As a kid I used to make my Christmas wish list by flipping through the JCPenney’s catalog and typing up a spreadsheet of everything I wanted, including the page number and letter of the item, just to clear up any confusion. There’s a small margin for error when you want the whole HotWheels race track, not just the HotWheels car that’s listed right next to it.
So I thought I’d assemble a list of items that have helped me out while dealing with muscular dystrophy because they might make great gifts for yourself or someone you know.
1. Some great slippers
The thing I like about slippers is that they take absolutely zero time to put on, but can be used in a variety of situations. For someone like me, who struggles with socks AND shoes, a warm slipper can take do the job of both with none of the effort.
2. An electric blanket or mattress pad
I am always cold, as are many of my friends who have muscular dystrophy. There is nothing nicer than crawling into bed or sitting and watching TV with a nice warm blanket to keep myself toasty.
3. A reacher
Reachers are so helpful in my life for doing anything from picking up things off the floor to doing laundry. I also keep one in the car to assist with things like pulling parking garage tickets and picking up my keys if I drop them inside or outside of the car.
4. A table-top handcycle
I can keep my hand cycle out and ready for me 24/7. It’s compact, easy to roll up to and use, and it can be combined with a computer to be used for games and other motivating exercise software. It also doesn’t take up a lot of space.
5. A Kindle
I love my Kindle. It makes reading books a lot easier because turning the page is as easy as pressing a button. I don’t have to reposition myself to hold the book or turn the page, which might not sound like a big deal but it’s frustrating when you have arm weakness.
You might also consider anything that encourages activity — from a Nintendo Wii to a membership at the YMCA (just make sure the pool is accessible). Other things like remote-controlled outlets (think “The Clapper” without the sound) or light, but warm clothing would be great ideas too.
Just make sure not to try and get things that are too “medically” oriented like a shower chair or other at-home device. These things are best purchased by the person who needs it because they might have specific requirements for such devices. Plus, to be honest, I’d hate to get something like that as a gift!