Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Surviving the Holidays While You're Laid Up

This year is a little different for us in terms of holidays. The last couple of years, my now husband and I have split time between my family in Iowa and his family in Connecticut. Usually we drive to his parents house, fly from Hartford to Des Moines, spend a few days with my parents, then fly back and stay with his folks. It has worked pretty well, until I decided to throw a wrench in it and get my foot chopped open.

Because of my inactivity and limited movement, I am considered a higher risk for blood clotting. Part of this means I've been instructed to take an asprin every day, but I also am restricted from flying for the three months after the surgery. And since I definitely can't manage the 18+ hour car ride it'd take to drive home, this will be the first year that I don't go home for Christmas.

It is definitely a bummer, and I am really not happy about it, but luckily my in-laws are awesome and have completely welcomed me into their home. Even then, maneuvering around with my foot in a cast has been pretty tough. Here are some tips that so far are helping me manage, and hopefully will help you as well.

If you're traveling, make the trip as comfortable as possible for yourself

If you read my week two recap post, you'll remember this was my big goal for the week. In order to be as comfortable as possible, we put me sideways in the back seat with a whole mess of pillows and blankets. I've been overheating pretty easily since we got home from the hospital, so I brought a couple of ice packs to put on my neck to help keep me cool. I've also been getting a little carsick in the car, although I think this is largely due to the overheating and being uncofortable. Before we left, I took a dramamine, and I had some plastic bags that thankfully I didn't have to use. We also stopped at a couple of rest areas along the way and gave me some time to get up and stretch out. All in all, we arrived in one piece

Find a place where you can be comfortable and at least on the edge of the action
My in-laws house has an open concept from the living room through to the kitchen, so the end of the couch has become my base. Instead of turning long ways across the couch, I've got my scooter in front of me with a stack of pillows. This way I can still heckle while the hubby and sister-in-law make the annual Christmas Eve chocolate ice cream, but I'm in a comfortable spot. Plus, the family's puppies like cuddling on this couch. 

Also find a place where you can go when you need peace and quiet
As much as I like being in the middle of the action, I also get wiped pretty easily. Right now, my husband's old room is a nice and quiet place where I can sit and read or nap for awhile. I'm probably not as good about going to do that when I need to because I still feel a little rude leaving in the middle of family things, but I'm working on it. 

Learn to say no
I am lucky to have a husband who is 100% on my team with everything, even sometimes more than I am myself. He, his sister, and his mom usually go to Christmas Eve Mass, and the last few years I've gone too. But, this year, I am passing, which isn't easy for me. But, my hubby pointed out that its not a quick drive to get there, and there won't really be a great place for me to elevate my foot. So, I'll hang out at the house with my father-in-law and supervise the ice cream churn.

Make adjustments as necessary
Back at home, we have my bathroom set up so I can wash my hair safely, if not easily. At my in-laws, though, that isn't really as much the case. So, this morning my mother-in-law took me to the salon where a family friend works, and she washed, dried, and styled my hair for me. This way, I'm not trying to balance dangerously in the bathtub, and I don't have to worry about my hair looking nice for the family pictures tomorrow. 

Get Creative
Are your toes freezing cold, poking out of your cast, every time you step outside? I discovered that a Christmas stocking is the PERFECT size to fit over my cast. It keeps my toes toasty warm, plus it looks festive!

I hope these little tips help you, and no matter what I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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