Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but many of the traditional gifts just don’t work for those of us with fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS. I can’t eat most candy because the sugar and preservatives cause me days of increased pain. I can’t remember the last time I wore lingerie (and neither can my hubby, poor man). A dinner out is nice, but I’m limited in what I can eat because I’ve gone gluten free.
I’m guessing hubby is about ready to throw his hands up and forget the whole day, so I thought I’d do him (and the other loved ones out there – or to buy as a gift for yourself) a favor and create a Valentine’s gift guide for those of us with fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS. I’ve chosen a few items that are still pretty traditional, but factor in the challenges of people living with chronic illness. There are a few practical and fun things as well.
What’s on your Valentine’s wish list this year? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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Keeping with tradition …
That heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates can equal days of extreme pain for those of us with food sensitivities. Yep, I love that high-fructose corn syrupy, milk chocolate-covered, caramel nougat goodness just as much as anyone, but my body hates it more than I despise my ex! (And just for the record, that’s a lot…) So for those of us who want to avoid the self-imposed suffering, I give you the Alter Ego Organic Chocolate Bar Bundle. It’s gluten, dairy and soy free and doesn’t have any questionable ingredients that I can’t pronounce. And best of all, it’s Swiss!
This Bamboo Bliss Pajama Set fits two requirements for those of us with fibro and/or ME/CFS. First, it’s super soft and silky, and second, it’s cool for those of us who heat up in bed because our inner thermostat is broken. These pajamas score extra points because they come in so many fab colors, including a couple of purple hues!
It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s gift guide without some bling. The National Fibromyalgia Association has teamed up with Bravelets to offer this Be Brave bracelet (and several other options). Ten percent from every sale benefits the NFA!
Those of us with fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS are often sensitive to fragrance. One whiff of flowery, musky perfumes, and I get an instant headache and nausea. I gave up wearing fragrance for a while until I found Philosophy Pure Grace and Philosophy Amazing Grace. Pure Grace is like soap and water, only better, and Amazing Grace is just a clean, fresh, feminine scent. I knew I had hit the right note when people would say, “You smell so good!” instead of “What are you wearing?”
In the dead of winter, sometimes it just feels good to cuddle up with something warm. Sooth-eze’s super cute stuffed animals pull double duty by providing heating and cooling therapy. Pop them in the microwave for a minute or two for up to 4 hours of heat, or place them in the freezer for the sweetest cold pack you ever did use. I couldn’t resist choosing this one because he’s purple, but he has lots of other adorable friends, too.
The practical …
Here in Delaware, we just got clobbered with more than a foot of snow. The skies are grey, the trees are bare, the ground is muddy and it’s easy to feel ho-hum about life when you’re tired and in pain. I bought a HappyLight before I was even diagnosed with fibro because I’m prone to blue moods in the winter. It sits on my desk and sends happy light beams into my face, helping to chase the winter blahs away.
I have a sherpa throw that’s one of my favorite blankets to snuggle under while surfing the web or watching TV. But this one comes with heat! My cat would never leave my lap again! Don’t tell my hubby, but there may be another Amazon box arriving at our doorstep soon …
Those of you who saw my Christmas Gift Guide know I’m a big fan of Two Old Goats’ foot balm. It’s one of the only things that help my aching feet! This Two Old Goats combo pack includes my beloved foot balm and the lotion. Yep, I’ll admit on the surface Two Old Goats doesn’t seem very romantic, but what’s sweeter than a loved one who just wants you to feel better and doesn’t care if you smell like Ben Gay? (On a serious note, it does smell minty, but not as strong as those old lady creams we’ve all used!)
Just for fun …
Adult coloring is one of the trendiest ways to beat stress these days. I’ve read that coloring triggers the same brain processes as meditation – and it’s more fun than sitting on a cushion watching the clouds pass by! Plus, there’s something a little OCD about adult coloring, which takes one’s mind off of the pain while you’re trying to figure out which block needs to be red and which one blue. This Stress Relief Coloring Book has a mix of animal, flower and mandala designs, so it won’t bore you like your granddaughter’s Disney Princess coloring book. And while you’re at it, you’ll want a nice set of colored pencils. These will do the trick.
I ran across a copy of this Yoga in Bed DVD a few weeks back when I was downsizing my media collection. I’d bought it years ago when I was still healthy, so I couldn’t remember the routine. I popped it into my DVD player while I was sorting through the rest of my collection and realized I had discovered my new workout routine! This is the absolute, most perfect yoga DVD for someone with fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS! It’s extremely gentle and slow. No downward dogs! No sun salutations! No warrior poses! And best of all, when I’m done, I can just pull the covers over my head and recover.