Happy holidays and happier holiday shopping, my dear followers!
If you’re like me, the whole holiday season gets mixed up because it feels like it starts in October. That means you don’t know when to start buying presents and it gets put off over and over again. If you need to be told like I do, NOW is a good time to start thinking about it. And if you have a loved one with dysautonomia on your shopping list, I’m here to help.
I chose a bunch of fabulous dysautonomia friendly/dysautonomia inspired gifts, but keep in mind, people with dysautonomia have a 99.9% chance of enjoying what all non-NCS, non-POTS, non-AAG, non-every-other-form-of-dysautonomia patients would enjoy. When in doubt, go for what is truly and essentially them. And most of the time, that is Netflix subscriptions, iTunes gift cards, or just cash. I know Emily Post would probably frown upon cash gifts, but she died in 1960, and I’m the one with the blog.
I did not receive any kickbacks for these recommendations but I would totally appreciate them if anyone’s offering.
Shopping reminder: when you use Amazon, shop through smile.amazon.com and select Dysautonomia International as your charity of choice! 6% of your total purchase price will be donated to them at no extra cost to you!
SO, AT LONG LAST, HERE ARE SOME DYSAUTONOMIA INSPIRED HOLIDAY GIFTS.
I Heart Guts plush organs
“I hate your guts” is a pretty different phrase from the original playground insult when you’re saying it to someone with internal organ dysfunctions. But what if you learn to love the things you hate because someone has made them into adorable cartoon stuffed plushes? That’s what artist Wendy Bryan Lazar did, and now we can all make peace with our messed up hearts, brains, colons, you name it because of it.
Bravelets Bracelets for Dysautonomia International
These are some of the world’s cutest bracelets and necklaces and I should know, I spend a lot of time lurking on jewelry websites. We sell them at the Dysautonomia International patient conferences and they’re such a huge hit because they’re simple but bold. Bonus, $10 of every purchase goes to Dysautonomia International!
Keeping your bedroom clean and decorated is hard when you have little to no energy, and calendars are the easiest way to refresh your bedroom decorations: each month, flip the calendar, new artwork. Whether the person you’re shopping for likes to to adorn their walls with inspirational quotes, snarky sayings, or illustrations of animals, there’s something out there for them to keep a smile on their face.
- Be Yourself poster calendar ($16.99) (pictured)
- Business Cats wall calendar ($20)
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ($8.74)
Blankets are the perfect gift. Non-denominational winter holiday? Blankets! New house? Blankets!! Bought a new blanket? MORE BLANKETS!!!
One of the first things that goes away with dysautonomia is your ability to regulate your body temperature, so blankets really are the perfect gift. Some of us are freezing all of the time, some of us are constantly sweaty, and some of us (me) vacillate drastically between the two. It’s good to have blankets on hand.
Here are a few top-rated/reviewed blankets I found online for your convenience:
- Threshold Fuzzy Throw ($9.99-19.99) (pictured)
- Balichun Super Soft Plush Fleece Blanket ($37.90)
- Heated Fleece Travel Electric Blanket ($29.99)
- Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket ($39.99)
Salt & pepper shakers
Many dysautonomia patients are put on high salt diets to help increase their blood volume. Adding salt to every meal gets very old very quickly, so why not give them the gift of livening up mealtime?
Portable pill containers
I take the majority of my medications when I wake up and go to sleep, but I need to carry five prescription medications with me during the day at all times. I’m an average POTS patient, if not on the low side.
Finding the right way to carry meds is critical and takes a lot of trial and error. Some containers work great until they spring open on a trip and you lose half of your meds because they get crushed underneath your laptop.
My favorite container I’ve ever used is a standard pill container inside of a zip holder from Khols. My mom got it for me for Christmas last year and it’s the envy of my fellow chronic illness friends. It’s compact and easy to describe to people when I misplace it and need help finding it.
Novelty pill containers are fun, too! The Container Store is a gold mine of exciting items. When you’re on a ton of medications, you can never have enough pill containers.
A few years ago, publishers finally figured out that adults like coloring, too. Now, it’s a THING and we can take the time to unwind and have mindless fun relaxing, thinking about nothing, and making things that look nice. Everyone deserves some peaceful time.
While you’re at it, throw in some nice colored pencils and maybe some nice markers.
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns ($8.73) (pictured)
- Adult Coloring Books: A Coloring Book for Adults Featuring Mandalas and Henna Inspired Flowers, Animals, and Paisley Patterns ($5.82)
- Coloring books by Dawn Nicole ($10)
- BuzzFeed: 16 Coloring Books That Are Perfect For Grown-Ups
At the Dysautonomia International conferences, doctors had three key pieces of advice for treatment: exercise, add salt to your diet, and drink water. Drink so much water. Drink it until your pee is clear and then drink some more water.
With all of the hydration that goes on, dysautonomia patients need water bottles and lucky for gift givers, there are eighty billion different kinds out there. I recommend going for larger capacity bottles, generally the 32 fl oz bottles, and getting a spout that is protected from the germy elements.
- Asobu Combine Daily Pill Box Organizer with Water Bottle ($17.50) (pictured)
- Contigo Autospout Addison Water Bottle ($13.53)
- ZYK Sports Water Bottle ($9.99)
- NALGENE Tritan 1-Quart Narrow Mouth Water Bottle ($10.16)
Reusable hot/cold packs
Back to the temperature control thing: people with dysautonomia have none. Especially in our extremities. Bonus, we have a lot of pain, all the time. It’s nice to heat or freeze our joints or necks or bruises or whatever it is that’s in pain.
So give someone a cute one because we’ve had enough of ugly.
Remember, gifts are always about what the recipient would appreciate it. Is it something they want? Is it something they need? Is it something that would make them laugh or smile? Plus you can always take a play from my family’s book: when in doubt, throw in their favorite food.
So happy, happy shopping and happier gift giving! And please share your favorite go-to gifts or the best gifts you’ve ever given/received in the comments!