Sunday, December 26, 2010

The meaning of Christmas...To me!

Christmas Time! What do you think of when you hear the word Christmas? Some think of gifts, others food, and others family. I would normally think of setting up the tree, decorating it, setting up the village, having all my sisters home, having boxing day supper, reading the night before Christmas, getting pajama’s from Nana on Christmas eve, and so many more traditions.

The last 3 Christmas’ however bring me back to Christmas 2006, and therefore the word Christmas reminds me of being sick. I started to get Crohn’s symptoms in October 2006, and by Christmas time it was just unbearable. I still hadn’t been diagnosed but I was on many wonderful Crohn’s medications, such as prednisone. I was spending a fair amount of time in bed, regardless of the medications. I’ve looked back through pictures of Christmas day, and you can see me in the background behind my niece. I’m lying on the couch, and you can actually see the pain on my face.

Christmas dinner for us is generally on boxing day, we’re all just too tired Christmas day. I wanted so bad to be able to sit at the table and eat, even if I could only handle some potatoes. By this point of my sickness I was blacking out every blue moon. I got up out of bed, and tried to go eat supper, but when I walked around the corner I blacked out. I could normally just keep walking and pretend nothing was going on, because I would generally only black out for a couple of minutes. However, this time, a waist high box stood in my way! How do you explain walking into a box that big? I couldn’t, so I just turned around and went back to bed. Mom got me a hot water bottle, and dad came in after he ate and fed me some potatoes as I laid in the fetal position, rocking and crying. At least I still got my potatoes! ☺

When I was sick only a few tricks helped manage the pain, one was to lay in the tub in very hot water for hours! I would set up my DVD player, watch movies, and relax as much as possible. I would put on underwear and a tank top, and relax, not a care in the world, because the hot water made me relax, and eased the pains, something I required at least once a day! I actually had to get up from a family supper over Christmas and go get in the tub because I was in so much pain, but everyone understood. My Aunt even came into the bathroom to say goodbye when they were leaving.

I missed out on so much that Christmas, but I’ve made up for it all. Actually, I missed out on a lot when I was sick, my 19th birthday, Christmas, Easter, to name a few, but there are more birthdays, more Christmas’ and more Easters to come and I will make the most of every single one!

“I have Crohn’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease does not have me”
~Colleen Lynn


  1. Wow, and I thought I was the only one who found comfort in wrinkling up like a prune after spending hours in the tub to relieve the pain. It has been one of my little 'rituals' for ages, but now that I am feeling so much better I can usually just get away with sitting on the couch with a hot magic bag across my gut.
    I know what it's like to be really ill over the holidays. I had a golf-ball sized abcess on my butt that was making me extremely sick, but I refused to go in for surgery to have it drained until boxing day. That Christmas, I ate my turket dinner lying in bed while watching the Lion King. I guess the Oxycontin made it half-bearable, but it was still a Christmas I will not forget.

  2. Colleen, I can definitely remember associations like these too with Christmas. The bath tub works! And good friends who understand... these are priceless. I understand completely the birthdays, christmas, easter and other events spent in pain... happily, there are also good times too to balance it all out. Loved your post - it hit deep! Hugs, Ash