I like buying shit I don’t need, sue me (in Michael Scott’s voice). Most of the time, it works out really well and I’m glad I did. I compiled a list of things that I definitely do not regret purchasing. Most are low cost, some are a little higher, but I consider them all to be good value buys. The most expensive item on this list is $79.99, but most items are under $25. These are mostly things I consider to be chronic illness and disability hacks – they help me with daily activities in ways that really help with my symptoms and overall functional levels.
Prices listed include what I paid when I purchased and what it’s listed for as of the day I wrote this post. Prices may be lower from other sellers and Amazon prices tend to fluctuate. Sellers also like to put a slash through price and pretend it’s usually sold for higher and is now on sale – that’s how they get ya! Also I know Amazon is evil and Bezos is a criminal for hoarding so much wealth, but it’s the only way I can shop since I’m mostly housebound. I better not see any of my content on BuzzFeed either (unless you ask permission and PAY ME) because I know how they are!
I also want to issue a disclaimer that this is not an ad, these are products that I have bought and that I use, but I did set up as an amazon affiliate so that if you click one of these links and shop, I will get a benefit. Here are some things I love…..
Things that help me do things better while lying down!
You can adjust the holder by bending and shaping it to however you like! I am always lying down and looking at my phone and I have to choose which symptom to exacerbate – do I hurt my neck by holding my phone down on my chest and bending my neck, or do I hurt my arms and lose blood flow to my hands by holding my phone up in the air? This helps solve that problem! If you’re scrolling, it might not work as well, but it’s great for reading or watching videos. It’s helpful for me to keep my neck straight and then alternate which hand I use to navigate my phone screen to avoid the tingles and numbness I would usually get while holding my phone.
Current price is $21.99 and my husband paid $19.79.
My husband bought this for himself and I quickly stole it. This is probably the best-value purchase on this entire list. I mostly use it with my kindle and sit it on my chest or stomach to prop up my kindle while I read. It’s just lovely.
Current price is $11.84 and I paid $14.69.
These look hilarious but they function so so so well! I do often have vision symptoms, so I’m not always able to use these glasses, but they help so much when I can use them. Sometimes I get dizzy because I can still see out of the corners of my eyes and that field of vision isn’t matching what I’m seeing through the glasses. If you also experience motion sickness and vertigo symptoms, this might also be an issue for you. When that happens, I just take them off. I love these glasses because I can lay with my neck straight, but still see the book while it’s propped on my reading pillow. This solves the same problem that the phone holder does, but for books! I don’t have to pick which symptom to ease and which to exacerbate – I can be comfortable with both my neck and hands/arms!
I paid $17.95 but the ones I got are currently unavailable. The ones I linked are listed at $11.95!
I’ll keep in real – one of my ways to ease my endo pain is to apply my hot laptop directly to my abdomen. It’s probably unhealthy, but I need to burn myself in order to have a bit of pain relief, so whaddyagunnado? But when I’m not doing that, I have a lap desk to prop up my laptop and keep it from overheating. This one is also great for filling out my disability paperwork because it has a clipboard to keep it all together! I can’t find the original order (I’ve had this for a long time), but the current price is $19.99.
Things to make daily tasks and responsibilities easier
I take a lot of pills, vitamins and supplements and it’s impossible to keep track of them all with brain fog (my nemesis and most hated symptom). I use the medisafe app to remind me when to take my medicine. Once a week, I divvy up my pills into this organizer so that I don’t have to go searching each day for the correct bottle. In the morning, I grab that day’s pill organizer and I’m good to go! It has spots for morning, afternoon, evening and night. I actually take two rounds of morning medicine – one set before I eat and one set with food, so those labels don’t actually apply to me, but I understand what slots I need at which times. It’s really helpful if I do go out somewhere, I can just take that days pill organizer with me instead of making sure to grab whatever pill bottles I would need for the rest of the day. If you take a lot of pills at varying times of day – this is the way to go.
Current price is $11.89 for a random color. I was happy I got my favorite color purple! I paid $11.56.
Yeah, it’s a water bottle with a pill organizer attached, but I like saying it the other way around because the true function for me was taking medicine. I loved this thing so much when I used it. I just don’t use it anymore because I take too many pills to fit in that organizer. It was so perfect for my thyroid pills though. They need to be taken first thing in the morning, at least 45 minutes before eating breakfast or drinking coffee. Having water and pills right there on my nightstand, ready to take as soon as I woke up was perfect! Especially for me, a person who is fatigued all the time anyway, but who is exceptionally non-functioning in the morning and upon waking.
Current price is $11.99 – $13.99 depending on the color. I have a red one and paid $13.99.
I keep my ID and insurance card in my wallet at all times so that they are easily accessible in case of an emergency. Also, I have frequent doctors office visits, so it’s nice to have them handy at all times. I usually keep one credit card in the wallet as well. I like this one because it’s a great price and it’s leather so it’s very durable. I have a white one and it didn’t even get dirty like white phone cases typically do!
Current price is $13.95 for all color options and that is what I paid.
If your pets are anything like mine, they act like they have never been fed in their entire lives. If you have brain fog like me, you will believe them and just feed them every time they act hungry. I got this and used the big double-sided tape that it came with to stick it to the plastic storage bin where we keep the dog food. That way my husband and I can tick off the morning or night when we scoop out the food. For the cats…..
Current price is $9.95 and that’s what I paid.
We received this as a gift, but I wish we had purchased one sooner! You can set the feeder to rotate at a specific time of day so that the cat or dog will be fed portion-controlled dry food. I use it for my cats. Janet loves dry food, so she will sit and wait at the feeder starting at about 8:45, waiting for her 9:00 food presentation. Buster loves wet food, so I still need to figure out a hack for giving him the canned food! I have forgotten to refill the machine once, but Janet was very vocal and I knew when it was empty after 9:00 that it must have rotated to an empty slot. This is great too if you have limited mobility because you refill it every five days instead of every day. I find it beneficial to have my pets to care for, but I do have days when my symptoms are severe and I’m unable to leave bed, so it’s nice to have this feeder (and my husband) to fall back on.
This was a gift, but the current rice is $44.95.
I worked in retail as a teenager and I pride myself in my ability to whip a shirt into a perfect Marie Kondo-style fold…. but that shit is tiring. My arms hurt and get so fatigued from folding a load of laundry. I am not exaggerating and I know my fellow chronic illness pals can relate when I say that doing one load of laundry is a cardio workout – my heart rate goes up into the 160s just from carrying a load up the steps. I can’t stand there and spend a bunch of time whipping my shirts into perfectly folded squares. That’s where this weird block of plastic comes in. Throw it on the bed (or couch, or ground, or wherever you’re folding your shirts), throw a shirt face down on top of it, then just push the various pieces over and the shirt folds! My husband loves it too so that he can finally master the art of the perfectly-folded shirt!
Current price is $16.99 and that is what I paid.
Weed is medicine. Keep your medical supplies clean with this perfect glass cleaner, aptly named 420 cleaner. You don’t have to scrub or let it soak and your glass pieces will look almost brand new after! I’m so fortunate to have access to medical cannabis in my state. It’s the only thing that can even touch my endometriosis pain. Legalize it and expunge the records nationwide – don’t vote for anyone who won’t do this please and thanks.
Current price is $9.95 and that’s what I paid.
Current price is $7.99 plus 8% off coupon applied at checkout. I paid $7.99.
Yes, I know we’re not lazy, we’re the opposite. Do you know how fucking hard it is to muster the energy to prepare, cook, and clean up a meal when you don’t have the energy for ANY of that?? But we do it. When I am able to cook, I throw some chicken in the crock pot with some sauce and one of these liners. It’s fast and easy to throw it in and I don’t have to stand over it to watch it cook. Then, CLEAN UP IS SO EASY AND FAST! Just grab the liner and throw it all away! Game-changer.
Current price is $7.99 and that’s what I paid.
Really, I just love how freakin cute this little cat holder is. But this has actually helped me because I put it out as a decoration and then I actually use it when I need to remember something. It’s on my table in an easily accessible place, so I can quickly grab a post-it and write myself a note for later, whenever I need to.
Pricing: I paid $7.99. Current listing price is $12.06.
I got this because it’s cute and I liked the colors, but it’s very practical too! I keep my visit summaries, referrals, test results, receipts, and insurance statements in this folder. It’s a sturdy plastic material. I also got one to store all of my paperwork regarding my disability claims. I was on short-term disability for six months through my former employer and was just accepted for long-term disability through an insurance program that they offered. I began the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) while I was waiting to hear about LTD, so I have been keeping all of that paperwork. It’s nice to keep it all organized and somewhere handy so that it’s easily accessible if I need it!
Things to increase comfort and limit symptoms as much as possible
Current price is $19.99 (including the button to click for a $5 off coupon). I paid $24.99.
I am not pregnant and I’m not planning on becoming pregnant, but I am a big fan of this pillow. I have chronic pain in my legs and back, so it is often very challenging to get relaxed and comfortable enough to fall asleep. I picked this one because it’s a C-shape and I can manipulate it for different uses. I am a side sleeper, so the way it’s pictured in the stock photo helps. I also fold it back on itself and put it under my legs if I lay on my back. I mostly use my regular pillow for my head and then I twist this pillow into more of an S-shape, so that I am hugging the top part and then my legs are wrapped around the bottom part. I move around a lot in my sleep, so it ends up on the floor a lot, but that’s ok – it helps me with what is most difficult for me – getting comfortable enough to fall asleep.
Current price is $39.95, which is what I paid.
I am very sound-sensitive now. When other symptoms are flaring, I am more sensitive to sounds. At the same time, when I’m triggered by loud sounds or grating noises, it causes other symptoms to flare. I have noise-cancelling headphones that are a big help. sometimes I just put them on my head with nothing playing – just the noise cancellation soft white noise or whatever it is. That’s not very cost-effective though, so my backup is earplugs! I have bought these and the same ones in hot pink. I just pop them in and block out the sound of the trash truck outside, kids outside playing and screaming, music the neighbor is playing, or whatever else might be bothering me. These are necessary when I have a migraine or an M.E. flare up.
Current price is $7.64. I paid $8.99.
Before I became a wheelchair user, I used this small chair when I was going somewhere that would have required more standing than I was able to do. It’s small and lightweight and has a strap so you can carry it on your shoulder! It’s very small and not very stable, so be careful when you sit on it and make sure the logo is between your legs. I brought it with me when we were in Seattle and waited in line at the original Starbucks and it was perfect! There was no way I could have stood in that line for 20 – 30 minutes, but I could sit! My backpack has straps too where I just put the legs into the cup holder on the side, then secured it with the straps and easily traveled with it!
Current pricing is $17.59 – $28.09 depending on the color. I paid $19.99 and have a black.
This is more of a comfort thing than a hack, but I’m putting it in here because it helpe me hack the severity of my M.E. symptoms. Since my M.E. symptoms progressed from mild to moderate, I have been mostly homebound. I have had days where symptoms are severe and I am unable to leave my bed. When my symptoms are manageable, I try to get out of bed and get to the couch. For those of us with M.E. pacing is so vitally important. We have to always be mindful of what activities we’re doing and stay within our energy limits because exceeding our limits causes crashes. Since I also have POTS, the best way for me to limit my energy spend is by staying horizontal as much as I can. Anytime I stand up, my heart rate is elevated. I’ve never done an orange theory class, but I imagine I could just stand in the back and be in the orange zone the entire time (or more likely the red zone). This pillow is great for when I get to the couch, but need to be reclined. I like to replace one of the back couch cushions with this guy so that I can be reclined, but still in a resting position. It’s great! I also get migraines that are eased by getting into a better body position. I have to be reclined with my feet propped up, so this pillow combined with the next wedge are a huge help when I’m having a migraine flare.
Current price is $32.79. I paid $29.99.
This isn’t the most comfortable pillow, but it gets the job done. I do wish it was softer or more plush or had a softer fabric. I like to throw a blanket over top of mine or sometimes even another softer pillow on top because it is so firm. This is another one that’s more of a comfort thing than a hack, but I put it in here because of how much it helps my symptoms. With POTS, it’s amazing how much putting my feet up helps my other symptoms. A lot of people with M.E. also have orthostatic intolerance, so while you might not have POTS or a dysautonomia diagnosis, try it out and see if it helps. Somehow it helps my migraines. I think because the blood pressure in my head gets too high and it helps regulate my messed up autonomic nervous system, but who knows.
Current price is $26.25. I paid $25.49.
Things that make self-care easier
My hair is dark brown so dry shampoo never used to work for me like you lucky blondes… until I found THIS! I think Batiste is pretty well-known in the UK, but my US friends are not hip yet. It is absolutely perfect. It makes my hair look freshly washed even when it’s been days – and I have oily hair. It has a dark brown tint too so it covers my gray roots! Somehow I’m only 31 years old and have about as many gray hairs as my grandmother (I’m not even kidding her hair is still 75% black).
Here’s a link to the full Batiste Amazon Store so you can get which product is best for your hair type. For a 3-count of dark brown, current price is $21.18. I paid $19.74 last time I purchased.
Having dysautonomia makes showering and bathing very difficult because the heat and changing of postural positions exacerbates symptoms. This OXO suction cup shower bar is a must – I should have bought it sooner. It is very sturdy and helps me get in and out of the tub so much easier. I have fallen getting in and out of the shower before and also while trying to go from sitting to standing in the tub (don’t worry I haven’t hurt myself more than a bruise), so this was necessary.
Currently, it’s only available from third-party sellers. I paid $19.99. There are other options listed as well if you click the link.
An adjustable-height shower stool is a must for someone with dysautonomia or M.E. It’s takes too much energy to stand in the shower and our symptoms are worsening by bending over for shampoo and soap and then standing back up. I love sitting, so I will sit wherever and whenever I can!
I did not purchase our shower stool (my mother-in-law gave it to us after she finished using it following knee surgery recovery). The current price is $24.89 and there are a variety of options at different price points.
I love taking epsom salt baths to ease my aches and pains. I got this caddy to sit on top the tub and I can read a book, light a candle and drink my sparkling water while I relax! I love it. Current price is $34.90 and I paid $30.
Behind my back – a pillow to rest your beautiful head while you enjoy some luxury. Current price is $13.50 and I paid $12.50.
Between my feet – a clear cover to stop bath overflow so that you can fill your tub with even more water! Current price is $6.49 and I paid $8.99. Rip off! Haha.
Bonus: some epsom salts! I usually get target brand (pictured here) – they smell the best and provide the best pain relief. I like the lavender when I want to relax and I also like the coconut from target. I like eucalyptus when I want to try to be more alert. Here are some options I’ve bought online. Best value & unscented – $27.99 for a whopping 19-pound bag. I paid $23.99 last time I bought and I recommend that one! Name-brand & scented Dr. Teal’s. I like this one too, but for me, it’s not worth the extra cost. Current price is $22.95 for two 3-lb bags. You can get it much cheaper at target, you’re paying for them to deliver it. I paid $17.30 last time I purchased online.
Things to bring the outside world home
I love drinking coffee, it’s one of my comforts, and there’s just something different about a fancy cup. I wanted a way to make that at home when I am not able to leave my house. This thing is surprisingly easy to use! I just heat up some milk or cream in a mug in the microwave, then put this into it and click the button on top a few times until it’s frothy. Then add coffee! It’s delicious!
Current price is $15.97 and I paid $14.99. I think they have these at IKEA too for a super low price.
My favorite thing about traveling is going into convenience stores and buying all of the candy. I try everything I’ve never seen before. I love candy! I got this for my husband for Christmas (and for myself to share) and it reminded us of our trip to London. You can search for other brands and candies for whatever makes you feel happy and nostalgic! (Just click my link first then search so I can get some credits hehe)
Current price is $10.40, so it looks like I gt ripped off at Christmas time, paying $14.99.
I’ve always said something is different about McDonald’s soda… it’s the bubbles, it just makes it taste so good! I don’t drink much soda anymore and I don’t get out much. My husband bought me a soda stream as a gift and it may be the best gift I’ve ever received. I drink three or four bottles of sparkling water a day. Somehow, it’s helping my symptoms too! I don’t know if it’s just the fact that I’m finally drinking nearly a gallon of water a day or that somehow the bubbles are helping me. I don’t know! I also got Mio flavors with vitamin B and that may be helping as well. It’s expensive, but considering how much I would be spending on sparkling water or soda as an alternative, it’s not that bad in the long run. And it makes me feel like I’m getting something special since soda or sparkling water are usually a treats, not something you can make at home!
Current price is $109.99 and that’s what we paid.
That’s it for now!
I have a whole list of other things I’m going to post about, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested. I just want to take dorky pictures of myself, so one day I’ll do that! Nex up I’ll include a bunch of stuff that helps me relax and be comfortable and some tools that help me track and manage my symptoms. If you buy anything, comment and let me know how you like it! Hopefully you enjoy as much as I have 🙂