Tag: DisabilityHacks

Holiday Gift Guide: Chronic Illness Edition

Knowing what to get for your friends who are disabled, or chronically ill is sometimes challenging – there are allergies to consider, many are poor, living in very small spaces, and often your best bet are things to help comfort – or checking their Amazon wishlists!

Here are a few things that I personally use and appreciate for comfort when I am dealing with pain flares, ongoing colds during the beginning of winter, and being stuck in the house because of illness.

  1. Weighted Blanket – This has been invaluable to me since the loss of my service dog. He used to provide a very direct weight to help me sleep, and this blanket does a fairly decent approximation. It has also anecdotally helped many other people both disabled and abled.
  2. Electric Blanket – I prefer the Serta and Sunbeam brands – and I especially love the reversible sherpa and fleece throw I have on the sofa right now.
  3. Kindle or E-Reader – I get so much mileage out of my Kindle, in general, but especially when I’m sick. Cold and flu season means I spend a lot of spare time inside in bed or on the sofa catching up on sci-fi reads. E-readers are especially good for disabled people because we can check out books from the library on them – you can change the formatting to larger or smaller letters to help with vision – and they are much lighter than chapter books or other tablet readers to hold for long periods of time.
  4. Car Adaptor Electric Blanket – This blanket is ideal for long car rides over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house – or Aunt Janelle’s in my case – I love it because we have to keep the car colder for both my partner AND my service dog. This helps me regulate my own temperature and stay comfortable for long periods of sitting.
  5. Contour Orthopedic Cervical Pillow – This pillow has helped immensely with neck and back pain from a pinched nerve. Supposedly sleeping on our backs reduces pressure and compression to help with chronic conditions. It is also helpful if you have sinus problems – for example – I notice my partner snores if he’s not sleeping on his back, it’s particularly bad if he ends up on his stomach. We both have these kinds of pillows to support back sleeping.
  6. Bathrobe or other cute loungewear – I personally linked the bathrobe because I like that it goes well with my final dream gift, and it is nice to have something easy to throw on to answer the door when you spend all day on the sofa.
  7. Coleman Inflatable Hot Tub – This hot tub was a wishlist purchase. After spending a weekend at the hot springs in Colorado, we realized that a lot of ongoing pains we had were drastically reduced. So my partner started investigating how to go about getting a hot tub in a Baltimore row home — let’s just say that wasn’t a very inexpensive or easy endeavor. He finally came across the Coleman hot tubs and realized we could do it! We got the square one because we’re very particular about shape and aesthetic but the round ones are even cheaper! This is a GREAT family gift.

Let me know if there’s any particular disability mitigating gift you’ve thought of or given that you loved over the years. Thanks for reading!

❤ J

Friday Faves

image description: the photo is of two cups of coffee on a wood surface. superimposed are the words Friday Favorites: A few of my Favorite Things. Hear Her Hands Blog.

I am not entirely sure if this is going to become a new series, but currently, I have a few major favorites for the changeable season and I am hoping that by hoping hard enough we can get a sunny, warm, long fall before the too many months of winter hit the Mid-Atlantic. (Without hurricanes, please).

I am a fan of everything pumpkin spice but in the last few months I have been struggling with a sensitivity or allergy that means I am transitioning more fully to lactose and dairy free. I miss my cheese! But in this transition, I have found some really great products and I still get to enjoy my pumpkin spice.

  • NutPods Pumpkin Spice Creamer
image description: is an orange box with pictures of coconut, pumpkin, and cinnamon. The Nut Pods logo is a green circle with white lettering. It reads limited edition pumpkin spice, naturally flavored. almond + coconut creamer.

I initially was comparing this creamer to the flavor of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte – and that wasn’t working! After the second try, it did start to grow on me. I really enjoyed the strong cinnamon flavor and the fact that I haven’t had any ill effects from it either. Great option if you’re looking for ways to reduce your dairy intake with coffee and especially if dairy and coffee together make you sick.

  • BareMinerals bareskin brightening foundation in 06 – Bare Satin.
image description: a foundation bottle in a medium tone. the lettering says bareMinerals BARESKIN Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20.

When the weather starts changing with the seasons, my skin gets more difficult to manage. Especially in spring and fall, I do not feel confident enough to go out without makeup for special events although I truly do not wear make up often otherwise! This BareSkin foundation has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. It’s easy to use, it travels well, the brush is one of my favorites in general, and it requires very little thought to use (which is great when brain fog is the order of the day). Check it out.

  • OGX Organix Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo & Conditioner
image description: two blue bottles with gold tops, one is shampoo and the other conditioner: both labeled with the words Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco.

When the weather changes and particularly after a long summer of lots of swimming and time outdoors, my hair is dry and I end up using far more conditioner than shampoo. Since March, I have been using this Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner set. I wash the roots of my hair every third day with the shampoo and then every time I have trouble brushing it, I will wet it down and use this conditioner (rinseing afterwards!). It has made a lot of difference in the strength of my hair and I have had far less breakage and flyaways.

What are some of your current favorites for the fall? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Jennifer

Copycat Baked Egg Bites

image description: photo of egg muffins on a white cutting board. the muffin on the bottom right hand corner has a bite taken out of it.

I don’t know about you, but I have been gradually eating more diverse foods and being flexible about what’s around. I finally stopped being scared of fats a few years ago after working with a trainer and gradually adding fat back into my diet. That was such a helpful experience! I learned a lot of things and I learned that there isn’t really any morality to food – there’s no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. (If you’re interested in that, go check out Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch).

After that, it was really nice that when we were traveling or if I was hungry at odd times and only had access to things like Starbucks or gas stations, I could still eat and not feel as anxious about it. When Starbucks rolled out those delicious egg bites a year or so ago, they were an instant fast favorite of mine. Enough fats and proteins to keep me going until another meal time, and delicious to boot!

However, my local Starbucks – the one that I passed everyday walking to the gym or the studio or back home – never EVER seemed to have them in stock. It was so frustrating! Those were the only thing I wanted on the menu, so I finally took matters into my own hands.

Copycat Starbucks Egg Bites

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
6 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan asiago cheese
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup spinach (frozen or fresh cooked down and drained)
pepper to taste

Instructions
Add eggs, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and salt to a bowl. Optional to blend these together for 30 seconds (I didn’t).
Mix in the sundried tomatoes and spinach.
Grease a silicone muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil spray.
Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes with a casserole dish of water on the shelf below.
Remove the silicone muffin tins and let cool. The egg bites rose a little while cooking but settled as it cooled.
Remove eggs from the muffin tins when cool (I used a butter knife).
Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Microwave for 30 seconds when ready to eat.

These would be fun with other kinds of mix-ins! I just happen to always have spinach and sundried tomatoes on hand. Bacon would be lovely, but I think it probably needs to be at least par-baked first.

Enjoy! Let me know how these go for you!

❤ Always, J.