Care+Wear and our partner Global Lyme Alliance, the leading 501(c)(3) dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, asked our communities on social media what they thought were essential items to bring to treatment. This checklist could also provide some inspiration for caregivers who want to help their loved ones who are affected by lyme but don't know how.
The result: this extensive gift guide - enjoy!
PERSONAL COMFORT ITEMS
1. BLANKETS & HATS
Hospitals can often be very cold and Lyme disease can increase one’s sensitivity to extreme temperatures, with side effects such as fevers, chills and sweats. Blankets and hats are a great way to retain heat and stay snug. Consider buying a hat, blanket or both through GLA’s holiday program – you’ll be contributing to fighting Lyme disease as well!
2. FUZZY SOCKS & SLIPPERS
Many people believe that keeping your feet warm is the secret to never catching a cold. Wearing fuzzy socks or slippers is a comfy and cute way to prevent the body from getting too cold and helps prevent tracking in dirt from outside!
Sweaters: Treatment rooms can get so cold and you can never go wrong with a comfy sweater - cozy and effortlessly stylish!
4. PILLOWS & PAJAMAS
Lyme often makes patients very tired, making it all the more important to get the best quality sleep one can get. Soft and breathable pillows and pajamas make a big difference in comfort.
5. PICC LINE COVERS
For a Lyme patient receiving treatment through a PICC Line (semi-permanent IV), it’s very important to keep the PICC Line secure, while still allowing it to breathe. Consider a PICC Line Cover with a mesh window to keep the site protected, while still allowing for visibility/breathability of the line.
6. FAN WITH REMOTE CONTROL
Some Lyme patients experience uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes due to hormonal imbalances. Having a fan with a remote control is a convenient way to help them cool down!
In addition to everything patients already have to go through, migraines shouldn’t be one of them. Strong sunglasses can help filter out the sun and protect your eyes and prevent you from getting migraines in sunny areas.
8. DRY SHAMPOO
Everyone has days when they’re too busy or tired to wash their hair, but when you’ve been undergoing treatment, your energy levels are particularly zapped. Dry shampoo is a quick and easy fix to freshen up greasy hair after one or two days of not showering.
9. PUZZLES & COLORING BOOKS
Puzzles and coloring books can help you stay busy and entertained during treatments; puzzles keep the mind sharp and coloring is a fun, but also soothing and low-energy activity.
Having Lyme disease can sometimes be a hard journey. A journal is a wonderful way to record your thoughts or write down any questions you may have for your doctor. You can also get a diet or symptom journal so that you have an easy way of sharing specific concerns with their nurses or doctors.
There’s nothing like settling down with a good book! Whether it’s a fantasy, biography or how-to book, ask your local bookseller for a recommendation. Self-help books can also be useful in helping you stay positive during treatment.
Unprocessed honey is a favorite among patients. Honey has antibacterial properties that can help boost the immune system, making it a healthy and delicious snack. However, keep the quantity small as patients need to moderate their sugar intake!
13. TURMERIC TEA
Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation. Some Lyme Disease patients find that turmeric or turmeric tea can help reduce skin rashes, combat flu-like symptoms, treat stiffness and pain in the joints, and attenuate fatigue and body aches.
For Gift Givers
Along with everything else in this checklist, here are a couple more items that Lyme patients might also appreciate.
1. VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION
Gifting a video streaming service subscription such as Netflix or Hulu is a great way to stay entertained at home, in the hospital or on-the-go in between treatment sessions.
2. HEALTHY SNACKS & SUBSCRIPTION BOXES
Subscribe to a box with your favorite high protein snacks to keep your energy up! A monthly healthy snack subscription box can also help ensure that you receives healthy and nutritious snacks on an ongoing basis.
3. HOUSE CLEANING
Because Lyme patients often experience fatigue, tiring chores such as house cleaning can be very difficult. Consider hiring a part-time cleaning service so that you can rest up!
4. GROCERY & MEAL DELIVERY
Cooking is another activity that requires time and effort that a patient may not always have. Consider subscribing to a delivered meal system or grocery delivery service. Having access to food without spending an hour or so to get it on your own is a great thing, especially for those who live in areas that require them to travel long distances to buy groceries.
5. CAR SERVICE
Transportation is tiring for everyone, but imagine the extreme fatigue of patients on treatment days. Gift cards for transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft give the gift of convenience and comfort along with the guilt-free pleasure of ordering a free ride.
If your loved one is a parent, think of offering them a babysitter for a few hours. Gifting this precious time can let them conveniently go to and from treatment and run other errands without having to worry about watching their child.
Lyme Disease patients often suffer from chronic pain, causing discomfort and sensitivity. Many find that light massages can help them to relax, cope with pain and enhance the lymphatic response. While patients should discuss with their physician before receiving any kind of touch therapy, ask your loved one if they would be interested in a spa or massage therapy gift certificate at a local center.
Have another idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!