Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. Holiday music, trimming the tree, baking cookies, family gatherings — none of this can happen soon enough or long enough for my liking.
As a military family, we traveled for the holidays for many years. But over time, I felt a strong tug to stay at home and establish traditions and memories while not letting the size of our suitcases determine the size of our presents.
So, we began to stay home, and we loved it. Family and friends were invited, but ultimately, we enjoyed celebrating the holidays in the comfort and coziness of our home.
Soon after our daughter was diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, the novel coronavirus began sweeping across the nation and the world. It left us not only trying to navigate our daughter’s illness and find a treatment plan, but also learning how to best protect her from the unseen risk that is COVID-19.
After that, mandates and statewide guidelines seemed to change daily. However, most of the country was shut down, so we didn’t have to make the hard choices. There simply were no activities — no school, no working outside the home, no going to church, no eating out. In those days, at least for me, it was simpler: Everyone stayed home.
As autumn arrived and we neared the end of 2020, more states opened up, and it became harder to navigate the daily choices that would limit our exposure. The decision was now in our hands to determine what was best for our daughter. These were not decisions to be made in a vacuum, as they affected the whole family.
For example, would we attend church? Would our other daughter be able to see friends socially? Would we invite family members into our home if we weren’t certain they were following CDC guidelines?
We answered most of those questions with a hard no. After all, our daughter’s health depends on our responsible choices. We can take precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19, and we are committed to taking all of them to protect her and others like her.
Strong opinions exist on both sides of the COVID-19 debate. I think those of us with a loved one fighting a rare disease can agree that the virus is not a risk we are willing to take. We will wear a mask. We will stay home. We will limit exposure. Because we know our loved one may be in the percentage of people who cannot recover from the virus.
Let’s make “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” our theme song and finish this year well. Let’s not succumb to the fear of missing out and risk exposure to our loved ones. I understand all too well what it’s like to miss out on big events this year. For us, that included our son’s college graduation and his wedding!
Instead, let’s make sweet memories in our homes. Turn the music up a bit louder, hang more lights than normal, and enjoy the moment with those sweet loved ones within the walls of our home. Although it may not seem like it, this too shall pass, and our COVID-19 Christmas will become but a memory.
I hope this holiday season finds you at home surrounded by flickering candlelight, steaming cups of hot cocoa, freshly baked goodies, and loved ones laughing together. After all, who doesn’t want to be home for Christmas?
Note: Lambert-Eaton News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lambert-Eaton News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Lambert-Eaton myasthenia.
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