Christmas is the one time in the year us peeps with MS can really blend in.
Over the next two weeks, it will be perfectly socially acceptable for me to nod off at odd times of the day, stumble and talk gibberish. Last Christmas, I fell up the stairs, followed by a round of applause.
However, a little forward- planning is still essential, so here is my quick guide to surviving the festive frolics:
- Internet shopping – it’s still not too late! I have not had to brave any crowds, queue for hours or fight over the last Christmas pudding. Plus, I have a rather handsome postman I have seen so often I’m sure the neighbours think I’m having a clandestine affair (I wish).
- Sleep – make the most of this time. No need to explain why you’ve dozed off in front of the telly for the third time that day, or fallen asleep face-down in your turkey dinner. People will laugh rather than gasp. They may even take a photo and put it on Twitter. Instant fame guaranteed.
- Stumbling/tripping – let’s face it, everyone will be doing a lot of this. It’s practically mandatory. Why not have a festive quiz? If you trip, turn to your assembled family and say, ‘aha! Now was that MS or the extra-strong mulled wine?’ Winner gets the last purple Quality Street.
- Cog fog – this is especially handy during Christmas. When (not if) a family argument starts and you’re asked if Auntie Doreen really did say that terrible thing about Auntie Doris thirty years ago, just put on your most tragic expression and tell Auntie Dot that you’re a hopeless case, you can’t even remember what you had for dinner yesterday.
- Extra help – if you’re having a bad MS day, waylay a passing small(ish) child and tell them you want to play a game. Little kids love dressing up and pretending, so why not pop an apron on them and tell them you’ll give them two quid if they play at being a maid, like in Downton Abbey. That way you can have a steady stream of Twiglets, refills, magazines and chocolates delivered straight to your sofa. Plus you get extra Brownie points for entertaining a child for seven hours.
So, I wish you all a very merry (hic) Christmas. Hold your heads up high (with a sneaky peek at your feet), go forth and celebrate.