It’s that time of year again when shopping is a job, not a hobby. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or another holiday, you may be looking for gift ideas for someone who is living with pulmonary fibrosis or another interstitial lung disease. The daily routine of living with a chronic cough, wearing a cannula, and managing medicine is tedious. Anything that helps make life a little easier can be a convenience. And that makes a great and thoughtful gift. We spend a lot of time looking and shopping for things that make life easier with pulmonary fibrosis, so here are our ideas for gifts that will be both meaningful and practical for your PF Warrior.
1. The Smarter Hook
When I saw this hook, my instant reaction was “how clever.” The three hooks swivel so you can configure the hook in a few different ways. The hooks themselves have a little bit of stretch, so they will fit snugly and over a larger surface. You can hang one on the side of a desk or table to hold a portable oxygen concentrator or hang an oxygen tank from a rollator or walker. We even used it this morning to keep oxygen tubing off the floor and out of the way of our Roomba. A great stocking stuffer and under $10 USD. Made in the USA by a small business.
Find it at some retail stores or order here https://www.thesmarterhook.com/
2. Take N Slide Pill Tracker
Here is another genius product that looks incredibly useful. This little gadget sticks on a medicine bottle or packet and helps you track when you have taken your medication. No more trying to remember, did I take that pill? If you need two doses, then place two stickers on the bottle. Yes, there are fancier reminders, pill dispensers, and larger pill boxes, but if your medicine routine is simple, this could be a great solution. Comes in a pack of 5 for around $20. Reusable.
Find it at https://www.take-n-slide.com/
3. Saline Nasal Gel
Oxygen therapy and CPAP use can cause discomfort due a dry nose. A dab of this little gel around the nostrils or even inside the nose will moisturize and soothe the dryness. Highly recommended by PF Warrior members. At less than $10 USD, this product is available at many drugstores and large retailers such as Wal-Mart. Also available from Amazon.
4. Ear Savers
By the time you wear glasses, a cannula, and a face mask, a trip outside your home can take a toll on your ears. Too many straps can cause irritation and can be just plain annoying. Here are a few stocking stuffers that may lighten the burden. (Pun fully intended.) Foam ear protectors fit over your oxygen tubing to prevent rubbing against your skin behind the ears.
Mask extenders are elastic or plastic straps that hold the ear loops away from your ears, moving the strain to the back of your head.
You can purchase masks that don’t have ear loops but instead fit over the back of the head. I particularly like these made in the USA by United States Masks. They come individually wrapped for cleanliness and meet the K95 standard.
You can find these aids online, at some pharmacies, and medical supply businesses. All are pretty low cost.
5. Tell the World why you Mask
Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced strangers looking at us or our loved one when coughing. They may even ask why you are wearing a mask when few others are. If your loved one wants to declare their status, this button or t-shirt could be just the thing. Now, I’m looking for the one that says, “I mask for my partner with lung disease. Get over it.”
6. Bedside Carafe and Glass
Sometimes a sip of room temperature water will calm a cough for a few minutes when nothing else will. Drinking plenty of water also helps thin mucus that sometimes comes with pulmonary fibrosis. Supplemental oxygen can sometime cause dry mouth and a feeling of thirst. This gift helps keep water handy at all times near a favorite chair or bedside. These affordable carafes can hold water or juice and the glass sits atop the carafe so it is always handy. Float a lemon slice inside and you are set to go. Plus, the variety and beauty of these carafes avoid the “hospital” look and are easier to clean than plastic. Find these items where housewares are sold or on Amazon.com
7. Oxygen Tank Bag
There are more attractive options for carrying an oxygen tank than the basic black that came from your durable medical provider. If you’re going to have to carry a tank, at least carry it in an attractive bag. After all, if you carry an oxygen tank, shouldn’t it be an accessory? Pretty Sick Supply has a wide selection of carriers including some backpacks.
Find one at https://www.prettysicksupply.com/oxygen
8. Lung Transplant Jewelry or Clothing
If your loved one has had a lung transplant, then something commemorative might be in order. Etsy shops have a variety of handmade jewelry and some can be customized with a date. Check out this shop for options.
Or perhaps a clothing option is more appropriate. If so, consider this one.
Shirts are available in styles for men and women at Amazon.
9. Something to Read
When I was a child, my uncle always gave me a book for Christmas. He knew I would read all day and leave him alone to enjoy his meal and family time. Well, I still love books for the holidays. Perhaps your loved one does too. Here are three choices recommended by our members:
Find it here on Amazon or ask your local bookseller.
Order Breathing Lessons online.
Get a Buddhist inspried guide for the chronically ill.
10. Sign up to be an Organ Donor
The gift of life costs you no cash but can be life saving to someone else. In honor of your loved one, consider signing up to be an organ donor. The need for organ donors is rising all the time. There are more than 100,000 people in the United States awaiting an organ donation. Many people wait a long time for a donated organ. Some die before getting a donated organ. You could save a life. Actually, you could benefit more than one person with organ donations. This is your chance to help others in a way that money cannot.
Whatever you give for the holidays, give it with love. Doing something nice for others often brings great rewards. Happy Holidays!