2016 Dysautonomia inspired gift guide

Happiest of happy holidays, friends!

The gift giving holidays are rapidly approaching and I’m procrastinating my holiday shopping like nobody’s business. That doesn’t mean I don’t have time to help you guys in your holiday shopping for your loved ones with dysautonomia.

And if nothing here strikes you, check out last year’s guide, because I feel very confident that something will strike you as a good gift.

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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!

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Terry Cloth Robes

Some people feel invigorated and reenergized from a shower. POTSies are not those people.

Bathing can be beyond exhausting, and since you can’t change that fact, you can give the gift of a comfortable calm down in the form of terry cloth robes. POTSies can sit and dry off in warmth and comfort rather than shiver in the cold in makeshift towel coverings.

I got the pictured Lands End robe for Christmas last year and it’s my favorite robe that I’ve ever had.

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Himalayan Salt Lamp

POTSies live on salt, so it’s no surprise that so many of us are intrigued by the possibilities of Himalayan Salt Lamps being helpful. Allegedly, the lamps produce tons of negative ions which are supposed to help oxygen travel our brains more easily, help us feel more alert and even clean the air we breathe.

According to all of the research I’ve done, there’s no basis for the claims that Himalayan Salt Lamps can create negative ions strong enough to produce any of these benefits. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an awesome looking lamp, and that people on high salt diets won’t appreciate having a giant salt rock as a lamp and decoration. For that reason, I still recommend it as a great gift to give. They come in tons of different shapes and sizes.

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Swanky Box for Pills & Supplies

Most everyone I know with dysautonomia has a personal pharmacy. Some of us use clear plastic storage boxes, shoe boxes or large trunks if it calls for it. Still, it’s nice to be offered alternatives to our personal pill storage (or even storage options for our other medical supplies, because we got ‘em).

This is the perfect time for a gift buyer to give us the “ooh, pretty!” options we didn’t feel like we could treat ourselves to before.

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Spoon Ring

The Spoon Theory is huge in the chronic illness community—it started as a way for us to explain our limited energy supply in terms of spoons—and has evolved into an identity. The chronically ill are Spoonies, we need more spoons (or energy) in order to get through the day.

A quick way to pay homage to the Spoon Theory for your chronically ill friend is by gifting them a spoon ring—rings made out of old spoons that are great as thumb rings in particular. I’ve had one for about five or six years and have gotten endless compliments on it. Etsy is the best place to find them in my experience—and here are some great ones.

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Artwork

One of the good rules of gift giving is to get someone a gift that they wouldn’t buy themselves. When you’re chronically ill and strapped for cash, you’re not going to spend your limited money buying artwork for your bedroom, no matter how much it improves your morale.

I can’t say what your friend/brother/sister/daughter/son/girlfriend/boyfriend/acquaintance/secretsantaperson will like best in terms of art.

If you’re going with a dysautonomia fighting theme, look for turquoise, ribbons, spoons, zebras if they have EDS. Otherwise, just look for something that looks nice, something that reminds you of the best parts of them.

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Hat, Scarf & Gloves

Give me a room full of POTSies. Half will be shivering and half will be sweating. Temperature control does not exist where dysautonomia is concerned and winter does nothing to help matters.

Even though a lot of POTSies run warm (or even sweaty—myself included), if it gets cold where you live, hats, scarves and gloves are the classic gift for everyone, dysautonomia or not. They’re festive, they’re pretty, it’s hard to go wrong.

Also, a common comorbidity with dysautonomia is Raynaud’s Syndrome which leaves peoples’ feet and hands feeling numb or freezing cold due to poor (or truly just garbage) blood flow. So if your friend is constantly rubbing their hands together complaining that they’re freezing, this is your time to shine as a thoughtful gift giver.

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Lap Desk

Some people with dysautonomia are bed bound. And even the ones who are not bed bound still tend to spend a lot of time in bed or lying flat on their backs because they’re least symptomatic that way.

All of us who have used laptops are familiar with how quickly they go from computers to searing hot irons of white hot burning pain without proper ventilation when sitting on your legs which is why a lap desk is necessary to use a laptop. They’re also great for setting up pills in your room, doing homework and coloring in coloring books (a perennial favorite of humans everywhere.)

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Aromatherapy Diffuser & Drops

Essential oils are tricky. There are some companies trying to suggest that their blend of juniperberrycitronellaspruceetcetera is going to help me forgive people if I rub it on pulse points and heart. But I do know for a fact that I feel a little calmer when I take a deep breath and inhale peppermint very deeply.

So with that in mind, that I’m not suggesting that grapefruitpeppermintcinnamongingerspice in water will cure dysautonomia, I’ve heard some nice things about diffusers—if nothing else that they make your loved one’s house smell amazing and that’s a nice gift to give.

Plus, I found a diffuser that looks like a WHALE. If that doesn’t excite you, nothing will.

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Headache Essential Oil Roller & Cream

So another thing about aromatherapy. These things (an essential oil rollerball and headache cream) will not make headaches go away. But they help so much and are as important to my routine of treating headaches as ibuprofen and drinking lots of water or consuming caffeine to fight off a headache.

I’ve become a bit of an evangelist about these two products (I don’t get any kickbacks from them, but I’d love to), and while it might seem weird to give as a Christmas gift, I can guarantee you that even though these are things I buy maybe once a year (because yes, they last that long!), I would also love to receive them. They cool your skin on contact and help ease the tension you feel during headaches and migraines. I love them and maybe you should buy a couple for yourself, too.

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Miscellaneous dysautonomia themed gifts

And some things I found online that just looked cool

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Did I miss anything awesome dysautonomia themed gifts this year? What’s on your wish list or shopping list? Share in the comments!

I’m grateful for fuzzy feelings on Thanksgiving
Sorry I didn’t answer your question

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