Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Of My Favorite (Chronically Ill) Things For This Holiday Season

I had intended to post this before the unexpected death of my grandfather, but didn’t get the chance.  So I am posting it now so it is hopefully still timely.

With Chanukah starting the day after Thanksgiving this year, it was a rush to get gifts, and I was short on both time and ideas.

But I did have some time to brainstorm and come up with some great gift ideas for yourself or someone you know who has a chronic illness.  

So here goes:

12. Miamica inner booties (

This isn’t explicitly chronic illness related, but it is winter related.  I found these inflatable inserts for boots.  They keep your boots shapely.  The thing I like about these, besides the cute design, is that they keep the natural shape of the boot rather than stretch them like some wood or plastic inserts might. 

11. EOS lip balm and hand lotion (

 This also isn’t explicitly chronic illness related, but it is winter related.  I’ve been wanting to try EOS lip balm for awhile because I’ve been intrigued by the circular design.  I’m glad I did.  The lip balm tastes great, is very moisturizing, very easy to use, and comes in a pot that clicks sealed so you don’t have to worry about it coming open in your purse.  I also tried their hand lotion, which has it’s own unique packaging, and it smells great and is lightweight on.   

I’ve had a pair of fingerless gloves for awhile, but just rediscovered them recently and they are really handy for cold hands when you are inside, especially working on a computer.  Can help mitigate Raynaud’s a bit.    

9. Oxo Good Grip products (

I was pretty sure that OXO was an Arthritis Foundation approved product/company.  I am not sure if that is true anymore, but a key component of their products is that they are based on universal design.  My boyfriend’s dad has this great can opener that is so easy for me to use, and of course, it’s an Oxo.

8. Miamica pill holders (

These are super cute.  I have a pink shiny one that says “Take a Chill Pill.”  Unfortunately, they aren’t super arthritis friendly.  They are pretty hard to open, so I don’t use mine that much.  With the strong plastic and the zipper, though, your pills are super secure.  But if you are chronically ill and don’t have problems with your joints, these are great because they are so adorable.  Varieties include the sayings, “My Pills”, “Happy Pills”, “Crazy Pills”, “Happy Hour”, “Chill Pill”, “Love is the Drug”, “Stay Calm”, “Take a Chill Pill”, “Hangover Drugs”, and “Drugs”.  These are also great for people who aren’t chronically ill.

7.  Apple IPad Mini (

My boyfriend bought me an IPad Mini for getting my PhD.  I didn’t really know I wanted one until I had it.  Honestly, if I could do everything on it and ditch my computer, I totally would.  I can do almost anything on it.  And it is light weight, which makes it great for school and traveling.  The touch screen is super great if you have joint problems, as it’s much easier on your fingers and hands than regular computer keys.

6.  Books by and about the chronically ill

I can never read enough books by and about chronically ill people.  On my list to read over winter break:

Battle for Grace” by Cynthia Toussaint

Chronic Resilience” by Danea Horn

Knocking on Death’s Door” by Katy Butler

So Young” by Daniel Malito

I am sure there are others I am missing, so if you know of others that are relatively new, let me know.

5. Lauren’s Hope (

This is an old favorite.  I’ve had several of Lauren’s Hope medical ID bracelets.  I like the fact that these are pretty, and while they don’t look like a traditional medical alert bracelet, they are noticeable enough.  Although I may have found a new favorite – see number 2. 

4. Sarah Gorman’s Pillbags (

This is another old favorite, but since I blogged about these, Sara has created more patterns of both her Pillfold and Pillpouch.  These are great for travel, really handy, and stylish, to boot.     

3. Sabi (

I don’t actually have any of their products, but these pill cases are pretty ingenious.  I especially like the carafe that doubles as a pill case and the streamlined pill cutter and crusher.

 So these aren’t as cute as Lauren’s Hope, but if you get the interactive version, you can put all of your information online and it can then be accessed by first responders in an emergency.  It allows you to update information constantly, so rather than having to get a new bracelet every time something changes, you simply access your account online and change whatever needs to be changed.  This is totally a case of function over form, but the silicone band comes in a variety of fun colors.  And there are other band types to choose from, as well. 

This is something that I am totally obsessed with right now.  Its main purpose is as a stand so you can use your IPad when you are cooking.  But it is so much more than that.  It is a stand that allows me to do reading for school off of my IPad without having to hold it, can be a stand for your phone for hands free talking, and you can watch movies and stuff on it, too.  It is really great, and perfect for extra bad joint pain days.  I got mine at Barnes & Noble, but Amazon sells it, too, or you can purchase it directly from Prepara.  Definitely worth it if you have an IPad.


I hope that this has given you some ideas for gifts for yourself or others this holiday season.

I would love, love, love it if this post makes it to any of the companies I’ve highlighted, that they might donate a product or two for a giveaway.  So Miamica, EOS, Urban Outfitters, Oxo, Apple, Amazon or Cynthia Toussaint, Danea Horn, Katy Butler, Daniel Malito, Lauren’s Hope, Sara Gorman, Sabi, Road ID, and Prepara, if you are out there reading, please help me offer some great holiday giveaways to my readers.

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