Are you wondering what to buy for that Chronic Illness warrior in your life this holiday season? Or maybe you realize that after another year of balancing spoons it’s time to treat yourself?
I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite things. These are all things that I have, or would love to have as an Autoimmune Mess. Some of them are practical and some are just delightful, but all of them make fantastic treats.
What a fantastic way to start the new year! Who doesn’t love a calendar that says something about their personality and keeps you organized during those moments of brain fog? Personally, I like having a physical calendar as opposed to the using an app. I find that in my moments of brain fog, having the entire month clearly before me instead of clicking on each little dotted day, has saved me from many a planning mistake.
I hate reaching down because it causes me to have pain. Even more than that, I hate crossing my legs across my knee to tie my shoes because of my arthritic hips. Zubits, the magnetic clasp that holds your laces together, makes dealing with laces quick and easy on my achy joints so I can branch out from loafers.
This is a multi-tasking opener wonder. I have to admit I really hate a cluttered kitchen full of ridiculous gadgets so this do-it-all opener has really won my heart. It opens everything from pop tabs to jars to wine bottles. No more hurt hands dealing with lids when this neat little guy is around.
I have more pain in my hips than any other joint. This wrap provides compression as well as both hot and cold therapy. Further more, it actually stays in place so I am not confined to bed in order to benefit from it.
Until I recently came across these, my idea of fatigue mats were the harsh industrial kind you see in office building. Since I love a cute house, I had a hard time accepting the idea of putting one in my kitchen. Then I saw these adorable decorative ones and I was thrilled. I can have my stylish decor and relief too. What a difference on your joints to stand in front of the stove or sink with these under your feet!
I have already mentioned that I don’t like a lot of redundant gadgets in the kitchen. Of the few basics that I believe you need, a good spatula is one. I’m quite confident that my chef’s knife and spatula are two items that are sure to be in the dishwasher at the end of each day. Consequently, I want a high quality set that prove their worth over day in and day out of use. I cook at least twice a day every day! These Le Creuset spatulas are amazing because they are ergonomically designed to be easy to hold. This is a huge help for arthritic hands. Not only do they offer ease of use but they are heat resistant so they won’t turn into plastic mush if you are cooking while under the influence of brain fog!
If I had to pick one thing on this list that I couldn’t live life without this is it. Heat makes me happy, heat makes me feel good, heat makes me smile. Heat makes the difference in whether I can move like a normal human being or not. This is my favorite way to get there, a nice warm heated blanket with a low, medium, and high heat setting.
These are my favorite go-to snack. You can find them stashed all over the Autoimmune Mess house and cars because they are a quick, tasty way to grab a snack while maintaining the critical diet needs that keep me on track and flare-free. They are gluten, grain, and added sugar free, made from only real ingredients, and they taste good. It is hard to find convenient food when you have a huge list of NO’s in your diet. These fit my needs and keep me from caving into the wrong kind of snacks when I need something right now. It is one of the things I try to never let myself run out of. I would love to see a stocking full of their great flavors!
I think this is adorable. I found it to be so unique in the midst of a lot of similar spoonie designs. Heck yeah I’ve got spoonie pride, and this decal is the perfect way to prove it!
I love a good butt cushion. My car seat was absolutely not designed for a chronic pain sufferer. This little guy provides at least some relief to the torture chamber that is my vehicle. I am in my car a lot. I mean a lot. Mom’s taxi would be pretty accurate at this point. Having a little extra support makes a huge difference in my pain levels after a day of taxi driving. I also really like that this has a removable cover in case I spill on it. After all, taxi drivers totally have to eat in their car to stay on schedule!
My cuteness meter went off the charts with this one. I love that the spoons have the ombre meter thing going on. The best part is that this comes in a variety of colors. What a neat way to wear a little nod to the spoonie life.
I couldn’t show you a necklace with out showing you these little life-savers. I don’t know when I lost the ability to clasp necklaces but I did. Poor Mr. Autoimmune Mess or my kids have to step in and do the job unless I convert the clasps to these magnetic ones. They clip right on to your jewelry and you instantly have a magnetic force doing all the hard work for you. No more fidgeting with tiny hooks, simply find the other hand! I think they would make great stocking stuffers.
or if you (also) prefer tea…
If I had to pick a favorite after my electric blanket I would go with this amazing Contigo travel mug without question. I need my coffee. Let me be blunt. I desperately rely on my coffee to help me function. We all know that coffee doesn’t cure the type of fatigue that we have, but that has never stopped me from trying. This cup has been one of the best things I ever bought for myself. It is large, filling to a 20oz capacity, which means a lot to coffee lovers like me. It actually is leak proof. I have the dent on the side where it fell out of my car to prove it. Yet despite the fact that it is leak proof the sealer on the lid pops up so you can clean all the nooks and crannies that become gross in most autoseals. The best part is my coffee stays blazing hot. I am not kidding. I use a french press so my coffee is hotter than what typically is brewed in a coffeepot, so if I want to drink out of this right away, I have to take the lid off to let it cool. Imagine that! I also love tea. If you are a tea lover as well, or heaven forbid don’t drink coffee, check out the neat tea infuser insert you could add to it.
This is the bad boy of pill organizers. There are several things about this organizer that really fit my needs. First of all, it has four compartments within each day. This means that I can break down my meds between more than just morning and night but into meals or whatever. That really helps since I need to eat with some of them. The second thing is that I can easily slide a day or two into my purse when I am on the run. I don’t have to pack a separate out of the house organizer to get confused with, or walk around rattling a pharmacy of bottles in my purse, because my days worth of meds are all right there.
This book is a fantastic wealth of information. It truly helped me cut my teeth on autoimmune education after being diagnosed and changed the way I have looked at autoimmune diseases since then. I have reread it several times because there is just so much valuable insight into the world of autoimmune diseases. If you are interested in understanding a bigger picture of how the world impacts your immune system I suggest diving into this. Hopefully, you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Magnesium is a critical player in muscle pain as well as a whole list of other functions. Rosemary and mint have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain levels. Together they make one awesome addition to my hot bath. This really elevates a long soak to a new level. I feel that it is both useful and pampering, both of which help me feel better.
I really liked the design on this case and I love that it advocates for the spoonie community. Having something that stays as near to me as my phone, decked out in this case really makes me happy. It reminds me that I am so much more than a girl trying to survive the day, I am a warrior!
19. Jelly Defense
I cannot believe I am adding this to the list but honestly, this game has given me hours of distraction from my pain when I needed it. When you suffer from a chronic illness you need a convenient brain break at times. I can play this both when my brain just needs to take a time out from thinking about other things, and when my brain is full of fluff, which means it is always there for me. It is a simple strategy game, but it is oddly adorable and addictive, so make sure you are ready for another bad habit before you load it up onto the phone in the cute case above.
I totally suffer from lupus hair. When it is not falling out in clumps, it gets dry and breaks easily. One of the things that has made a huge difference in the amount of hair that breaks has been a quality hair brush. The natural boars hair helps distribute the oil from my scalp down to the dry ends where it is needed. It is also is more gentle pulling through so less breaks. I really like this brush and while nothing but my immune system could stop my hair from falling out or drying out, this helps slow the damage down.
I hope you enjoyed this list of my favorite things and perhaps you have read along and made your own list of favorites. I would love to hear what other holiday hopefuls made your list this year.