The 5 Best Gifts to Give Someone With A Chronic Illness

Updated 11/24/2021 This list is geared towards CKD because I have CKD and can relate to it.  But, they can be adapted for anyone with any Chronic Illness.

Have you ever heard the statement you should be grateful for whatever someone gives you? While I agree with that sentiment 100%, there is nothing worse than getting a gift that someone put no thought into at all. Especially if it is from someone who knows you well, cares about you, or knows you have a condition. Or, you get invited somewhere for a holiday party or dinner, and there is nothing you can eat.  So here we go.

  1.  Most people with CKD have issues with Anemia at one time or another and are therefore colder than other people.  Gifts to help them stay warm such as hats, scarfs, mittens these are even better if handmade with love.  Handwarmers that can be reused and put in pockets, heating pads, and blankets, warm socks, and shoes. A heating pad, or blanket is also an awesome gift. I have dry eyes, and am getting Arthritis in my fingers. Warming gloves, paraffin wax treatments, and eye warmers are all wonderful gifts that have meaning.
  2. People with CKD may also suffer from chronic pain, stress, and anxiety with limited medications they can use to relieve pain.  Items like Massage, Guided Imagery, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Spa days, etc make wonderful gifts for someone with CKD or other chronic illnesses. I here at Health Buddy Melissa offer Distance Reiki sessions, and Guided Imagery. Be sure and send me a message if you are interested in purchasing some sessions for your loved one, or yourself, by using the contact form at the end of the post.
  3. Gift cards for whole food stores, or places that sell organic foods with fewer preservatives and chemicals. Or cooking classes to learn how to cook and make better food choices for their particular Chronic Illness. Cookbooks, cooking equipment, etc are also all great gift ideas.
  4. Carts and bags with wheels for easy shopping or that can attach to a walker or wheelchair. One of those grabby things to get things up high are great! Having their cupboards remodeled to make access easier. Maybe they need an access ramp to get into the home easier and safer.
  5. Consideration and love.  This is probably the most important.  When someone with CKD or a Chronic Illness goes to a dinner or party and there is nothing that is safe for them to eat, it is deflating.  Ask them what you can prepare for them that they can safely eat.  Christmas is about love, and kindness, don’t be selfish and not put in a little extra consideration.
  6. I have to add this one.  Save a life and donate a kidney if you can.   Learn more about kidney donation at AKF, or NKF.  If you are absolutely someone who does not feel you would do that, donate to one of those organizations, or one near you, to help save the life of someone with kidney disease. Any organ donation is a gift of life, not just kidneys. You can check off on your driver’s license that you wish to be an organ donor.

None of that is meant to make you feel bad or guilty.  It is simply to help you be more mindful of others and their conditions.  Everyone should be more Mindful, every day.  I love all of you who take the time to read what I share.  Blessings and much love to all of you!

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From My Home to Yours

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Cold and Flu Prevention: Break the Chain of Infection Part 6

This is the final part of this series of posts.  The 6th link in the Chain of Infection is you, the possible host.  Whether or not a host gets sick depends on how strong the organism is, how fast it can replicate in the host, and how strong the Immune System of the susceptible host is.  Most vulnerable are people with weakened Immune Systems, hospital patients, elderly, infants, and anyone who needs any kind of invasive medical procedure.

To break this link, obviously keeping the host as healthy as possible is optimal.  Ask your doctor about taking a probiotic, Vitamin D and getting enough Vitamin C.  The Flu shot would also be in this section.  Barrier devices such as gloves and masks for healthcare workers would also be in here.  As I have said with every other post on this topic, good handwashing should always be the first line of defense.  Proper disinfection and cleanliness are also of utmost importance.  Don’t forget to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and eat a healthy diet staying away from processed foods and too much sugar.  Use the contact form below to message me at any time.

Stay healthy and safe!


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Indoor Walk To Christmas Music!

Updated 11/12/2021. Since I now work every weekend, my exercise/activity posts will move to Fitness on Friday. I have been trying to set up posts for Sundays but it just is not happening. I still have tons of posts to edit, and update, so that is keeping me plenty busy.

I love finding walking exercise videos with Christmas music.  I don’t use the Christmas ones much after January, but so much fun this time of year.  I like this young lady because she uses dance steps in her walking videos.  It is low impact, and easy enough for beginners too.  She has one from last year, and this year, both posted below.  If you have a Chronic Illness, are overweight, or have not exercised in a long time walking is a great way to start getting back in shape. Check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

If you would like to learn about any of my Health Coaching services, use the contact form at the end of the post to send me a message.

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Wellness on Wednesday: Cold and Flu Prevention Part 5

There are only two more parts to this series, so it will end next Wednesday.  I will then move on to other topics.  I hope you are finding this series useful.

The 5th link in the Chain of Infection is the Portal of Entry.  A portal of entry can be broken skin, incisions, inhaled through the respiratory tract.  There are a few others, but since we are discussing cold and flu these are the ones we will discuss.

You may have noticed a pattern by now that good handwashing is included in almost every chain in the link.  Good handwashing is the number one way to prevent cold and flu.  Barriers such as gloves and respiratory masks are two other ways to break this link.  BTW gloves and respiratory masks do not just protect you from getting a cold or flu, but protects others from you should you be the person with the illness.   I think sometimes people forget this.  Also getting a flu shot if you have been advised to do so can break this link.  Basic First Aid and personal hygiene are the last two ways to break this link.  If you have overly chapped hands, or small cuts on your hands,  that can allow germs to enter be sure and use a hand lotion to help heal the skin.   Chapped, dry lips and nose can also allow germs to enter.  Use chapstick, and a humidifier at night to add moisture and barrier to protect against germs entering the body.  Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and maintain a healthy diet will also help keep you and your Immune System in good working order.

You can read the other posts in the series in the archives.

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Herbs on Tuesday: Sweet Orange

You may see a lot of adverts for Herbs that can restore or reverse kidney function.  While this may not be a lie, it can be confusing because most Herbs have not been studied in randomized studies for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or take lots of medications.  So, please be careful in your urgency to find a cure for what ails you as it may make it worse.

Herbs and Essential Oils are complicated and can be very potent.  Essential Oils are more potent than the dried herbs they come from, especially in undiluted forms.  If you would like to learn more about using herbs or essential oils for certain conditions, use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me for a free meet and greet.

Sweet Orange is one of my most favorite essential oils.  I use it in my diffuser, and dilute it with coconut oil as a lotion for my skin.  Soon I will be making into Aromatherapy necklaces to sell in my Etsy shop, and in cleaning products or candles.  I love it mixed with Lemon Balm and Eucalyptus.  I will be experimenting with other scents as well in the future.  If you do decide to use essential oils make sure you are buying from a reputable source.  I like Eden’s Garden, Mountain Rose Herbs, Doterra, and Young Living brands.

Sweet Orange is said to be safe for the kidneys, don’t ever ingest as an essential oil without speaking to Aromatherapist Practitioner first, and there are dried forms available of the herb to drink as a tea.  It is uplifting, great for skin, cleaning, tissue repair, muscle soreness and much more.  Just remember if you buy undiluted oil it must be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.  Always do a skin test on a small area of the body to check for sensitivity, and avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after applying it to the skin.  So, it would be much better, if applying to the skin to apply at night.  Do not use on infants or children under 6 years old without consulting a specialist.  Same for pregnant women.  Always tell your doctor about all OTC medications and herbs you may be taking.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.   Tomorrow is the next support group chat on my Facebook page at 1 PM Eastern time.  I am working on new graphics for each of my available plans.  Don’t forget I also offer gift certificates.  My special for this month is still on, one on one coaching to keep eating in check for the holidays, only 50 dollars.  Message me for more info and details.  I have learned so much this year about promoting an online business, and I still have so much more to learn.  This blog is growing, and I will be upgrading to a paid plan before the end of the year.  Exciting times!



Mindful Spending at Christmas

I think we can all agree Christmas is supposed to be a blessing, relaxing and time to be thankful for family and friends.  But, Christmas is very often not any of those things, but rather stressful, mindless spending and building of debt, and for some even depressing.  Spending mindfully during this holiday season can help you avoid the stress, debt, and sadness that may come with Christmas this year.

How to spend mindfully:

1-  Make a list.  Compile all of the people you know you will need to buy a gift for, and maybe add 2 extras for unexpected gifts.  Only include people you feel you need to buy for.  It is nice to buy for everyone, even people who really are not family or friends.  But, this often leads to mindless giving.  If you can not afford to do this it will only add to undue stress and strain in your life.

2-  Make a budget.  After you have made your list, make a budget of the max amount you can afford to spend.  Then divide that amount by the number of people you have to buy for, and that is your limit per person.  People may not like this, considering you cheap.  If people on your list are only worried about how much you can spend on them, rather than the thought of a gift, then they probably don’t need to be on your list.  Making a budget is especially important if you live on a fixed income.

3-  Try to give family gifts, rather than individual gifts.  Say there are 4 people in a family some ideas could be state park passes, zoo passes, free homemade dinner once a week, movie passes, etc.  With so many food services now available if you can’t cook a meal, maybe give them a month of meals that will be delivered.  Give a gym membership, or another health-related gift like a massage, or pedicure.

4-  Watch for sales and the best deals.  Try not to buy a gift just to give a gift.  Be mindful of what you are giving.  Yes, you may need to be frugal but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a quality, thoughtful gift.

5-  Consider saving throughout the year.  Start in January, next year, and put aside money each month that will be specifically for Christmas gifts.

6-  Make homemade gifts.  Have you always wanted to learn a craft?  Jump in and make some Christmas gifts.  For example, I love to paint, make jewelry, crochet, etch glass and garden.  I don’t enjoy sewing or baking so much, but those are great gift-giving ideas too.

7.  If you know there is a charity or cause, you enjoy giving to each Christmas then be sure and be mindful of that in your expenses.

Every year we get closer to retirement we are more #Mindful of what we are spending. I do love Christmas, and I tend to splurge more at this time of year.

If you would like to learn how mindfulness can help you relieve stress, or reach your health goals, use the message form at the bottom of this post to send me an email. You can even give the gift of a Health Coach!


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Foodie Friday: Holiday Party Vegetable Casserole for CKD

It is the time of year when eating can negatively affect those with CKD or Diabetes.   I have gone to a mostly plant-based diet because I feel best when I eat that way.  I don’t have Diabetes, but I do have CKD.

This recipe is from Lord Byron’s Kitchen, that I altered to meet my needs.  I am making this tonight and it makes a lot.  I will serve some to my family and the rest will go for lunches over the weekend when I work outside the home.  I use frozen veggies that are best for CKD.  I like to buy the big bag of frozen veggies that have Cauliflower, Carrots, and Broccoli in the bag.  I could also use corn, green beans or squash.  Remember that the green veggies are going to be higher in Potassium, so you may need to exclude them.  You can also make your own Cream of Chicken, or Mushroom soup.  I personally don’t care for Cream of Mushroom and use the chicken or celery version.  I can also buy low sodium and low fat as well.  For the recipe, I don’t add the salt, and I used Italian style bread crumbs instead of the French Fried Onions because I didn’t have any.  Making homemade bread crumbs, or French Fried Onions would save on preservatives added and phosphorus.   I also didn’t add as much cheese as the recipe called for.  I was already close to my protein limit so I didn’t need the added protein in the cheese.  Vegan cheese could also be used, but I have not tried that yet.  Cheese is also very high in sodium.  This can be made ahead and frozen for holiday parties.  I hate going to a party and there is nothing there I feel comfortable eating, or I have to starve all day just to be able to eat.  Can you relate?  Let me know if you try it, and how you like it.  I could not find serving sizes on the website with the original recipe.  I can safely assume 1 cup would be a good serving size for this type of dish.


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Cold and Flu Prevention: Break the Chain of Infection Part 4

Welcome back to part 4 of my series on Cold and Flu Prevention:  Break the Chain of Infection.  You can read the rest of the series in the archives under Wellness Wednesday.

The 4th link in the Chain of Infection is the Mode of Transmission.  This means the way in which the germ is spread.  This can be direct via human to human, or indirectly by a vector, ie animal.  Since I am talking about Cold and Flu it would be directly by close association with an infected individual.  Hugging, kissing, and even handshakes can be considered a close association.  Picking up soiled tissues, or touching surfaces infected by dirty hands are good examples, as well as sneezing, coughing and sometimes just talking.

Ways to break this link are good and frequent hand-washing, cleaning and disinfecting daily areas that are prone to become contaminated, isolation- stay home if you have symptoms, get your Flu shot if you are immunocompromised or advised by your doctor, carry hand-sanitizer for when you can’t wash your hands, wash hands immediately after touching contaminated surfaces, use gloves if you can when picking up soiled tissues or use a clean tissue to guard your hands and wash hands immediately after, keep your hands away from your face, be sure you are using good germ etiquette too such as covering mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Also, keep in mind that by keeping yourself as healthy as possible your body may be able to fight off the Cold and Flu.  Good sleep, a good diet, avoid added sugar, take Vitamin D or get sunlight, avoid and manage stress,  get fresh air- at least 15 minutes a day are all great ways to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.  If you would like to learn more about any of these use the contact form below to message me for a free Meet and Greet.

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