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Gift Ideas for People Living with Chronic Pain and Fatigue

The need for specialized gifts is not exclusive to chronic pain and fatigue patients. The same rules can be applied to those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, Gulf War Syndrome, Lymes disease and others. The following list is meant to stimulate your own creative juices as you look for appropriate gifts for your family, friends and co-workers.

Many people living with chronic pain are no longer able to work outside of the home, so things taken for granted by a healthy person can can be a hardship for others. Money is also an issue as pain patients give up luxuries to pay for medication, co-pays and therapy sessions.

Physical capability is another issue to consider when deciding on a gift. Expensive perfume can be an unwanted gift for someone with chemical sensitivities. The newest piece of fitness equipment will be wasted if the person you puchase it for can barely walk to the car some days. Things that provide a deadline are also a bad idea, such as theater tickets to an expensive show. A chronic pain patient can feel good one day and the next they can barely tie their shoes, leaving them unable to clean up, dress and travel on the day of the show.

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Below you will find a list of gift ideas that will hopefully spark your own creativity based on your relationship with the person in question.

High End Gifts:

~   Electric wheelchair or powered scooter to restore independence.
~  A personal home elevator
~ A home companion, cook or maid.
~  Weekly cleaning service
~  Yard care such as snow removal, leaf raking and lawn mowing.
~  A car service to and from appointments or a person to insure car care. (Filling the gas tank, checking tire pressure, fluids etc.)
~  Suprise them with a visit from an HVAC professional who will do maintenance and safety checks on their heating system.
~ A piece of new technology they may not be able to afford. (Blu-ray, I-pod, laptop, personal spa)


Mid-Range Gifts:

~ A gift card covering several months to a local grocery store, insuring their nutritional needs are met.
~ A gift card covering several months to a local drug store to defray the cost of medication and personal care items.
~ A gift certificate for home massage or reiki treatments.
~ Electric blankets or wraps.
~ Make a large payment to their gas, electric or propane provider. Send a payment to their mortgage holder.
~ Items such as the theracane, thumper, gel-packs, memory foam mattresses and other therapy items that can be to pricey
   for those on a fixed income.

Affordable Gifts:

This is one of the most overlooked categories, yet it may be one of the most important. Those who have large medication bills, or are unable to work outside of the home live without many of the things others take for granted. Something as simple as the morning paper can be out of reach to someone who has to choose between medication, food or electricity as they plan their monthly budget.

~ A yearly subscription to the local newspaper can help people locate shopping bargains, connect with local support groups and stay in
   touch with the community.

~ A gift card to a local grocery store or drug store.
~ A yearly subscription to a magazine catering to something that interests them.
~ Gadgets to make cooking or cleaning easier. Items with padded, ergonomic handles, self-propelled
vacuums and robotic vacuums
   are great. The newer, lightweight bake-ware, pots and pans can greatly reduce arm strain.
~ A mechanical jar opener or hands free can opener.
~ Gift certificates to a local book store or a coupon offering to take them to the library once a week.
~ Fibro friendly clothing. Tight, rough clothing can be unbearable for most FM sufferers so loose fitting, soft clothing they may not be
   able to afford will be a welcome gift.
~ Warm gloves, hats, scarves and robes.
~ Memory foam pillows or slippers.
~ Unscented or low odor bath salts to soothe aching muscles. You can buy epsom salt and add a scent they tolerate with essential oils.
~ A membership to Netflix or another movie service.
~ A subscription to an online music service so they can load their portable player with music.
~ A gift certificate with no expiration date to a superstore. This allows them to replace a broken microwave or buy new shoes in the
   upcoming year.

~ Anything that can help them maintain a treasured collection. Buy holiday decorations they can no longer afford, or anything else
   they collect for pleasure.
~ A portable heater or fan that can make them comfortable in a special room.
~ A new, ergonomic desk chair for the computer room.
~ Microwavable heat packs for the neck, back or any painful area.
~ Cook a large batch of their favorite food and package for the freezer so they can heat and eat on days they are unable to cook.
~ Drop off cookies and other items before the holiday so they can entertain friends without wasting energy or money
   on refreshments.
~ Items they are unable to afford for their children or grandchildren such as video games, music players and trendy toys.

We hope this list has stimulated your imagination as you care for the loved ones in your life. If you have a great idea that was not featured please feel free to send it to us. Gift Idea.

Jane Kohler

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