Sunday, June 16, 2019
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Gifts Ideas for those with Fibromyalgia and CFS!

Since Christmas is coming up (or any holidays you celebrate!), I thought I would write an article on great gifts for people who are suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.  We have slightly different needs, so tailored presents are MUCH appreciated!

  1. Super comfortable pajamas!  Many people with these illnesses have excessive skin pain, where it seems like even the air hurts (including myself!).  Try to get something in a cotton/modal combination – this is a great example: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3146013?origin=category&resultback=600.
  2. Slippers/a robe/a blanket (or some combination thereof!).  Most Fibro and CFIDS patients are always cold or hot.  When cold, a little extra protection is needed.  Again, look for the softest and warmest materials you can find.  I have two robes, several pairs of slippers, and a leopard print snuggie (which I totally recommend haha)!
  3. This is a pricey one, but an iPod Touch.  I can’t even describe how much joy this little machine has brought to my life.  You can take it in bed when you have insomnia, and listen to favorite music while playing great games like Bejeweled 2.  It helps my mind settle down and lessens my concentration on the pain.  It’s just a really tiny computer!
  4. New pillows with decorative pillowcases!  I love merging art and daily objects, especially something as integral as a pillow.  It MUST be comfortable though!
  5. Magazines/puzzle books/coloring books of their liking!  Couch days or hospital days are made a whole lot less boring with the addition of these little joys!
  6. The gift of some of your time.  I don’t know how many days that I have loved people for taking the time to help me with something like the dishes, changing the sheets on my bed, or driving me to an appointment!  Such simple tasks are a HUGE gift to those who are lacking in energy!
  7. Care packages!!!  As soon as I get a little more ambition, I’m going to make a ton of these!  I don’t think that there is anything that shows you care more than a nice little parcel of customized love!
  8. If you are especially close to the ill person, check in regularly, and if they are up for it, take them out for something short and decadent!  A fancy dessert place, a facial – anything that will make them feel pampered!

The best part of the holidays, in my opinion, is the gathering and closeness of individuals.  When it comes right down to it, all we really want is to still be considered for all major events, and in touch with friends and family.  Any gesture of kindness from another person is sure to be a treat to those suffering from illnesses at the holidays.

This is just a small sample of the nice things you can do year round for those in your life who have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!  If you are one of these people, buy yourself some presents to help you feel a little better!

What do you all want to add to the list??!

xoxo,

Annie

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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14 comments

  1. It is really hard to take your writing seriously.

    It is a constant pity party at your blog. If you are sick and you want to be proactive..than actually be proactive instead of seeking support and pity online. That is not being proactive.

    I am not saying that you are not sick.

    Clearly, you are.

    I am saying that the overall tone of your blog is depressing. I am sick too. I know that it is not easy. But you do not inspire me to take charge of my life. All I get from your articles is you writing that “it’s okay to curl up and spend your life on the couch..sometimes sick people need to do that”.

    Yeah. Obviously.

    I am done reading this stuff. If anyone knows a sick writer who can actually make me want to go get a job, have great hobbies, and live a normal life despite my near constant pain, let me know.

    • Obviously UGH you are not that sick.
      Annie is one of the toughest women I have EVER met!! She suffers every day and she still manages to get so much done and make people feel loved, On top of that she still has a smile on her face through it all and she empowers me every single day and I’m as healthy as one gets. She’s an inspration to EVERYONE sick or not. Her blog helps so many people feel less alone with these horrible ailments. She is home bound most of the time and seeking and providing support to people online is a hell of a lot more that I can see you doing for your fellow sick,
      It’s you that’s missing out on the love and knowlage from this remarkable woman.

      I love you Annie, with every ounce of my soul. You are beautiful and a ray of sunshine to all that love you!!

    • If you think her blog is depressing. Then why do you read it? Clearly you find it interesting in the very least else you wouldn’t be reading it?

      I actually don’t think her blog is a ‘pity party’. Have you read her blog in it’s entirety? Have you read her other blogs. There are many that are inspiring, hopeful, funny and supportive. I think you have missed those ones.

      A blog is personal. You aren’t supposed to take someone’s blog seriously. That is the point of a blog. You can write what you want in your own space. People can choose to read it and interact with you or they can choose not to.

      I don’t believe that someone with such a negative view on health issues should even be on this website! You have compromised the fundamental requirements for a site such as this. This space is a place dedicated to women’s health issues and to the sufferers and supporters of those illnesses. Your comments are not supportive nor are they informative. They are abusive and derogatory.

      We have done so much to advocate and bring attention to the invisible illness and the stigma that is attached to them. – especially with regard to the way in which we are treated by others. You have just taken us back about 15 years.

      Shame on you for making such nasty, rude and abusive comments on a site dedicated to support and assist other people. I think you need to apologise to Annie and to the other readers of this site that have read your insensitive and destructive comments. I would also encourage other readers to report you for your abhorent communication.

      • this is exactly what i was thinking!!
        first of all, you don’t like the blog, yet you’re (probably in your mind, *wasting* time reading it).
        then, to add to that — you spend MORE of your time writing a long ass comment just to put someone down. and for what reason? what are you gaining here?
        i’m sorry, but i’m BEYOND sick (no pun intended) of people not understanding or thinking they can judge or say what they want. yes, i’ve had times i’ve felt great. they even thought my SLE was going into remission about a year and a half ago and now, guess what — i had a flare and was sicker than i’ve ever been and am Still recovering more than six months later, constantly on new meds and filing for state disability, SSDI, and SSI … as well as having to ask for help from Toys for Tots and other such services so my daughter can have a decent life.
        and as for me, hell yeah it’s gonna help if people give me warm pj’s or something of the like for Christmas rather than a cookbook (idk :P) or something I’m sure as heck not going to use!! i’m struggling making mac n cheese for the kiddo right now. i went from cooking Chef Boyardee in a saucepan to microwaving it in a minute and a half because I simply can’t stand for that long. i have to sit on the toilet to brush my teeth.
        YET — i’m out there advocating, lobbying, supporting, doing whatever i possibly, physically and mentally can to help others and to spread awareness about ALL invisible illnesses/diseases.
        it’s not easy, but it’s important. most people don’t even know when i’m feeling bad (granted, that’s most every day, but still…)
        i don’t complain except places where it’s set up to do so — your OWN PERSONAL BLOG, twitter, facebook, bydls, etc…

        anyway, sorry to go off on a reply to ‘thatgirlwihendo’ but i just get so angry when i hear and see things like this.
        i work as hard as i can. i am an author and an editor. sometimes i can do the work, sometimes i can’t. today, i couldn’t. i slept til noon. i safeguard my house and my child has been living with this forever so she knows how to behave.

        **on a COMPLETELY separate, positive note — one, i found not one, but 2 soft, fuzzy robes in boxes in my garage today so i’m superrrr excited for tomorrow.

        annie — this is a fabulous post with great ideas. there are a few things i can think of to add..
        *if you go to http://beddingexperts.com/index.html (it’s not working at the moment…idk why…it usually does) and order a pillow called ‘i love my pillow.’ it is Phenomenal — seriously. beyond amazing.
        *also, since so many people are making holiday meals in the next few weeks through the end of the year, anyway, maybe they could make up some extra and bring you over a few days or even a week’s worth — something you can just heat up.
        *candles. candles are great! i love them, at least. i’ve heard over and over that beeswax candles are the only ones that are ok for autoimmune disorders, though, and are a bit more expensive. i honestly don’t know why others are bad…it’s like flourescent lighting..
        *movies and books are always good. especially movies if you’re foggy and can’t read for too long. when you’re curled up on the sofa, have something new to watch. or better yet — a season of a great show…. so it’ll last longer and you can have a marathon.

        just a few things i thought of 🙂
        and keep doing what you’re doing, how you’re doing. don’t let the naysayers get ya down 😉

    • I am a sick writer who has a job, hobbies, and a somewhat normal life even though I live in constant pain.

      But I have been in Annie’s shoes and been on the couch and in bed and sometimes it’s what’s needed to be done. I hope that I don’t get as sick as I used to be but considering my body is showing signs of neurological deficits and increased chronic pain again after four years of feeling better only to get sick again, I too may have to live a low key life. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s called taking care of yourself and being self aware.

      I am a human being not a human doing.

      Ugh, if you’re in constant pain and choose to live your life a certain way that’s totally up to you. Some of us choose to live our lives a different way when we are sick and that’s OK.

      It’s not easy being sick – I’ve lost friends and family because of it, and it’s because they don’t get it. But they’re not in the front of my mind. My supporters are. I don’t hang out with emotional vampires.

      Please stop being an emotional vampire by writing things that hurt Annie’s feelings. It can make her feel more sick. I’m assuming this web site is one of Annie’s tools that she uses to make herself feel better.

      Annie – I just loved the Christmas present piece you wrote it’s awesome and positive.

      This site is now bubble wrapped to keep emotional vampires out. 🙂

      Regards
      ~ Ann

    • I have been following Annie’s blog for quite some time now and also follow her on twitter. There have been countless times that we blow each other’s DM box with support for each other. Annie is a beautiful soul and has helped lift me up at my lowest points.

      I am very sorry that you feel this way about Annie’s blog, but I am even more sorry that you choose to publicly belittle someone with a chronic illness who is doing her best to be herself and to be honest about who she is. I would much rather read truth than a bunch of fluff.

      You must only be focusing on her rough moments because I am a regular reader of Annie’s and have read many positive posts of hers. I do hope that you rethink what you have written and keep in mind that all of us suffering with with chronic illnesses. We need to be supportive of each other, and when we do not have anything positive to say, we should just choose not to comment.

      I also blog and have a website if you would like to check it out: http://www.LissasWorld.com. I do not censor what I write in my blog posts, as I feel as if I did I would not be true to myself. My husband has said numerous times that I should be careful and not write too many “negative” posts. Although I appreciate his suggestion, I believe that the majority of people who are suffering with chronic illness could benefit from them, as it shows that I am a real human being who goes through the same struggles as they do. I have gotten lots of feedback on my so called “poor me” posts and all of the feedback has been positive. People have thanked me for writing the truth and are glad to know that they are not alone. I also have positive posts, and informational posts.

      All of us suffering with chronic illnesses should embrace each other for who we are. Lets face it, a completely healthy person can be as supportive as possible to us, but they truly do not know what we are going through. It is nice to have friends who understand.

      Annie- you are one of the most amazing people I know, and please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I love you tons!

    • You know, I hope someday you will look back on this comment of yours and be ASHAMED of the terrible things you have said. This site is about SUPPORTING each other, not dragging each other down. In addition to our illnesses which already do that, many of us have people in our lives who don’t understand, are judgmental or unsupportive. Other ill people should support each other not add to the trauma.

      Who are you to decide that you are superior to Annie. Why do you even read her blog if you hate it so much? A blog isn’t homework, nobody is forcing you to read it. Frankly, Annie’s blog reaches out to a lot of people who are feeling afraid and alone with incurable, chronic, debilitating illnesses. Perhaps you only read a few of her posts, because she brings a lot of joy and support to a lot of people. For someone who is fighting many illnesses and is generally stuck alone to be able to bring joy to so many people is an achievement beyond what many can manage. Still, if she were to ONLY post happy posts then her blog would be a lie. It wouldn’t represent everything she goes through. Her blog is her space to post about her life, whatever she feels she wants to share.

      If you want to post only happy, uplifting things, then by all means start your own blog. Nobody’s stopping you. The fact of the matter is, you may be capable of going out and doing those things, but not everyone is. Perhaps many of us have a much more advanced form of disease than you do. The post here is about a very specific topic. It clearly wasn’t intended to inspire you to change your life. At the end of the day, many chronic disease sufferers end up hiding their suffering from the people in their lives because those people don’t understand. If you’re so upset about the state of your life, then go do something about it, dont take out your anger and frustration unfairly on someone else.

      Annie has become one of my best friends in the world, because she is ALWAYS supportive and loving no matter what is going on in her life. I hope you find a friend like that someday, maybe then you wouldn’t go around insulting and judging people when you should be fixing the things in your life that upset you so much.

    • Annie gives me strength and hope every day and is a beautiful
      person. If you don’t want to read the article then don’t. As someone who is also sick, you should understand that it is hard enough to stay strong without someone putting you down. Maybe next time you should think about that before posting something hurtful in the future.

  2. It’s so nice to see someone who is sick who can’t handle the fact that they can’t be 100% “normal” anymore.

    What exactly do you have, other than a ridiculous sense of superiority over other people?

    If this was the common perception I got from the Internet-land, I would think about getting off of it. Alas, that is not the case.

    Thank you for your insults. I will continue to blog, and I like to think that it helps even a few people.

  3. You know what I find absolutely fascinating? When given a choice between keeping your negativity to yourself and being an anonymous internet douchebag, you choose to be the douchebag. Way to go, ave. Your mother must be proud of your superiority complex and internet trolling prowess. Two thumbs up.

  4. Obviously, you have a very minor form of illness. Annie pushes herself each and every day to bring joy to those around her despite the pain

    This was a post about gifts for the holidays. You would not believe the people who insist on giving me gifts I can use only a few days a month (if I’m lucky). These people think they are encouraging the good days. Instead, the unused presents sit on shelves making me feel worse and more like a failure. The point of holiday gifts is to make the person feel special and loved. Guess what? Most of us, no matter how hard we try, have more bad days than good. Its a fact. Thoughtful people support us when we’re down and give us tools to help deal with it.

    I’m sorry these post seem depressing to you, but maybe you should print them and hold on to them. Most of our conditions get worse over time, and your day could be coming. And when it happens, you will see what a blessing someone like Annie is.

    Love and Light
    Monica

  5. Annie,

    People relate to your articles and to you because you are going through the same thing they are going through (that’s why we require that our Power Team writers be a warrior or a survivor of the cause they will be writing about). You are realistic and that is what people need and want. That’s how they ‘connect’. If you were to sugar-coat things and present chronic illnesses as something that one can simply set aside so that a ‘normal’ life can be lived, the readers that MATTER would be left feeling like ‘why can’t I do that?’ ‘what’s wrong with me?’ etc..

    Keep doing exactly what you’re doing, Annie. The Fight Like A Girl Club could not be happier with your writing and you are a valuable member of our Power Team! There will ALWAYS be people who pop up in our life for no good reason. We simply must remember the quote by Dr. Suess: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    Warm hugs to you!
    Sandy

  6. Firstly, I think all those gift ideas are awesome! I’d add iPad to the list (yes, I have expensive taste! Hehe) – an iPad is pretty much just like an iPod touch, but has a much bigger screen, and so is easier to use with sore and uncooperative fingers! =D

    In response to the nasty stench’s comments, I have to say, I’ve never found the tone of Annie’s posts depressing – in fact I find them compassionate, inspiring and uplifting! I greatly admire the way she manages to stay so strong and so positive through all the sickness she has to endure, and the way that she is so caring, selfless and understanding towards everyone around her. In my opinion, we definitely need more people like awesome Annie in our world!

    I don’t mean to be rude or judgemental, but if you feel that you don’t “want” to get a job or hobbies, your problem is possibly related to your motivation (rather than sickness). In my experience, most people who are too ill to work (or participate in other activities) desperately “want” to get back to doing these things, and “want” to live a normal life. If you simply need convincing that you want to get a job or hobbies, you are certainly not in the same boat as the rest of us.

    Accusing Annie of not being proactive is just inaccurate and unfair. Annie tirelessly raises awareness about invisible illness, and puts a face and a personal story behind it. She also spends much of her time supporting other sufferers, including me! Words cannot describe the incredible contribution that beautiful Annie makes daily to the lives of those who know her, or the number of people she has helped to educate about invisible illness through her writing.

    To me, Annie’s message is not that “it’s ok to curl up and spend your life on the couch”, but rather – if you are forced by your illness to be stuck on a couch, you can still find hope, friendship, support and understanding; you are not alone. Annie survives her illness with grace, dignity and awesomeness! She is an inspiration to us all 🙂

  7. Wonderful gift ideas! I’m going to add some!
    – iTunes gift certificate, with which to populate your iPod or iPad.
    – Hot and cold packs. I have many and love them dearly.
    – Pill fob. Great for “as needed” meds if you need to be out and about (& away from the drawer of meds).
    – Ginger candy/tea. I’ve found it to be a lifesaver (no pun intended) for nausea.
    – Massage gift certificates, but only to a masseuse/masseur who has medical/PT training and is good with people with chronic illnesses.
    – Leg and arm warmers.

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