Sure, you could get your loved one who lives with Hidradenitis Suppurativa a typical holiday gift, like a box of chocolate or roses. This year, why not compliment your usual gift with some of these ideas? You could consider gifting them something that will help them deal with their daily lives which shows you’re trying to understand and sympathize with what they’re going through — things like comfy clothes, gift cards to online delivery services, or even helping them run an errand. Since people seem to think that HS makes you impossible to shop for, I came up with 25 gift ideas for us, The HS patients.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. Pajamas. Pajamas, because when you think of comfort you certainly don’t think of a suit and tie! Well, you might, but not someone with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. And with so many flares, pajamas are where its at! Don’t pick out just any pajamas, make them awesome! Make the person who will be wearing them feel amazing. Think bright colors, comfy material, and loose fit.
2. Money. Yes i said it, plain old money. Why? Because as someone who struggles juggling my bad flare days and my work life, I can tell you, money is tight. Chronic illness is very expensive and although the person with HS might not be super excited to ask for it, financial help is often needed. A simple gift with no strings attached that can help with home expenses or medical bills would be amazing.
3. Massage gift certificates. Yes, the tried and true gift works even better when you are in chronic pain! So why not gift a massage to your ailing valentine? They will appreciate every minute of pain free bliss, and thank you accordingly.
4. Pharmacy gift cards. Yea, to the average person, a gift card to their local pharmacy is not that romantic or thoughtful, but to a person suffering with a chronic skin disease, this is like the ultimate gift. Medications, and medical supplies get expensive and a gift card to help cover those expenses would not only mean a lot, but it would go a long way.
5. Time. This one comes at no cost to you, the only thing you’ll have to sacrifice is some personal time. Dedicate that time to your loved one, helping them out with whatever they need. Even if its just someone to be there with for an hour, or listening to them, or sometimes even playing a game or watching a movie, just the fact that you took time out of your schedule and dedicated it to them will mean so much.
6. Physical help around the house. Exactly what it says! Nothing says you care like doing your loved ones share of chores. Whether its laundry, mowing the lawn, or re-siding the house this gesture will show that you not only appreciate what they do around the house, but that you recognize that they could use some help as well.
7. A donation to someone else struggling with same disease. Chances are your loved one knows of others who also struggle with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, or someone worse than them and want to help. By making a donation to someone elses journey to health, you also show your loved one that you care about them as well.
8. Gift cards. Since when has it become tacky or lazy to get gift cards? They are a great idea so your loved one can pick their own blankets, pajamas, socks. An Amazon gift card is great to give to someone with chronic illness. Also local restaurants gift cards for a days they cannot cook. Gift cards give the buyer total freedom, that’s something that the chronically ill rarely have.
9. Heating pad, heating gloves, heating blanket. Basically anything with heat is a WONDERFUL gift for someone with chronic illness. There are so many benefits of heat therapy, and one of the biggest is pain relief. What better gift than that?
10. Stylish but comfortable clothing. Clothes are such a tricky thing to even think about when you have open wounds that leak in the oddest parts of your body. So getting gifted clothes that have those challenges in mind, would be a load off their shoulders. Remember my first gift idea, pajamas? This is to counter act that, because realistically, pajamas don’t cut it everyday. And on the days we have to go out, we would like to feel equally appealing and comfortable. (Not to mention the hassle of shopping you’d be saving us.)
11. A new pillow. Such a simple, cheap, and often overlooked need that you can meet! Find a pillow you like and get it. There are so many different options out there, and many of them have certain things they help. For instance, a neck pillow helps align the head and neck, while the body pillow help align the entire spine as well as hips. Some pillows have allergy guards while others have things in place that help with asthma. Find one that would work for your loved one and give the gift of Rest.
12. Company. Just like my previous suggestion, gifting your company to a loved one comes at no cost to you. Just pick a day and commit to spending that time doing fun things with them. Play games, go for a walk, talk, cook, whatever you want to do, so long as your company is good.
13. A donation to an organization. A donation in their name to an organization that helps others become educated about Hidradenitis Suppurativa and educates the public as well. Sometimes when first becoming diagnosed, it is difficult to find reliable information, and this is a great way to not only say that you care, but you understand, and that you are actively invested in them as well. (HSSUPPORT.ORG, and HSAWARENESS.ORG are both wonderful options.)
14. A fitness bracelet to encourage and track needed painful physical activity. With all of the gadgets we have these days, this is one I can actually see doing some good. Chronic Illness is an ever changing tide, and with technology we can just wear that tracks it all, can be very helpful.
15. A day of pampering. Simple and sweet. No matter the age, sex, or co-morbidities, your loved one will feel like royalty if you spend the entire day pampering them. Perfect for the loved one who struggles with self worth or self esteem, Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are indeed, worth it.
16. Bathing supplies. I know it seems over rated, and generic, but I can assure you its NOT! When your skin is as sensitive as ours, even washing your body becomes a daunting task. We spend so much time worrying about what to use on our skin, that it takes the whole fun and relaxing right out of bath time. So things like specialized skin washes (hibiclens, dial, etc.) or specialized wash cloths, or even a loofah on a stick to get hard to reach places could make all the difference. Maybe a safety railing, or a grip pad for the floor would be a good idea as well.
17. Cute Pill Organizer. For most people diagnosed with Hidradenitis Suppurativa or another chronic illness, a lifetime a medication is a given. So keeping pills organized, safe, and secure becomes a daily chore. Make it a stylish one, and you give any pill taker an instant lift to their daily routine. Any stylish pill organizer is an upgrade from the clunky, plastic drugstore version, and likely a welcome change.
18. A Book on HS. Buy the best book you can find about his health condition and commit to reading so you can better understand how to support your loved one’s journey and discuss it with him. Again, make sure to follow through. (I recommend “I WILL NOT HIDE” an ongoing book series featuring patient stories from around the world. Available on HSSUPPORT.ORG, AMAZON, and KINDLE.)
19. Sleep coupons. Hand-written coupons for letting him/her sleep in while you get the kids out of bed and take them to an event until noon. And don’t feed them a bunch of sugar while you’re out; the results when you return home will void all the relaxation he/she had!
20. An evening out. A simple date. It doesn’t need to be expensive, it doesn’t need to be extravagant. But the simple act of getting out of our normal environment and into a different environment is great for distraction. And trust me, sometimes the art of distraction is necessary. So book that dinner, or make that reservation for a play, and get out there and make memories that aren’t revolving around your doctors office, or med schedule.
21. Aromatherapy. There are many benefits to aromatherapy, and besides the obvious health benefits, something that smells good might be just what they wanted. HS leakage can be pretty foul, and because of that, embarrassing. With sprays, you can combat the stink, and your stress all at the same time. Other Aromatherapy options come in many forms such as bath items, lotions, sprays, detergents, potpourri, etc.
22. Hugs. When you are having a bad pain day or when you are down emotionally it feels wonderful to get a hug from someone you care about. A well placed, and sincere hug can break down walls, and move a person to tears. Sometimes its the one thing we need the most, but are too afraid to ask.
23. A wound care gift basket. A basket filled with Gauze, Tapes, Wraps, Band-aids, antiseptic ointments/spray, Hydrogen Peroxide, and things of the like, would be the ultimate HS gift basket. To not have to worry about whether i have enough gauze left, or if I had the right supplies if i randomly flared, would be such a relief. (Not to mention, the money we would be able to save, by focusing on other expenses.)
24. Designer File Folders. People with chronic illness usually have lots of medical records. We also have to carry records to back and forth from doctor to doctor. Make sorting and transporting all those test results a little more stylish with designer file folder options.
25. Awareness Items. Awareness items come in many forms. Including everything from funny coffee mugs to inspiring apparel. Awareness gifts can share hope, sport a ribbon, or include information about Hidradenitis Suppurativa. (I recommend the store at HSSUPPORT.ORG. They carry everything from shirts to mugs, all benefiting HSAWARENESS.)
No matter what you choose, express it with love and I’m sure they will be thrilled to receive it. I hope this helped you come up with some gift ideas for your loved one, or even for your own personal wish list.