When Living with Chronic Illness there are just some things that make life easier to live. I have been living this way for seventeen years officially, but more likely my entire life. My list of must-haves has changed over time but I decided to tell y’all what is working for me right now. So here is my list and a brief description of why these are my must-haves and why.
Heating Pad, Mattress Cover, Blanket
Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall heat is my best friend. I use heat year around because it relaxes my muscles and eases my pain. I have heating pads in the living room, near my chair, and in the bedroom. This way I don’t have the hassle of caring them back and forth. I have all sizes and shapes; a Sunbeam weighted one that goes across my shoulders, my favorite is Pure enrichment it’s soft pliable and the cord detaches so it’s easy to pack when we travel. My Sunbeam heated mattress pad is a must-have on bad days whammy muscles really hurt, and a heated Blanket I keep near my chair in the living room helps my stay warm if I don’t want to lay down.
Crockpot, Electric Tea Kettle, Keurig Coffee Maker
I don’t use my Crockpot as much as I use to when the children were home. Back then it made life so much easier because I could through everything in late at night, which is when I del the best and just turn it on in the morning so we had a hot meal no matter how I felt that day. Being a Naturopath I strongly believe in the healing power of herbal tea. It is so nice to have my electric tea kettle, that warms the water to the perfect temperature in just a few minutes for a hot cup of tea anytime I want one. I LOVE coffee and being able to make just one cup whenever I want one, with no mess and nothing to wash is a must-have!
iPad, iPhone, Kindle
I love my iPhone and love that I can take it with me as I move around the house. I have been known to fall on occasion and having my iPhone with me gives me a sense of independence, because in the event I trip (which is usually the case) I can call for help to get up. A new iwatch with calling function would be even better. My iPad I use almost exclusively. I write on it, play games, take classes, bank, you name it I do it with my iPad. I only use the laptop if something is not compatible with the iPad. However, as time goes by almost everything can be done from the iPhone or iPad. If you read a lot Kindle is a great tool to have. When I read it is usually a book for information so I prefer printed books so I can highlight and refer back to them often. I know IM a dinosaur, you can highlight on Kindle and keep books for reference, but I’m just to set in my ways. I do have the Kindle app on my iPad for books IM reading for pure pleasure.
Hobbies, Crafts, Books
Having things you love and can’t while laying down or reclining is an absolute must. You need to have things to do that will distract your mind from the pain and give you something to look forward to. Some of my favorites are counted cross stitch, adult Coloring books (heck I still love kids coloring books and you can get them really cheap at the dollar store), and other crafts you like. You have to switch up between activities so you don’t get bored. I encourage you to try different activities to find ones you really like. Start small, with cross stitch get a small kit that makes a Christmas ornament or pot holder just to see if you like it. I like hoop latch so try it with a small wall hanging, scrapbooking try making a small memory book, or a canvass that can be hung on the wall. There’s an old saying, ”you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the handsome prince”, the same thing is true with hobbies and crafts. Start small, give one a try if you don’t like it you haven’t spent much on it and you can scrap it and try something else.
Defuser and essential oils for aromatherapy
This is one of my absolute favorites, must have can’t live without! I have a box of assorted Essential oil and a defuser in just about every room. Essential oils have so many healing properties, not to mention they smell great, make your house welcoming, they are relaxing, and certain scents can even be healing. Some oils can be put directly on the skin but you have to be careful. If you’re like me and if you have certain chronic conditions like asthma or skin sensitivities it’s best to use a defuser or specially made jewelry with a lava stone in it so the oil doesn’t touch your skin and you can control the strength of the fragrance. I’ll go into just a few of my favorite oils here, but you can buy books that tell you the best oils or combination of oils to use for specific purposes.
Lavender is very calming, helps you relax and sleep.
Jasmine, lemongrass, marjoram, orange, tangerine are great Sedatives.
Cinnamon, Lime, Grapefruit, Rose, Orange, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Tea Tree are great for Stress and Anxiety.
Bergamot, Clary sage, Frankincense, Roman chamomile, and Lavender are great for Panic Attacks.
Lavender, Geranium, Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, good for Calming/Relaxing.
German, Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Juniper, Frankincense, Wintergreen, Camphor, Yarrow, Ginger, Sandalwood, Thyme, Peppermint, Lavender, Chamomile, Osmanthus for Chronic Pain Relief.
Peppermint is excellent for nausea, I use this one quite often when I’m having a Lupus flare because nausea is one of my main symptoms.
These are the first five in my list of ten. I will post the second five next week so come back for the rest of my list and don’t forget to get the free resources “What is your body trying to tell you?” It’s easier to understand what our bodies are telling us when we learn to speak the language.