Enjoying Thanksgiving Despite Migraines
Confession: I have not planned my menu or even thought much about Thanksgiving Day yet. Migraine pain has simply been too much for me lately, and it is all I can do to simply get through what I must, never mind take on any extra tasks.
Honestly, I used to love all the planning involved with this holiday, from how to arrange all the chairs around my expanded dining room table, to designing a beautiful place setting, to choosing which appetizer I would create to please people until I revealed my beautiful turkey.
It was a symphony of activity I once enjoyed orchestrating. Now, not so much.
My migraines have been much more frequent and much more severe. There was a point this month where I worried I might have contracted meningitis because the pain was so extreme it felt like it very well could have killed me.
The First Step Is the Hardest
So this brings me to this moment, where I sit and count the number of days left until the holiday season officially begins. I have to say, the way my migraines have taken over, I am skeptical about keeping up with expectations.
There are many issues that make holidays more difficult when you have migraines. In Maine, where I live, the weather is a major challenge on the body, and I swear it can impact whether I get a migraine on any given day.
With so many migraines and so much to accomplish, I feel I am forgetting something important almost every day. Pain makes my brain function poorly, but so does medication.
Make Plans to Be Thankful
So today, I have a plan I will stick to in order to get through Thanksgiving and all the chaos about to ensue.
I will find courage and get the food shopping done, clean up as best I can, and cook this meal. I will muster up all my gratitude and be thankful.
If you suffer from chronic migraines, you can borrow my plan, and a bit of my courage if yours is lacking, and we can accomplish this together — and be thankful we did.
Count Your Blessings and Your Guests
There are always reasons to be thankful, even when you suffer from a chronic condition like migraine. Remember to give thanks.
And remember to ask those people you are so thankful for to bring a side, or dessert, or something that would prove helpful to you for this meal. It’s OK to ask for help, as long as you show gratitude for it.
Make a List and Check It Twice (or Three Times Because We Probably Forgot Something)
Create a complete list of what you need for your menu and who is bringing what to help you out. I call this my “save time and energy on duplicates” list. More than once I have gone through the effort of frantically making pie, when I should have remembered one of my guests was bringing two.
Make a To-Do List
This will serve as a guide you can check off when you get each item done. It can also serve as a go-to list you can share when someone offers to help and you can’t think of anything for them to help with.