Everywhere you go…..
Have I got you singing the song?
Great. Now for the reality of what Christmas can mean to someone with a chronic illness.
I have been looking for a car sticker that says “Not All disabilities are visible”. The reason for this is that there are times when we need to use Derek’s Disabled Parking card to park when we are out and about. We should have used it to park this weekend. The problem is we get strange looks from people when we use his card because “he doesn’t look sick or disabled”.
It was Advent on Sunday, which means 4 weeks till Christmas Week. Let the chaos begin. We had to go and try to find a household item and having looked elsewhere, we went to the Mall. We decided to go just as the mall was opening. Over half the parks were gone. I parked at the back of the carpark, because we are not afraid to walk and Derek was feeling OK.
We knew we were on limited time as, if it got busy, Derek would suffer. So we went to the shops we needed to go to, to try and find what we were looking at. It was 5 stores in total. We went out into the concourse of the mall after the last store, and noticed that it was absolutely packed with people. I looked at Derek and realised I had to get him out of there quickly, or get a wheelchair for him. He could hardly stand, he had a bad headache, and he was loosing his words and thoughts.
Christmas Shopping for us is now out of the question. We have left our run too late. What this means is that we will either have to spend money on the internet, or I go shopping alone.
I prefer to shop with Derek, but all the activity, the hustle and bustle, noise, visual stimulation of decorations etc, is just too much for him. Between Adrenal Insufficiency and a brain injury, he suffered overload on the weekend, and it will only get worse between now and the beginning of next year.
When we walked in to the mall, Derek felt fine, when we walked out I was tossing up if I should get a wheelchair to get him back to the car. His disability is not visible, but it still has a major impact on what others take for granted.