Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis on Christmas Eve | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at Rheumatoid Arthritis WarriorEverywhere I turn someone asks me, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I don’t even have the energy to laugh. Nothing is “finished” in the way that it once would have been.

No, I’m not ready in those ways. On the other hand, I hope I am always ready in another way…

Of course none of us will do what Mary did on the first Christmas. However, I am determined to say with Mary, “Be it unto me as the Lord wills.” That night in the stable was the ultimate, make-the-best-of-it story, wasn’t it?

While anyone can benefit from Mary’s example, we who are living with RA can benefit especially from realizing that we cannot arrange every detail in life or plan for every sharp turn in the road. Christmas will come whether or not I have made my pies or I’m finished wrapping packages. In a way, that takes the pressure off. Like I’ve always told my kids, “If God’s in control, then He’s not counting on us.”

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Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

14 thoughts on “Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis on Christmas Eve

  • December 24, 2009 at 9:34 am
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    Merry Christmas Kelly – My husband and I were talking this morning about all that is not done; due to his working in another city and my RA flare. About how our circumstances have made any celebration an event where we all have to work together and the unnecessary is eliminated while we learn to discern what is really meaningful. I guess today I see that as discerning God’s will; not that it is God’s will that I live in pain (of course) but that it is God’s will that I focus on what has meaning, as opposed to what is meaningless fluff. Like most RA’ers I was a type A, everything about the holidays must be perfect and I will do it all type before I get sick. So, a little bit of predisone, an infusion of Orencia and I will do what I can. One gift I want to give is the gift of presence, one gift I want to celebrate is the gift of being alive. I’ve been lurking at your blog for a while now, it has given me hope and focus as I try to come to acceptance and peace with RA and the changes my illness has meant to my life. Blessings to you and yours for this year.

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  • December 24, 2009 at 11:33 am
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    Anj,
    I love your “gifts”. Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for coming out of Lurking-mode – It is nice to meet you. 😎

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  • December 25, 2009 at 7:47 am
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    Merry Christmas, Kelly. Have a terrific time with your family

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  • December 25, 2009 at 8:30 am
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    This year our Christmas isn’t as big as most in the past, but it doesn’t change what in our hearts. I haven’t put up much outside this year, compared to past years, due mainly to just not feeling like it. As much as I like to say that I’m not going to let RA control my life … it does. I’m just not handing over full control, at least not yet.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

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  • December 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm
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    Merry “CHRIST”mas….Kelly,today Iam 1st post op day…Yeah…. Iam am with you and we will be like Mary & make the best of this special day with dignity and HIS Grace.Since it has been done unto us, we may as well see the beauty of the valley while we are here…. Wishing you some bit of Joy this day… I am glad we r surrounded by family this year…Blessings to you & yours… i typed all of this with the index finger of my left hand,so productive ya know.lol This article gave me much needed perspective on what’s really importqnt TY

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  • December 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm
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    I hear you Kelly, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be lol. Even forgoing Christmas Eve Service this year as foot is too sore to drive and I know I’ll be whacked out by then as usual:-) All in all it’s ok, family is coming and they all pitch in to help and we’ll enjoy. Family ranges in age from 87 Auntie who’s B/day it is the Holy Night to youngest who is 7 🙂

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  • December 26, 2009 at 7:30 pm
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    I am wishing a blessed Christmas to all the warriors on this site and through out the world.

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  • December 26, 2009 at 7:33 pm
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    “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” (Bobby – age 7) To Kelly and to all friends of RA Warrior: May you know God’s love for you this Christmas, and be surrounded by the love of family and friends. Merry Christmas!

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  • December 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm
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    I was so excited to find this site today, this was my first Christmas dealing with full blown RA and the treatment. I started last year at Christmas but was not diagnosed until April. I had to scale back on everything I normally did including the tree. We put up a small tree on the table and dinner was done at my daughters. I was still exhausted and am trying to recover just from the travels and extra people in and out. The true meaning was that we were all together as a family and less was put on the material things.

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    • December 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm
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      Thank you, Kim. Welcome to the site.
      My kids ended up dressing the tree a bit on the night of the 23rd and they made a gingerbread house and decorated some cookies on Christmas eve. No more decorations in the house. A fraction of what I once did. And it was fine… :present:

      Reply
  • January 6, 2010 at 8:17 am
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    You know how to get out of the holidays altogether? Schedule an orthopedic surgery on Dec. 1st! [grin] Two of my most relaxing, peaceful holiday seasons were right after foot surgery. No one expected me to do anything but sit in the recliner with my foot elevated. It was lovely. 🙂

    I discovered Christmas is still Christmas even without a perfectly clean house and a dozen different kinds of cookies.

    Nowadays, decorations are minimal (the tree and a wreath on the door. That’s it.). I bake only one kind of cookie, do an easy pan of fudge, a batch of Chex mix, and I’m done. Rum balls are done way ahead of time and hidden away to, ahem, “ripen” for a few weeks before the holiday. 😉

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  • December 25, 2011 at 11:10 am
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    One thing we do now that my husband has RA is put all of his presents and the ones he wraps in gift bags. It makes opening presents less painful and hopefully more enjoyable.

    Reply

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