Ask Kathy M. Archives
A Collection of Questions and Answers from TBI Advice Expert - Kathy Moeller

Topic: Miscellaneous - Handling Holiday Get-togethers

Question:

Dear Kathy M.,

I want to participate in family get-togethers, especially at Christmastime, but I don't know how. I have a seizure disorder and it seems I get more of them whenever I'm under stress or around too much activity. My family is very supportive and I miss being with them, especially this time of year. I hate ending up having a seizure and making everyone else miserable while I recover in another room. My nieces and nephews drive me nuts, though (there are five of them, age 2 through 9), and between them and the dogs and neighbor kids, here's no way I can both be with them and expect them all to be quiet and "play nicely." They're a pretty rowdy bunch. Any ideas?

Cory


Kathy's Response: Dear Cory,

Yes, I have some quick ideas that have worked for others. Given the ages of the children you plan to be around, I'll bet the noise level can get pretty high. Have you ever tried wearing foam ear plugs with ear protectors over the top of them? Now, it looks a little different, but I use them; I know others with brain injury who use them; and they can make all the difference in terms of being able to cope with the kind of noise children can make.

If lighting is an issue, you could also try dark glasses or a visor (I've used both, and finally decided to tint my regular glasses brown, with a photo gray treatment as well - works well in places where florescent lights are used). These may sound like odd strategies, but they work for many people with brain injury who get overly simulated (and stressed out) with excessive noise and light (when I say "excessive" I mean excessive for them, not necessarily excessive for others).

Let us know if this helps.

Kathy M.

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