Holiday Gift Guide: PF and Lung Transplant Edition
The holidays are complicated. And getting in the holiday spirit with a chronic illness, in the dead of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, can be, well, challenging. If you are struggling to feel the magic this season, that’s OK.
If you’re too exhausted or too sad to write your letter to Santa this year, this column is for you.
I have put together a gift guide for the pulmonary fibrosis community. Whether you are newly diagnosed or post-lung transplant, there is something for everyone on this list. Maybe some of the following will even make living with chronic illness a little more magical.
First, a little disclaimer. None of the products or businesses in this list are sponsored. Neither I, nor Pulmonary Fibrosis News, are affiliated with any of these brands. I have purchased many of these items as gifts for my mom, who had a bilateral lung transplant in 2019, and am recommending them because we genuinely think they’re good.
Lower price point
Taking pills is part of living with PF or a lung transplant. It’s annoying, tedious, and yucky — but your pill case doesn’t have to be! Etsy is full of fancy pill sorters of all kinds. There is something for everyone, from single-day pill pouches, to weeklong, twice-daily pill sorters. My favorite are beautiful handcarved wooden ones with rotating lids.
Medication tracking products might not be the most fun gift to unwrap, but they are super helpful for those who need medications multiple times per day. The following tools would make great stocking stuffers, especially if paired with a sweet treat. You know what Mary Poppins said: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!”
- This timer cap remembers when you last opened your bottle so you don’t double up or miss a dose on accident.
- These day/night switches stick right on the lid so that you always know which dose you last took.
Vogmasks are reusable masks that come in many fun colors and patterns. Their filtering power is over 95%, and they offer the soft feel of fabric and a longer lifespan than disposable options. Better for the environment, and your face! Remember: Some businesses with pandemic restrictions don’t permit masks with valves.
If your doctor has requested that you wear a medical alert bracelet, you don’t have to settle for the old-school oval plaque on a chain. There are many options now that are easily recognizable to medical professionals, but meet your needs as a daily wearer. There are sporty, minimalist styles if you want to be discreet, or you could opt for one with a luxury appearance. Type some keywords into your search engine to find one you love.
Midrange price point
Jazz up your oxygen tank with a custom cover. Or, if you use a portable oxygen concentrator, grab a stylish oxygen backpack or purse. Pretty Sick Supply provides a collection of links to purchase oxygen tank accessories, along with lots of other cool chronic illness gear, so definitely check it out!
A custom piece of jewelry to honor an organ donor might be a special gift for the transplant recipient in your life. Even if you don’t know the donor’s name, a simple pendant with the date engraved would be special. There are also a ton of cool lung-themed jewelry pieces on Etsy. There’s even a right and left lung friendship necklace set you could share with your PF bestie!
A donation in your name to a PF or transplant-focused organization like UNOS could be a great gift if you don’t want any more stuff in your house. Paying it forward always feels good!
Higher price point
Cannula glasses. This may be a better gift to get yourself, because you should ask your doctor first if they will work for you with your oxygen needs. My mom used these glasses, and they helped her to feel a little more normal as she adapted to living with a disability.
Air purifiers. My parents have two of these in their house. They come in a range of sizes to fit different rooms. They are pricey, so if you want to start small, get one for your bedroom, since you spend about a third of your life there, and enjoy sleeping with fresh air.
High value, no cost
Ask your friends to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. I know it can be treacherous to have those conversations right now, but vaccination is a gift that keeps on giving. It protects all of us, and it shows that you really care about the chronically ill or immunocompromised person in your life. And both of these vaccinations are free at most pharmacies.
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.