd cook appetizers, dinner, and dessert, and socialize with the family. The family would bring their dogs and I'd have a whole house full.

Now that my health is in rapid decline, I've had to learn how to find a balance, and how to do what makes me happy within my own limitations.

Those who are reading this fall into one of two categories: those who suffer with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, and those who have a friend or loved one who is. With that in mind, I would like to try to address surviving the holidays from both perspectives.

From our perspective:

  • Consider shopping online. Going out to shop when you are chronically fatigued or in pain can make us more sick. Perhaps it costs more with shipping costs but the cost to your health would be even greater if you push yourself too hard. Luckily, many retailers offer free shipping during the holidays, and you can also have gifts sent directly to the recipient. If online shopping isn't your thing, consider picking up gifts in small intervals ahead of time, or bringing someone with you.

  • Gift bags are a great alternative to finding boxes, wrapping, cutting, and taping when your joints are hurting.
  • Let go of the guilt that you're not living up to your old life. Priorities can change after you get sick . It's okay to delegate and to take breaks when you need it, and it's okay to say NO when you're not up to something.

  • Let family and friends know ahead of time that you may need to cancel at the last minute depending on your health.

  • Plan months in advance. Holidays often include the stress of doing last minute things. Add brain fog into the mix and it can add even more stress. Make lists so it's easier to keep track of holiday planning. Allow extra time in your planning because bad days are bound to happen.

  • If your holiday plans require travel, pick a time to travel which suits your health. Some people tend to feel better in the morning, others in the afternoon or evening. Remember to take breaks. Be mindful of your destination, too, because climate can also negatively affect your health.

  • Check in with your doctor and see what their hours are during the holidays. Make sure you have enough medication to last through your holiday.

From friends and family perspective:

  • If your loved one has Fluoroquinolone Toxicity and they have to cancel at the last minute because they're not feeling well, it's not personal. Some days even existing is hard and they're just trying to survive.

  • Someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is not anti-social because they need to rest at certain intervals. Sitting quietly in another room is them listening to their own bodies and knowing what will and will not make them sicker.

  • Those affected by Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can be food and chemically sensitive. The food served can cause someone to become very ill and can set back any recovery they have made by days, weeks, months, or longer. The same goes for smells from a fireplace, someone's perfume, Christmas tree, carpet, cleaning agents, air freshener, etc. If your loved one is able to come to your gathering, and they bring their own food, it's not a statement about your food. They could be very sensitive to what you are serving and have their own dietary requirements that they will need you to understand.

  • Travel can be very challenging to someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity whether it's by car, train, or airplane.

  • Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can cause anxiety. Being at a large social gathering can make someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity very uncomfortable.

  • If your loved one is hosting the holidays, ask how you can help or if you can bring something to make it easier for them. Holidays can be overwhelming for even the healthiest individuals; it's even more so when someone has Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.

Holidays can be stressful for everyone, but keeping your needs in mind, or that of your loved ones, it doesn't always have to be.

On behalf of Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, happy, healthy, and safe holiday season to all!

Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

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