Jenna looked at all the holiday greeting cards spread over her dinner table and sighed. The advent of Thanksgiving heralded the festivals’ season and soon the house would be abuzz with the noise and clatter of her extended family – her cousins and relatives she was used to seeing only once every year and even then it was one too many.
Contrary to most people who eagerly looked forward to the holiday season, Jenna dreaded this time of the year. It was one thing to host the gamut of the McKinney family for a whole weekend at their winter retreat in Florida because her father, in addition to being a successful businessman who owned premium beach property, was also the eldest of all the brothers. Quite another to endure the relentless clamor of uncles who wanted to know which college she was planning to apply to after graduation and aunts who wanted to know the name of the cutest guy at her school.
It all started 5 years ago. An otherwise chirpy and energetic pre-teen at the time, the twelve year old Jenna had pleaded with her dad to cancel the festival reunion that year owing to the deteriorating health of her mother suffering from cancer. Both her parents had declined the proposal – her father because it was family tradition and her mom because she was convinced it would only serve to lift her spirits.
Sure enough, Jenna found her mom immensely happy in the company of her siblings. She hadn’t seen her mother this jovial since her diagnosis with the terminal disease 3 years ago. That weekend, the lady of the house had thrown caution to the wind, disregarded her strict dietary and medical regimen in favor of mirth and merriment, drank and ate freely and danced and sang well into the wee hours of the morning. After all, how much could a few days of deviation from her routine hurt her? She would be back on her strict diet before long and it would be like she never digressed at all.
Sadly, that was not to be. After 2 days of irregular or skipped medication, Jenna’s mom took to bed on Sunday afternoon. Later that evening, she was rushed to the ER. In the wee hours of the morning the next day, Jenna’s mom passed away.
After that, Jenna had always hated the holidays. The next year and the years after that, when her cousins came over, she would mostly lock herself up in her room citing unfinished assignments. The only time her extended family would see her pretty face would be around supper.
But that was so many, many years ago and Jenna could sense a closure in her heart this year. This is why she insisted with her pleasantly surprised and overjoyed dad that she send out the invitations this year. As she diligently hand wrote and signed each invitation herself, Jenna sighed that she hadn’t done this sooner. When you lose a loved one, nothing comforts you more and helps you find inner peace again than the realization that you have an entire family to fall back on.
Holidays, sadly, are one of the busiest times of the year for ER attendants in hospitals. Here’s what you can do to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe this festive season so that the doctors and the nurses at your local hospitals also get to spend more time with their own families!
Don’t get carried away by the moment
Sure, it’s the holiday season. If you could ever forgive yourself for your indiscretions, now’s the time. However, pay heed to your pre-existent conditions. Make sure you’re allergies are in control. Do not discontinue regular medication if you have diabetes, asthma or other health related issues that require constant monitoring.
More alcohol is consumed during the festive season than the whole year around. The same, unfortunately, is true of harmful drugs and chemicals that can have catastrophic consequences upon your body even in the short run. If you are young and spending the holidays with your peers you are especially susceptible and vulnerable to substance abuse.
Spend the holidays with your family. If you are spending it with your friends, make sure you do not partake in any activity that you would not permit yourself any other time of the year.
The festive season is a time to party non-stop. However, make sure that you are getting enough sleep in between all the fun and enjoyment. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids to keep your-self hydrated. Eat regularly to keep your energy up.
Did you lose a loved one during the festive season? How about a family member you desperately wanted to spend time with but could not be together? Are you prone to stress, anxiety and depression? Holidays can be tough on people who have lost loved ones, living away from family or are generally introverts. Make sure you exercise, eat, drink and sleep regularly. Do all those activities that keep you motivated year round.
The holidays are Christmas time for all kinds of injuries, big or small. Do you know how many paper cut victims end up in ER while wrapping or opening presents? Well, thankfully not that many but hospitals are flooded with broken bones, bloody gashes and dislocated shoulders during the festive season.
Have fun during the holidays but do not forget to listen to your spider senses when they start tingling signaling that something has or is about to go wrong.