BlogResourcesTips & Insights

What Your Wish List Looks Like When You Have Chronic Illnesses

What Your Wish List Looks Like When You Have Chronic Illnesses |

What Do Wish Lists Reflect?

What’s on your wish list, and why do you want these things? They tend to contain practical items that make everyday living easier, or luxurious treats that warm the heart. I’m not going to complain if I receive a fancy handbag, expensive perfume or surprise holiday, so go ahead 😉 But my wish list has definitely evolved along with my illnesses, to include things like pain relieving products. I could probably conclude that the ultimate desire behind every wish list is a better quality of life, whatever that means to each of us.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. It will not cost you anything to click on them, but I will get a small referral fee from any purchase, which will be used to maintain this blog. Thank you.

1. Oska Pulse

At the top of my wish list is the Oska Pulse. Every week, I read a positive review from a different chronic illness blogger. It is a little device that uses PEMF (Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency), a technology that’s also used in hospitals for bone healing purposes.

All you have to do is place it near the site of your pain, and that’s it. You don’t feel a thing – it’s not a massage device, or a TENS machine. In fact, it doesn’t work by blocking out pain. (What?!) It apparently works at the cellular level to heal the source of the problem, instead.

From what I have read, it seems to work great for rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia – which I don’t have – but I’d like to try it out for full body Lupus and Sjögren aches. Anything to cut down some steroids, which I’ve been on for 11 years without a break, talk about destructive. My bones are at osteoporosis levels because of this, and I can’t help but wonder if the Oska Pulse will have a positive affect on them too, since PEMF aids with bone healing. (Is that too much to ask for?) It’s great that they have a 90-day money back guarantee which makes it more appealing.

2. Quell

This device is an enhanced TENS machine, and works by blocking out pain signals to your brain. It’s like a wearable painkiller, instead of an oral one. You strap it onto your calf no matter where the pain is, and wear it for up to 24 hours as needed. Technology is pretty amazing, don’t you think? They also have a money back guarantee so that’s a plus.

3. Weighted Blanket

These blankets are in common usage by those with autism or sensory issues. The weight feels like a warm embrace, which stimulates oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the ‘hug hormone’. This apparently helps you to fall asleep faster, with a better quality of rest (ain’t that the dream?). The price differs according to the material used to fill it; do ensure that it’s non-toxic, otherwise you’d just be trading one problem for another! I found Gravity Blankets via Kickstarter, and think it looks pretty well-made!

4. Flotation Therapy

Flotation Therapy Gift Voucher

This works great for both physical and mental stress relief. In fact, I emerged from my first float ever feeling the most relaxed I’ve been in years! Floating induces a state of sensory deprivation, which leads you to the theta state of awareness (kind of like daydreaming on a long car ride). It’s literally meditation without even trying. It also stimulates creativity and speeds up muscle repair, on top of many other health benefits.

The only problem as always, is the hefty price tag. A 60 minute session costs $90 here, or $75 if you buy a package. As with many treatments, one attempt is usually insufficient to reap the full benefits, or to judge the effects with accuracy. So a gift card for more floats is always a good idea! 😉

Buy Gift Cards from Palm Avenue Float Club (Singapore)

5. InstaPot

I already own one and it’s been especially useful for the achy days, so I’m adding this to the recommendation list! An instant pot is a multi-cooker which functions as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yoghurt maker, and more! We wanted to buy the Instant Pot brand, but didn’t realise how troublesome that would be in Singapore/Australia (shipping, weight, adaptor), and ended up purchasing a Philips one instead.

What we did was to prepare a month’s supply of meals and freeze them in separate bags. Write the name of the dish down with a marker, together with any extra steps needed such as garnishing. After that you can dump each meal straight from the freezer into the pot, and have a warm, nourishing meal ready for dinner!

Another thing you could do to help someone who lives with chronic pain, is to prepare frozen meals such as these. It will make a huge and positive difference in their everyday life.

6. Roomba

My partner is against the idea of a Roomba. He doesn’t think it would do a good job cleaning, would add to the clutter in our home, and says that our hands and legs aren’t painted on. While that may be true, who likes doing household chores even if they’re not in pain?! Maybe I’m just lazy, but I believe in automating anything repetitive in nature. I also have five birds, and they’re capable of creating a mess even while inside their cages! (Empty shell husks have a way of floating everywhere.) I suppose anyone with a kid would face the same problem, perhaps even more so. A dirty house and dusty floor is never good for mental wellbeing, I think we can all agree on that?

7. Subscription Boxes

Subscription Self-Care Packages |

Subscriptions are not limited to magazines these days. There are subscription boxes for coffee, tea, even flowers and self-care! Anything you can sell, you can subscribe to; the world is moving towards a recurring sales model, whether we like it or not.

While I’d rather spend my money on a specific thing I want instead of random objects in a box, it doesn’t mean that surprises aren’t nice! Some existing subscription boxes for spoonies are ChronicAlly Box and Spoonie Essentials Box. These lovely ladies curate beautiful packages of self-care items, to lift your spirits on those down days. There are also subscription boxes for periods, and mental health. Anticipating and receiving a pleasant surprise always produces a warm, fuzzy feeling despite the pain, doesn’t it?

Subscribe to ChronicAlly Box

8. Bullet Journal

If you haven’t watched the video on the original Bullet Journal website, the concept is quite fascinating. I’m not quite sure it’s my kind of thing, because todo lists seem to stress instead of help me out. In any case, I’ve ordered a bunch of stickers and stamps from Etsy to prettify my journal, and make the process more fun. Let’s see how that goes!

On top of todo lists, bullet journals can also be used to track your health and wellness, and there are even a few Facebook groups dedicated to chronic illness and mental health. They’d make great presents for anyone, considering that the slate is literally blank. Use them to stimulate your creative juices, journal your days, jot down your dreams and life goals, record your favourite quotes and phrases, or do them all!

9. Heating Pad

I have a nice and big hot water bottle for days when my period strikes, or when my joints are mega achy. I must live in a cave, but I recently discovered that mysterious objects called ‘heating pads’ exist! (Or maybe I just live in a tropical climate with little need for heated products. Am I excused?) In fact, I’ve personally never seen another Asian girl use a hot water bottle for period pain, and it was my boyfriend who introduced them to me at the tender age of 30. But let me just say – they work. The added benefits to a heating pad include heat intensity controls, and I won’t burn my clumsy self with boiling water ever again! Apart from blankets, they also come in many other forms that target different body parts.

10. Books & Magazines

Books are usually a good idea for most people. It’s easier for me to buy a paperback, but nice hardcovers with beautiful prints on good paper are such a treat! While content matters, books are also a wholesome physical experience. I take pleasure in fondling the paper, taking in the musty scent, and in the high quality of photographs or illustrations. It all adds up to help you unwind on a subconscious level. In fact, studies have found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%!

I also have a huge love for magazines, and usually have one by my bedside in addition to a book. I reach out for it whenever I feel like I need a little soothing. Magazines can be more creative with their presentation, which is refreshing. You usually need to absorb the content or storyline in a book, or risk becoming lost the further you continue. But magazines are usually split into interconnected proses which you can skip or read piecemeal. While gift cards may seem a little boring, they’re pretty safe gifts if you’re unsure of what to get!

Buy a gift card from AllScript (Singapore)
Buy a gift card from Amazon


This wish list is a reflection of my current state in life. Many of these are things I’d never thought I’d want or need in another life. If not for chronic illness, I probably wouldn’t even know of their existence! To the people who invented these wonderful products – thank you.

My list also probably looks a little different compared to others, based on the varying kinds of pains we experience. Over to you – what’s on your wish list, and how does that reflect your current state of being?

Pin It:
Due to chronic illness my wish list has evolved to include pain relieving products. We all seek a better quality of life, whatever that means to each of us. Click to read or pin to save for later. | | #chronicillness #wishlist #giftideas #achronicvoice #painrelief


  • My mum bought be a heated wrap blanket/wrap around brace it also has a large velcro strap so can just wrap around and keep in place. A god send for my back and hips.

  • […] A Chronic Voice: What your wish list looks like when you have chronic illnesses […]

  • There are several things here that are on my wish list as well. I would love to have a Roomba. We have two little dogs who shed like crazy, and vacuuming is a never-ending job. I recently got an Instant Pot and it’s fantastic. It’s really nice for those days when I just don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen. I shared this on Pinterest and Facebook — you’ve got some wonderful ideas here! Thanks for giving me some items for my list! :o)

  • Sheryl, thanks for sharing these items. I think I’ll save up for the pulse for my RA. Please let us know how it works for you.

  • Some great ideas here, the Oscar pulse sounds great but too expensive for me unfortunately. The subscription boxes also sound a great idea too. This is a helpful list.

  • Some fab ideas – I’d love to try floatation, and what a novel gift that is to give someone!

  • This wish list is very close to mine! I, too, have an instant pot and it can be a lifesaver when you are too sore to make a big meal. I am doing an art journal right now and I find it very healing. I sort of do the bullet journal thing but it is in a file on my computer and is mostly to record health stuff though that includes appointments, etc. so it is a bit of a to do list. The oska and Quell are at the top of my list. We did the Roomba thing and it was great at first but scared the dog and cat, and was annoying, especially when I wasn’t well.

    • Hey Lydia, seems like these items are quite the spoonie’s dream gift haha! I guess the Roomba is a love or hate thing, from what I hear. I shall be happy with my unpainted on hands and legs for now 😉 I use my Google Calendars for lots of things, but it’s been quite nice to be in the act of actually using my hands to write something down at times :p xx

  • A weighted blanket and books are definitely on my list! I wouldn’t mind a Roomba either (and neither would my carpet)!

    • Yes how nice it would be to sink into bed with a weighted blanket (I think)! I’ve heard good and bad reviews about the Roomba, so hey, need to test it for myself ;p

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *