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10 Gifts for the Person With Chronic Pain in Your Life

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The holidays are a time for gathering, socializing and presents. This is my wish list, as a person with chronic pain, for things that would help me out only during the cold winter months when everything is flaring, but year round. These are things I have found to help me, and I hope they will help others.

1. Heated blanket — For people with chronic pain, the cold makes everything worse. Joints stiffen up. We hurt down to the bone. The colder we are, the more we hurt. A heated blanket (and please include a heating pad, extra large) can be a lifesaver.

2. Physical therapy style ice packs, including ones for different body parts — Elevate and ice. If you have ever had a sprain, you’ve heard those words. But not with just any ice packs — the physical therapy type ice packs. They are much easier to maneuver into position. And please, while you’re at it, get different types of ice packs: i.e., back, neck, foot.

3. A wedge pillow for our legs — elevate and ice.

4. Deep Blue Rub by dOterra — I honestly swear by this. Not only does it help my pain, it has a calming smell. If your loved one is sensitive to essential oils or smells, then grab a nice bottle of BioFreeze.

5. Epsom salt for hot baths — A nice hot bath (with or without bubbles, your preference) is relaxing. A nice hot bath with Epsom salt helps with pain.

6. Comfy pajamas and warm slippers — These are a must, but especially for those of us who stay home most of the time. We need something warm, comfortable and easy on and off. I often stay in my pajamas all day long. I just don’t have the spoons to get dressed. Great pajamas are a must, and some fuzzy slippers with hard bottoms like shoes, as some of us are prone to slipping and falling.

7. Give us extra time for everything — It takes us extra long to get going, especially in the morning when it’s extra cold and we are just waking up, to get dressed and out the door. We move slower. We can’t help it. Our bones and joints will not allow us to. Please be patient.

8. Amazing headphones — Music is an amazing pain healer. For the kind of music you need to at least drown the pain out a little bit, they must have excellent audio quality, are comfy to wear, don’t require a lot of adjustment, fit easily in a bag. Some of us with another taste might prefer over the ear blue tooth headphones.

9. The best pillow you can find — I generally stick with 100 percent goose down pillows. You can find deals on them at Costco. Some people prefer harder pillows. Bamboo pillows are great. A great pillow, that fits your loved one’s needs, can help us get better sleep and have less neck and back pain in the morning.

10. A new computer — As a spoonie who has been confined to her home for most of this year, a computer is my way into the world.  I had my computer gone for a week to get it fixed, and it was the longest week of my life. Don’t get a crappy computer because that will be annoying to us homebound computer people. If you have the money, MacBooks are life changing. A good PC will do in a pinch, though.

Follow this journey on When Mental and Chronic Illness Collide.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 2, 2016
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