The holidays are upon us, and you’re probably turning your mind to your shopping list and gift-buying. If you have a man on your list with chronic illness or disability, you may be looking for something extra meaningful or useful this year. Here are a few of my top picks for men (and check out my lists for women and kids!).
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I post links to products that I have used personally, or that I feel might be helpful or useful to my readers. I particularly like to support small businesses, socially-responsible sellers, and other disabled/chronically ill individuals whenever possible.
Gifts for Flare Days
Flare days most often mean long days of resting. Even with a padded headboard or a collection of pillows, it can be uncomfortable to spend hours in bed. A wedge pillow is a great option for those days! The shape provides great support when sitting, or it can be reconfigured in a number of ways to raise the legs, support the back, or even hold a laptop or other device at a helpful angle. Most pillows come with removable washable covers, too, making it easier to keep them clean and fresh.
Many chronic illness sufferers are no strangers to pain, aching muscles, and/or altered sensation. One of the ways to ease some of these symptoms is with a warm bath in a jetted tub. Unfortunately, most tubs don’t come with jets pre-installed. Enter this nifty little gadget! Easy to fit on the side of any bathtub, this device will create bubbles and jets to help relax and soothe sore bodies.
Staying well-hydrated is vital to all of us–but especially those of us living with chronic illness. But just because we have to drink more water, that doesn’t mean we can’t drink from a good-looking bottle! Metal bottles have gained in popularity recently because of their long-lasting durability and their lack of BPAs and other harmful chemicals. A slender bottle like this may be most useful to someone with pain or weakness, since it doesn’t require them to grip a heavy, awkward shape. The small profile also allows this bottle to fit into most cupholders and similar spaces. And the wood finish is absolutely gorgeous!
Compression socks are necessary for everything from deep vein thrombosis prevention, clotting disorders, autonomic dysfunction, POTS, and many more conditions. While their purpose is strictly medical, why not have a little fun with them? Several companies sell patterned compression socks that blend a little fun with medical necessity. These green argyle socks are the perfect (practical) accessory for holiday get-togethers, and they’re sure to bring a little smile!
Gifts to Encourage
Chronic illness is a long, difficult marathon. Even the most upbeat of us needs a little encouragement from time to time. Gifts that affirm and encourage can be so very welcome for the hard days. This little stack of cards, designed specifically for individuals with chronic illness, is meant to do just that. Small and compact, they can be taken anywhere (even to the waiting room of yet another doctor’s office), and they come in an easy-to-open container for those with pain and dexterity issues.
Sometimes what we need most is to hear our own struggle put into words by another person. While we may not all face the same situation and symptoms, all of us in the chronic illness sector are familiar with the uncertainty, disruption, and grief that accompany long-term illness. Books that capture this experience with some levity and hope are often the encouragement we need. There are many such books on the market, but one that’s gotten a lot of attention (with good reason!) is Kate Bowler’s No Cure for Being Human (and if reading or holding a book presents a challenge, the book is widely available as an audiobook as well!).
Just for Fun Gifts
Low batteries are the electronic equivalent to the extreme fatigue many of us with chronic illness experience. In fact, we often joke that our batteries are running low, or that we are “out of juice.” This fun pin is a great way to make light of this side of illness, and to bring a smile. Being small, it makes a great stocking stuffer, too!
For the book nerd spoonie, this t-shirt (with reference to the famous line from the Harry Potter books) is a great way to have some fun with all the chaos of chronic illness. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, it’s a great gift option (plus, a t-shirt is comfortable for those flare days spent between the couch and bed!).
Happy shopping and gifting!