Histoires de réussites


December 13, 2021 - Patient

​My approach to holidays and food-centric social gatherings changes as my health changes

My approach to holidays and food-centric social gatherings changes as my health changes. Sometimes I use meal times as a chance for some quiet downtime alone in another room. I might also decide to show up after or leave before the main meal. If I’m feeling up for staying around everyone I will often bring my knitting with me to keep me busy. My favourite scenario is when there’s a baby around and I can get in some extra snuggles while everyone else eats!

Even when I am able to eat a little bit, I tend not to at gatherings in case I end up with bad enough symptoms to interfere with my ability to enjoy the gathering. This is especially true if the we are not in my own home where I have access to all my meds and also have to handle a car ride home.

While it doesn’t bother me much anymore, there are times when not being able to eat feels more isolating and unfair. And that’s okay. Grief and acceptance are not linear!

COVID has honestly made this dynamic easier because the only people who have been eating around me in the last two years are my immediate family. That said, my advice for larger gatherings that include people you’re less familiar with or don’t know at all (like a wedding, for example) is to discuss beforehand with the people you do know how you want to address any questions. You might prefer someone else fields the questions for you, you might be really open or you might prefer to keep the specifics of your health private. Your approach and comfort level will change over time, and it might have changed since the last time you were navigating a similar situation, so getting the people you’re closest with on the same page helps make things go more smoothly.

Catherine Richardson