a tired looking woman sitting in a cozy chair with a list and a cup of tea while Santa comes down the chimney female

My NMO Christmas List

My neuromyelitis optica (NMO) wish list: As the iconic song “All I want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey goes, it opens the Christmas spirit in me and most of the world! While we enjoy opening Christmas presents to the song, it gets me a bit emotional. People living with NMO, and other chronic diseases, really do need things for basic living. Wanting nice things is all good but we need devices, medications and more.

Like I’ve said, disability living is not for the weak! It seriously made me think about what I really need for Christmas in living with NMO. Since being diagnosed I’ve come to collect a few devices for the disability that NMO has caused in me.

Gifts for your loved ones with NMO

From experience these are the things I wish I knew to ask for as my Christmas wish list:

  • A walking cane or walking device. It is no secret that most of us have some sort of disability and receiving this kind of device as a gift can genuinely be lifesaving.
  • A car cane. A car cane helps facilitate getting in and out of a vehicle and is easy to carry around.
  • A bed railing. This is best for you to pick out and specify which bed railing is most convenient for your bed.
  • Grab handlebars. There are many different grab handlebars available, so make sure to specify your needs. There are permanent grab bars, while there are also suction grab bars.
  • Foam tubing for utensils. For those with motor skill issues, these are life savers!
  • Pill box. This is a small and inexpensive gift that can help keep your medications organized.
  • Jar/can opener. For people with weakness in their arms and upper body, this is a great tool.
  • Heated blanket. We often suffer from temperature sensitivity and if you live in a cold area this comes in handy.
  • Cooling vest. This vest is ideal to keeping you cool during those hot days. Although not fashionable (I haven’t found one like that yet), its purpose defeats the desire for fashion.
  • Neck fan. I personally have one of these devices and I can truly say they are wonderful! They're like a personal fan/AC unit around your neck that cools you down, the best and I recommend this!
  • Shower chair. Even the most basic shower chair can come in handy on flare days. It’s always better to try to prevent an accident than to call an ambulance.
  • Commode chair with bucket. I’ve bought one of these and it has been lifesaving for my bladder! Getting a commode chair gives you the flexibility to use the bathroom anywhere (of course make sure a private area). When the bucket is taken out, they can be used as a raised toilet with a handle on top of your regular toilet, making it safer for the user. They are also easy to clean and store.

What you really need

Finally, and most efficiently, asking for cash and gift cards. This is the most practical and convenient gift of all! This option gives you the liberty of buying the items you really need for yourself.

This Christmas please don’t be shy to ask for the things you really need. Only you know your needs and your real situation with your health. Please comment below items or ideas I might have missed. I hope everyone has Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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