I finally managed to finish my “Chronic Pain Must-Haves” after working on it for a solid week and testing out some of the recommended products. Here we have it; I narrowed down what I personally think is a must when enduring chronic pain. I realize I’m “new” to the area, but with three months of serious pain, I feel like an expert already, although I know others have suffered through several more. I hope that my list helps both those who have just started experiencing chronic pain and those who have had it for years. Without further ado, lets get down to the necessities.
1. Daily Sparkle Beanie – Neff – $18 –neffheadwear.com. What’s better than a soft beanie to warm your head on a bad hair day? (Check out the ones from Burton: super soft!)
2. Aromatherapy Body Lotion and Massage Oil – Bath & Body Works – $13 ; $16 – bathandbodyworks.com. I have had terrible insomnia for a couple of months now. I had to try aromatherapy after I heard it works for some: I absolutely adore it. My boyfriend is kind enough to give me nightly massages with this oil and yes, it is quite incredible. The scent Lavender Chamomile is perfect to create a relaxing feeling. Now do they put me right to sleep? Not quite like Ambien, but definitely helps set the tone for the night.
3. Blue Jean 11oz Muse Facet Jar Candle – Capri Blue – $32 – gypsy05.com or Amazon. I realize this candle is quite expensive in comparison to what most people usually pay for a candle, but I love this scent. My mother got this as a gift and I ended up snagging it and loving the scent. It’s a mix of citrus, white musk, and patchouli and it lasts for a good while!
4. Awareness Case – Inspired Cases – $15 – inspiredcases.com. If you are suffering from a disorder or illness, inspired cases is sure to have an awareness/support case. I love mine because not only does it support Chiari Malformation awareness, it also fits well and has textured print. A portion of the proceeds goes to a select cause! They have cases for iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/52, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6/6s+, Samsung III, Samsung 4, Samsung 5, iPad mini, iPad air, Note II, Note 3, and Note 4!
5. Huggie Bear Heating Pad – Bitten – $22 – amazon.com. This awesome little pal not only serves as a lovable friend, but also a heating pad for when you need some heat therapy on sore muscles. Herbal lavender and buckwheat scented and comes in brown or tan. I use a regular heating pad and a fan heating pad for my neck, but I have my eye on this one.
6. HRH Nail Lacquer – Butter London – $15 – butterlondon.com. Any nail polish will do really, but painting your nails to support your illness is wonderful. I like Butter London, but the price isn’t desirable. I would try Sinful Colors available at Walmart and Walgreens.
7. Lush goodies – Lush – $14.95 – $259.95 – lushusa.com. I love lush products, especially the adorable wrapped gifts. Although I rarely buy products from Lush, and if I do it’s usually for a special occasion, all of it smells amazing and are to die for.
8. Dammit Doll – DammitDolls – $15.95 – dammitdolls.com. Now, I haven’t actually gotten my hands on this little guy, I’ve heard they are super awesome when it comes to releasing anger and stress. The dolls patterns are limited edition and they come with a sewed in patch that reads: Whenever things don’t go so well, and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little dammit doll, that you can’t do without. Just grasp it firmly by the legs and find a place to slam it. And as you whack the stuffing out yell “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” Perfectly said.
9. 3-Piece SkinCare Kit – Devonne by Demi – $39.95 + S&H – devonnebydemi.com. I really have enjoyed the Devonne by Demi skin care products. They smell amazing and work well. I don’t however see myself ordering every month, so I went with the 1-time shipment and have to say, I’m a fan. I even got a little candle with my purchase that smells delightful. The Devonne by Demi set is to “bridge the gap between the pimple years and the wrinkle years.” It comes with a deep facial cleanser that is coconut-based, a hydrating radiance mist that is loaded with antioxidants, and a 3-in-1 moisturizing primer that absorbs excess oil and minimizes pore appearance. The whole set is a wonderful skincare routine with great results.
10. Fight Like A Girl Signature Unisex T-Shirt – Fight Like A Girl Official Gear – $19.99 – fightlikeagirlclub.com. These shirts let you show off your support in several different colors. They even have a tie-dye colored shirt, if you just want a shirt to support every cause! I bought a purple one, a size up for a comfort feeling. They also have other wonderful designs.
11. Netflix – Netflix – $7.99 – $11.99 a month – netflix.com. Okay I watch a ton of netflix, I’m a certified marathoner. My boyfriend and I don’t even have cable because we really don’t need it with the selection netflix has. There are up and downs to it, but I have been a user for six years now and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. They have a first month free promotion on now. Choose to watch Grey’s Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy and special netflix series like Orange is the New Black, The Killing, and The United States of Tara. They have three different options basic, standard, and premium.
12. I am Brave Shield Necklace – Dogeared – $48.00 – dogeared.com. I love Dogeared’s necklaces; they are so dainty and have wonderful messages on it. “Strength is always in style…” This “make a wish” necklace is a reminder that you are strong enough to get through this struggle- God wouldn’t give you anything you couldn’t handle. They also have this style in gold and available on black silk instead of sterling silver or gold chain.
13. Striped Shopping Cart – Typhoon – $29.99 – $49.99 – containerstore.com. I’ve started having difficulty with my backpack. As much as I adore my Burton pack, it’s too painful and heavy right now for my weak muscles. I recently ordered one of these shopping trolleys to use as a rolling backpack. These shopping carts are quite common in the UK, I can see why! There is an umbrella pocket, two side pockets, and an additional exterior pocket. It holds up to 40 pounds and is removable from the frame. It folds up for compact storage as well. Get it soon because the striped one is on sale currently!
14. Snoogle Original Total Body Pillow – Leachco – $59.95 – amazon.com. I can’t go on enough about how much I love this pillow. It is like several pillow in one and supports my aching back and neck. The cover is machine washable and replaceable. There are several different ways to use the Snoogle too, making it the perfect all-in-one pillow. This has become my most favorite item by far and has kept me from sleeping on my back and providing the support I need to get some rest!
15. Black Sheep Sleep Mask – Pompon Designs – $18 – etsy.com. Sleep masks are awesome for spoonies. Although it’s hard to get used to at first, the sleep masks definitely help with keeping out light for daytime naps. This one just happened to be cute!
16. Mermaids Tee & Legging Pajama Set – ASOS – $43 – asos.com. I was saddened to see that this set is out of stock today. Comfy pajamas are obviously a must and ASOS has some really cute options to choose from. Most of my comfy pjs are from Victoria Secret, so make sure to check out their selection as well. Stay away from satin and fleece as they usually are uncomfortable fabrics that don’t allow for breathing.
17. Amira Faux Fur Slipper – MUK LUKS – urbanoutfitters.com or amazon. I got a pair of these slippers for my birthday last and year and I practically live in them. They run about fifty, but are worth it because they are so comfortable and keep your toes nice and warm!
That completes my must-haves! In summary these products help me make it through the day. I also wear a hoodie-footie (adult onesie) from pajama grams when I’m not in a blanket mood. Start shopping now! There are some good deals that are in right now and the prices will go back up shortly, don’t miss out!
In other news I have an appointment this upcoming Monday with the specialist neurosurgeon, Dr. Parrish. After a horrible experience last Monday where I was told multiple times that I have a referral to psychiatry put in (completely unrelated to my main visiting reason: filling out SDS paperwork, DMV Disability Paperwork, obtaining an Ambien prescription, and Pain Management- all for Chiari). Although she filled my paperwork out, I could tell she was not on board with the Chiari diagnosis. She said that the symptoms are most likely due to migraines (blue hands? Aphasia? Memory loss? Hand tremors? Loss of balance? Extreme neck and back pain? Insomnia? All from migraines, eh?) and that I should stop my birth control because it could be the cause (over 4 years taking with no problems before).Then she said that I had normal flow of CSF (b/c ventricles) and that I don’t need anymore pain medicine (she seemed to be astonished I got the prescription in the first place). I picked up my MRI report later that day which clearly states that there is visible blockage in the major intracranial vessels with a 6mm herniation of the cerebellar tonsils. But it is all in my head… Technically it is, but that’s beside the point. I decided I will no longer be seeing my primary of six years if she is not willing to believe me and that she can’t even read a MRI report correctly. Anyways, got my paperwork filled out, which was my main intention and I got my sleeping pills because I have not been able to sleep hardly whatsoever. I am anxious to see the Dr. on Monday and get his expertise on my malformation. I’m sure we will schedule a surgery date (planning for right after finals) and get the ball rolling to get me better.