I don't know about you but I can spend hours listening and watching peoples gift guides on TikTok! Between the upcoming holidays and spending 24 days in the hospital undergoing a heart transplant, I thought a little gift-guide for a loved one who is facing a health crisis for the long haul would be very fitting for me to share.
Here is a list of items that have helped me, made me smile and been super wonderful to receive during this part of my story. I hope you find some inspiration to love on your loved one during this time - because it takes a village to walk through any sort of moment like this.
Comfy socks (with bonus points if they are non-slip)! A friend gifted me these slipper socks from Nordstrom Rack and they are my most favorite. They are warm and comfortable, and don't cause any uncomfortableness around the shins. I sleep in them and basically wear them everyday.
If your friend has a long road in the hospital - wearing a gown every day can get old and very unfashionable. When my team let me wear my own PJs I felt SO much more human. The best bet is finding PJs that have a button up top so telemetry equipment and IVs can easily be accessed. The Peregrine Kidswear of course has adorable kids PJs but they also have adult sizes that are so comfortable! I lived a in a few pairs of these and it made all the difference.
I brought my own cozy blanket with me from home. I also brought my own pillow - absolute baller move and will make the patient so much more comfortable! The blanket I brought was from Target and it was so cozy and warm. Pro tip: make sure to only go with a twin size as the hospital bed is that size and no one wants anything hitting the floor of the hospital.
It is a basic rule that your skin will dry out at the hospital. My feet were so dry and cracked when I could finally take a look at them, I couldn't wait to give them some tlc. I had brought bum bum lotion with me but I knew I loved the scent. Some people are sensitive to smells, so you may want to stick with something a bit more neutral that will moisturize like Aquaphor.
I kept up with my skin care routine everyday too. It felt like self care and gave me some sense of normal life and routine. My personal favorite brand is Drunk Elephant.
This is something that I didn't use until I was home, but I ordered a bunch of stickers from Color Oasis Hawaii and I stuck them on my medicine box, my notebook of health information, my laptop and honestly any where I could for a spot of brightness and inspiration.
Friends gifted me all types of things to do. Needlepoint, coloring books, puzzles and word finds. Word finds ended up being my favorite. It was an easy thing to stop scrolling and just take a second to breathe and disconnect. Pair it with a few highlighters and you have yourself a fun little gift that will surly be a favorite!
In the ICU I was not allowed to take a shower. So for 24 days I lived on dry shampoo. I used a few different brands and honestly you probably have your own favorite but it was a lifesaver. (And so was that shower I was able to take when I finally got home)!
I am always cold so any type of zip up hoodie sweatshirt or comfy cozy cardigan is another great gift. I personally love these oversized scuba zip ups from Lulu Lemon.
Since it is winter now, to help with the chill, I've been on the hunt for a warm hat and warm gloves. I love this hat from Lulu Lemon; bright colors make me happy in the midst of everything. I also found these gloves at J Crew to keep my hands warm.
Slippers! You can't go wrong! These ones from Ugg have been my go-to favorites for years! I brought them with me to the hospital because bending over to put on sneakers was absolutely not an option and hospital socks aren't comfy.
Gift cards for the family's favorite grocery store. Food and meals can be tricky. There are limitations with diet restrictions, foods that aren't allowed post-surgery, foods that may have interactions with medications, the list goes on. This kind wish can be shared in the 'better-safe-than-sorry' route, and you can get a gift card to a grocery store. It will go a long way and feed the family, and be so appreciated!
I love this book "It's a beautiful day in the Neighborhood" that my friend gifted me. I mean who doesn't love Mr Rogers?!? It allows me to write snippets about how I feel with out feeling like too much of a lift.
A personalized Yeti with a saying of encouragement for whatever your friend is facing is great. I love Yeti's and use it to keep my water in and protein shakes. Cortni gifted me three, one that says 'Not Broken,' one that has a heart and says 'Warrior,' and one that says 'Healing Isn't Linear'. I use them every day and it reminds me to keep going.
A friend gifted me a years subscription to the app headspace and it has been a wonderful addition to my daily routine.
Download the app Marco Polo and connect with your friend that way. These days visitors in the hospital are usually pretty limited and depending on the situation the patient may have to be very careful who they are around when they get home. Marco Polo it is private video message conversations you can have with your friend. I found it so helpful and still find it helpful to feel less alone in all of this medical stuff. And best of all, it's free!
One line a day for Five Years Journal. This is an easy way to write just where you are without the word-vomit of pages and pages. I've always loved these journals and know it would be a great gift!
I love this bag that I've had for years. It says " Have Some Fun Today " - I use it for my notebook and meds every time I have to go to a doctors appointment or back for a biopsy at the hospital. It reminds me to look at things like "I get to" rather than "I have to". Healing is all about the mental space one is in so let's have some fun today shall we? No matter what!
I love printing my iPhone photos with Fujifilm Instax printers. Your loved one can use it to decorate their hospital room or their space when they get home. It is such a fun little gift and make sure you gift it with film as well!
I love candles! Like so much. And my most favorite brand is Nest. Their scents never disappoint and always make my house smell amazing. If your friend is ok with candles and scents then this is the one to go after for sure!
This is probably more of make sure your loved one has this than a gift as it will involve personal information. But there is such piece of mind knowing he or she is wearing a medical alert bracelet. My favorite is from Road ID. It fits on my Apple Watch band - something I wear everyday and it has everything anyone would need to know about me incase of an emergency.
Lastly, I wanted to share The Art of Seth. I love his work so much. A friend gifted me this art piece which made me cry immediately and I framed it and put it in a special place in my home. Sometimes it's something like this that can make a patient feel seen and loved. So maybe The Art of Seth will touch you like it did me, or maybe you will find another artist that is perfect for what your friend is facing.
Thanks for reading friends, I hope you found something that can help you say, "I love you and I'm here for you" in a meaningful way!