Just five things (a new monthly series)

Five things that make my Spoonie life just a little easier or better!

I have kicked around the idea of writing a regular blog to feature helpful products and resources that make my Spoonie life more livable, for quite some time. I decided today, just moments before I began writing this post, to start doing so today and to do it monthly. Welcome to the June edition of Just Five Things!

Some of the products I will feature each month are products that I have affiliate links for, and I’m not even trying to hide that from you. A Spoonie has got to eat! The affiliate links may also generate revenue for my podcast, as I may share products and services from our corporate sponsors and affiliates — or companies that become our podcast sponsors and affiliates.

Don’t hate, appreciate. You’ll get a discount too, for using my/our link. I nor my podcast will ever endorse products or services that we don’t use ourselves or haven’t tried, we’re actually super picky about that shit. So, without further adieu, here are five things that make my #SpoonieLife easier and/or better every day!

  1. The DreamCloud Sleep Mattress

Holy shit, Y’all. I hadn’t had a new bed or mattress is 19 years. If you are a Spoonie and living with chronic pain, especially if you have spinal issues like mine, please consider this as your next mattress. Purchase using my unique affiliate link and you will save $200 off of the price of the bed, plus you and I will both receive a $25 gift card to shop on Amazon!

I got a King-sized mattress and bed frame, plus a DreamCloud Sleep pillow because I know that my neck needs all of the help it can get, especially while sleeping. (I left my old Tempurpedic pillow at the hospital last year when I had Serotonin Toxicity. Not cool, bro.)

Here’s why I went with DreamCloud Sleep:

This is the exact frame, mattress, and pillow I purchased, although this is a stock photo from the  DreamCloud Sleep  website.

This is the exact frame, mattress, and pillow I purchased, although this is a stock photo from the DreamCloud Sleep website.

  • The consumer reviews I read had its rating higher than the new Purple mattress.

  • I wanted a bed that was big enough to hold my partner and myself, plus future dogs.

  • I wanted a frame and bed that would look nice but not be too extra and flashy.

  • I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg! As it is, I was able to get my king-sized mattress and bed frame, DreamCloud Sleep pillow, and white glove delivery service ( they assembled the new bed, and took out our old nasty mattress!) for about $2,000. When I priced out what I wanted in a Purple, the cost was three times that. (Yes, they offer interest-free financing.

My partner and I have never been able to share a bed as a couple. For years it was because his dog and my dog would kill one another if they came into close quarters at all and for the past year or so it’s been a lack of comfortable space in a bed for both of us, (plus a dog, until Rosebud passed away) and my terrible night terrors and nightmares. We weren’t sure how easy it would be to learn to sleep together. Well, we were worried for nothing, because, by night two, we were both sleeping like babies in the DreamCloud Sleep.

2. Thrive Market Membership

Just a few of the things I received in my most recent Thrive Market order: Gluten free, corn free, all organic, non-GMO products, including a salad dressing, some seasoning mix, and a free sample of non-toxic feminine hygiene products!

Just a few of the things I received in my most recent Thrive Market order: Gluten free, corn free, all organic, non-GMO products, including a salad dressing, some seasoning mix, and a free sample of non-toxic feminine hygiene products!

Thrive Market is fucking amazing when you’re a Spoonie with a laundry list of food allergies, and your doctors are all fussing at you to maintain an anti-inflammatory diet. I am allergic to wheat/gluten, corn, sesame, and have an onion intolerance and a beef intolerance.

Can you just imagine, for one moment, what my fucking grocery bills have been looking like?! I’m not playing with you when I tell you that we have spent (for two people) as much as $500-$600 a month on groceries.

Enter Thrive Market! Not only is everything priced 25-50% lower than my local grocery stores, but with a membership, I can save even more! Annual membership costs $60, and for me, it is totally and absolutely worth every penny because I’ve already saved hundreds on my grocery budget. And check this out — if you use the podcast’s unique affiliate link to shop, you’ll save an extra 25% off of your first order, and you’ll get the first month of membership for free. This way you can try it out without dropping the $60 and make sure a membership makes sense for you.

The features that I find most appealing about Thrive Market:

  • You can shop and filter products by specialty diets (e.g. paleo).

  • You can shop and filter products by individual allergens or the top 8 allergens.

  • Thrive Market is a Zero-Waste company, the first ever in the USA! That means all of the product packaging, shipping materials, everything is recyclable!

  • My groceries get delivered right to my door, which saves me a lot of fucking spoons because, seriously, how exhausting is grocery shopping? And whenever you order $49+, you get free shipping and choose from free gifts and samples! (Including makeup, household items, hygiene products, and non-toxic feminine hygiene products!)

3. This badass desk right here.

Pictured here is my desk with my delightfully decorated laptop, my spine cord stimulator remote, LED book light, and tumbler full of ice water.  #HydrateOrDiedrate

Pictured here is my desk with my delightfully decorated laptop, my spine cord stimulator remote, LED book light, and tumbler full of ice water. #HydrateOrDiedrate

My mom got me this desk in 2017, my first year on the #BusinessCouch. A lot of people: doctors, Spoonie friends, and folks I interact with around marketing my book, and things have asked me how I managed to get so much done these past two years. After all, if I can only sit upright for a few hours a day at the most, and am limited in my mobility and travel when I spent so much time on the couch -- how do I get anything done?

The answer is simple, it's this desk!

I can’t find my exact model on Amazon anymore, but this photo should give you a good idea of where to start. Here is a very similar product I found on Amazon. This thing is amazing. I can use it sitting up, and raise it up high enough so that I am looking eye-level while typing or working on a project. Or I can lay flat on my back and move it over me on the couch, tilted at whatever angle works best so that I can read, write, and brainstorm ideas. This isn't a magical fix for the super high pain days where my brain is too clouded by discomfort to function correctly, but it helps an awful lot on the days when I have the mental capacity but not the physical abilities I would prefer to have.

4. Custom pill boxes!

I didn't realize how much of my mental energy was being taken up, worrying over whether or not I had remembered to take all of the doses of my medications throughout the day, or whether I was accidentally taking too much of any particular medicine because I couldn't remember if I'd already taken it! My partner and I were both regularly worried that I might accidentally overdose myself; this in addition to the concern of the side effects that come with missing doses of certain medications, like brain zaps and headaches!

I met this delightful Etsy shop owner in a podcast fan subgroup on Facebook for people living with chronic pain and illness, called Spoonerinos. I decided that being able to fill my pill boxes once a week when I was of a coherent mind might be helpful and put both mine and my partner's worries at ease. I am not receiving any kind of compensation of affiliate benefits for sharing this with you, I just really fucking love the products and they came in incredible packaging as well. Top notch customer care, and who wouldn't want to take their meds when they've got aesthetically pleasing pill boxes?! I ordered an XL model for my AM/PM meds and an XS model for my bedtime meds.

5. Last but not least, this weighted blanket!

The blanket pictured is the exact model I purchased on Amazon.

The blanket pictured is the exact model I purchased on Amazon.

The bottom line for this is that I live with C-PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder and my anxiety loves to fuck with me at night as soon as I lay my head down on the pillow. I have nightmares and night terrors regularly, much less frequently as my psychiatrist and I have worked together on the right medication combination for me. However, I still have them, especially when my stress level rises. Like, say, for significant events like PodX or when your neurosurgeon calls and says that you need to come back in and bring a caring adult to review your latest X-Rays and MRI images.

This particular weighted blanket met the following criteria:

  • It didn’t break the bank! I got the 20lb blanket for just over $100, which was $200+ less than any I have seen anywhere else!

  • It’s made out of that soft-as-butter-baby-blanket fabric! Dear God is it delightful and soothing to run my hands over it.

  • It’s designed to sleep cool, which is extra important for a Spoonie who is on several medications that cause her to sweat and be overheated at night.

The blanket really is helping me sleep at night and on the nights that I have nightmares, I wake up much less panicked than usual; I can tell that the weight of the blanket and the compression is having a positive effect on me. Here’s some of the science behind it, from Psychology Today:

That’s it for June!

I hope you find the product suggestions here helpful. I’ll be back in late July with five more! Thanks for reading and indulging me.

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