Disclaimer: This post may contain Amazon affiliate information.
I just can’t help the Christmas reference title when everything around me is all Christmasy & cute. Our choir just down the hall from my room has been singing Christmas music since October so I’ve been in the Christmasy mood for a little while. Being in the Christmas spirit does not necessarily mean that you are at all prepared for the holidays or the havoc it can wreak on your gut. Read past my infusion update for my personal tips to maintaining your gut & sanity through the holidays.
I am currently on infusion #16, that is 2 1/4 years on my journey with Entyvio. I have seen so many personal stories of hope or despair, especially in the beginning when I felt like death & that the medicine wasn’t working. I needed to find hope in others words that it would be a fixer and that the side effects and slow healing were part of the process. Not what I wanted to hear when I was in pain and exhausted.
If you stumbled on my story because you have ulcerative colitis, I have a very basic secret for you. There is not a fast fix. Healing is a marathon, not a sprint. Entyvio took approximately 6 months to show big signs of improvement and I have steadily healed since that time. As our bodies start to attack themselves, there are many systems effected. While my gut was tearing itself up, I was bleeding to the point of severe anemia which was in turn causing massive hair loss and extreme fatigue. As the medicine started to kick in, I began dealing with the issues that were caused by UC. I received 2 iron infusions which greatly helped the anemia and my numbers are holding steady for going on 1 1/2 years.
The anemia caused hair loss & the thin hair caused me to try numerous “not flattering” hairstyles that I did not enjoy. Having my iron steady and drinking my vitamins have grown my hair thicker and fuller than they were before I got sick in 2012. I actually wear my hair down everyday day because I enjoy the change and want to savor it.
To thicken your hair, you have to balance your vitamins. Check out my Healthy Hair Series for help.
On to my tips for maintain your holiday sparkle!
Tip 1: Don’t stress! I know, that’s a hoot especially with all the shopping and family time and cooking to do, but you must find an outlet for the holiday stress. My outlet, I mindlessly scroll through Amazon adding things to my basket and then dumping them the next day so that I don’t buy them. I am an Amazon Affiliate so I pretty much live through Amazon. If your an Amazon addict, click through any link on my site anytime you shop and I make a little extra for referring you.
Tip #2: Why face the mall or even worse, Walmart, when you can shop online. I let my fingers do the walking and ordered a lot of nieces and nephew gifts off Walmart.com and my fave, Amazon.com. When you don’t have the energy to leave the house or you need a bathroom as frequently as you blink, you can shop online and save yourself anxiety and stress!
I just have to get a Keep Calm into my tips!
Tip #3: Plan! I am a planner. Like the 3 months in advance of a vacation kind of planner. I have to plan for the holidays. The biggest planning is how to split time between both sets of our parents so all is equal in our world. The most major planning for my gut is making sure that the food I know will be at our holiday gatherings will agree with my gut. If it won’t, I take things with me like my Simply Smooth Coffee from Folgers because regular coffee for days in a row cause my gut stress. If you can plan ahead for food, you get a lot less cranky with your family!
Tip #4: Make lists. I am not usually a list maker but when I am packing, I tend to forget the little things like underwear for the boys and my toothbrush. I don’t know how many times my mother-in-law has given me a toothbrush because I forgot mine. Starting a packing list right now will help ease the stress of long trip packing and maybe you’ll remember your kids underwear this Christmas. They might appreciate that unless you have a 3 year old who enjoys commando!
Tip #5: As your basket full of purchases roll in from your finger shopping, wrap them and don’t put them aside. I tend to leave the wrapping until the night before we head to our first Christmas. We get to enjoy the presents typically for about 12 hours before we leave the house. I started wrapping last weekend and the boys thought Christmas was already here. 😂 I love looking at the tree but it looks even more festive with the gifts under it, before Christmas Eve.
I am shooting for a stress free Christmas this year. Now, the biggest challenge, winning the ugly Christmas sweater competition at school!