People with multiple chronic illnesses (like myself) have slightly different wishlists than “normal” people (or those without chronic conditions). They’ll still have normal wishlists, but these are some things that most of them would absolutely love but may not want to actually ask for because they may seem “odd.” Even if one of these isn’t on the wishlist they gave you, getting one of these gifts will likely light up their entire day and become a most used item!
For this list, I will try to put the types of conditions that may benefit from these presents with each item. Also, if these is an asterisk (*) next to any link, I will get a small commission/referral/affiliate payment if you purchase – however, these links will never cost you any more money to use, you’ll just be helping me out a little (almost like giving two gifts for the price of one). Anything from FindingTheSilverSun on Zazzle comes directly from my own Zazzle shop and they are my designs (so I get paid when you buy them, thank you)! This list is not in any particular order.
Chronic Illness Gift List
1 – Microwaveable Heating Pad
I personally don’t like the heating pads you have to plug in, because you can’t do anything when you need to use them. I frequently strap a heating pad around my lumbar back or neck and continue on with the stuff I need to do around the house. Flax seed heating pads can also be used as gentle cold packs (they can be stuck in the freezer). Look for a size/shape that can be used for multiple locations, unless they only get pain in a specific place. I prefer long and skinny pads because I can wrap them around my neck, lay them along my spine, wrap them around my waist/hips, and lay them around my feet. For chronic illness warriors, unscented is recommended. Many people with any sort of chronic condition can be extremely sensitive to scents, and a “benign” scent to you could be totally overwhelming and make them extremely ill.
Conditions: chronic pain, chronic headaches, occipital neuralgia, fibromyalgia, migraines, temperature intolerance, temperature dysregulation, endometriosis
2 – Fuzzy Socks
Winter can make “normal” people experience painfully cold feet… Now imagine that your feet can get painfully cold when it’s 90°F (32°C) outside – suddenly, a 50°F (10°C) sounds like it could get miserable! Putting on a normal pair of socks won’t usually cut it for keeping feet warm, but fuzzy socks are amazing! The airspace that the fluff creates heats up and helps hold warm air around your frozen toes. The ones without grippers are fantastic for wearing inside of other shoes/slippers, but if they’re just going to be wearing the socks around without shoes get grippers so they won’t slip and fall! (Fuzzy socks are extremely slippery!)
Conditions: chronic pain, poor circulation, cold intolerance, temperature dysregulation
3 – Nice Lounge Clothes
A lot of chronic illness warriors spend the majority of their time in lounge clothes. Our favorite “around the house” clothing wears out very quickly, but we will usually wear our favorites until they become completely unwearable – that’s how important comfortable clothing is to us! Getting luxuriously soft lounge clothes, for any weather, as a present would be amazing!
When picking out the clothing, keep in mind their conditions (do tight clothes cause them pain? then get them a size larger than you normally would) and any allergies. If you don’t know material allergies, stay away from wool of any kind – it’s the most common clothing allergen. Try to find tagless clothing, or clothing where the tags aren’t going to be annoying (such as at the bottom of a tee shirt that would be laying against other clothing instead of the skin), and take note of where the seams are (do they spend a ton of time laying on their side? try to find pants that don’t have bulky side seams). Think in layers too, especially if they have problems regulating their temperature or run fevers often. Try to find lounge clothes in person if possible, so you can feel them ahead of time, but here are some of my favorites.
Conditions: any conditions that cause fatigue or pain, sensory processing disorders
4 – Cozy Blanket
Who doesn’t need a blanket?! Seriously, is there anyone?! Anyway, chronic illness warriors love blankets. Many of us have problems regulating our temperature, or get extra pain when we get cold, or spend a lot of time needing to rest. Many of us also have to spend a lot of time in the hospital, and a cozy blanket is so much nicer than those weird sheet/blanket things they have there. Again, avoid wool. Fleece is a favorite option because it’s warm, easy to transport, easy to care for and clean, and very soft!
Conditions: any conditions that require frequent hospital stays or ER visits, fatigue, chronic pain
5 – Good Slippers
Are you noticing a theme?! We love being comfortable! Honestly, our bodies make us so miserable most of the time, we won’t tolerate anything in our control being uncomfortable. Good slippers are more than just comfortable, however, they’re also important to our safety. A good pair of slippers will have non-slip grippers on the bottom! With the amount of conditions that cause instability, we are even more prone to slipping than we would be otherwise. To check the grip, put the slipper on your hand, and see how easily it will slide across the floor with barely any weight on it. The better the gripper, the less weight needs to be applied for it to stay put. Other qualities to look for in a good slipper: well cushioned sole, high quality stitching, nothing to trip on (no loops that will hook on the other shoe, nothing that will come untied and can be stepped on, etc), long lasting materials, and no allergens (avoid wool). Appropriately themed slippers (like a favorite animal or character) or slippers in our favorite colors will make us smile too, and will give a little bit of happiness to even the worst days!
Conditions: chronic pain, temperature dysregulation, cold intolerance, any condition that causes dizziness or difficulty walking/standing
Do you have a chronic illness? What would you add to this list?!
And yes… these are some not-so-subtle hints as to what I would love to get myself!!! (I already have the “chronic illness warrior sweatshirt” and absolutely love it!)