By Donna Gregory Burch.
FTC disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! I saw my first Christmas decorations in stores in September, and before I knew it Halloween and Thanksgiving had whizzed past. Bah humbug! I’m not ready for trees and glitter and Christmas carols. I’m still dreaming about turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie!
Well, like it or not, the holiday season is here, so without further ado, here is my 2017 annual gift guide!
Gifts of less pain
Most of my year has been spent trying to get my pain under control. I still haven’t won the war, but I am making a little progress thanks to some of the tools below.
Quell Starter Kit – The Quell pain relief device is the only repeat item from last year’s gift guide. I had to include it again because it’s that good! I’ve written a couple of articles on why I love the Quell so much. You can read those here and here. But the short answer is this: It’s the only device that’s consistently reduced pain throughout my body. People often confuse it as a TENS unit, but it’s so, so much better than that. It’s whole-body, drug-free, completely mobile pain relief!
HealthyLine PEMF mats – If you find heat helpful for pain management, then you’ll love HealthyLine’s pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) mats! PEMF is proven to provide pain relief, healing, relaxation and other benefits. I’ll be doing a full review on one of HealthyLine’s PEMF mats soon. In the meantime, you can read my review of HealthyLine’s InfraMat Pro heated gemstone mat. HealthyLine is offering FedUpwithFatigue.com readers a 10 percent discount with the code fwf10.
Inversion table – Since summer, I’ve been struggling with a herniated disc in my lower back. I’ve done physical therapy, taken short-term steroids, had injections, kept up a stretching routine, etc., but the one thing that’s helped the most is my inversion table. My back specialist recommended an inversion table after I wasn’t responding to traditional treatments. I lie on it for a few minutes twice a day at a partial incline – it’s not necessary to go completely upside down – and it takes the pressure off my herniated disc. It’s been a lifesaver! I bought mine secondhand on Craigslist, but Amazon sells them in different price ranges. I’ve read good things about the Teeter models. (Helpful tip: Some inversion tables cause pain in the ankles as you’re hanging. I remedied this by wearing a pair of padded winter boots while hanging. Works great instead of spending $100 on these specially made inversion boots.)
Oska Pulse – The Oska Pulse delivers PEMF frequencies to the body, increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation, easing pain and promoting the release of natural endorphins. Several of my fellow fibro/Lyme bloggers report great success with it. You can read a few of their reviews here, here and here. Oska is offering $55 off by using the code FEDUP5 at checkout.
Gifts of self-care
Resonant Botanicals’ Invigorate lotion – You guys know I’m a sucker for trying any kind of pain-relieving cream or ointment, but I discovered a new favorite earlier this year when I was asked to review Resonant Botanicals’ Invigorate lotion. This stuff is hands down the best pain-relieving lotion I’ve ever used. I find myself applying it multiple times a day. I wish I could bathe in it! Resonant is offering FedUpwithFatigue.com readers a 10 percent discount and free shipping with the code FEDUP10.
Heated slippers – I swear my feet are cold from October to June (and that’s WITH thyroid medication). When I saw heated slippers included on another fibro blogger’s gift guide, I knew I had to add a pair to mine, too.
Weighted blanket – My fibro friend Abbie Anderson recently made me a weighted blanket, and I’ve been using it at night while I watch TV in my recliner. It’s snuggly and comforting, but there are actually health benefits to using a weighted blanket, too. They’ve been shown to decrease anxiety and improve sleep. If you’re interested in a handmade blanket, you can contact Abbie through her Facebook page or by emailing her at email@example.com.
Gifts that keep giving
I love the idea of monthly subscriptions because they extend the gift-giving season past December. Cratejoy offers subscription boxes for almost any interest, but two that are relevant for the chronic illness community are the Spoonie Essentials Box and Hopebox.
“Spoonie Essentials is a monthly ‘pick-me-up’ care package subscription for chronic-illness patient warriors of five to eight items intended to make each day a little better by spreading a little extra love and care. Themes change each month to reflect popular chronic-illness lifestyle culture like ‘namaste-in-bed’ or ‘naps, Netflix & pills’ for more fun!” describes the Cratejoy site.
“Hopebox is a monthly care package subscription box that delivers what we all need most… hope! We carefully select each month’s assortment of renewing, uplifting goodies handmade by creative artisans who have their own inspiring stories of hope and healing. Every box includes a heartfelt, comforting, and encouraging message as well!” describes the Cratejoy site.
Audible membership – I’ve pretty much given up reading for pleasure due to brain fog and poor concentration, but I can still enjoy books through my Audible membership. Amazon has partnered with Audible to offer thousands of audiobooks. You can listen on most any device, and once you buy an audiobook, it’s yours to keep.
Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She was later diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Donna covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia and Lyme on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.