My Favorite Things

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • We all know how difficult daily living can be when you're in pain.  Everyday tasks that the average person woudn't think twice about can be extremely challenging for us.  I know I get excited anytime I find something that helps me accomplish a task with less pain or enables me to get a little more pleasure out of life.

    Over the past 20+ years of living with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, I have come across a handful of products that have made my life a little easier in one way or another.  And I'm guessing you have probably found a few things, too.  I thought it would be nice if we could share them with each other so maybe something I've discovered may help you and vice versa.   

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    With that said, here are five of my favorite things...

    1.  Goodnighties – The top spot of my favorite things has to go to Goodnighties.  Though it's my most recent discovery, it is also by far my best discovery.  For more than 20 years, I dreaded bedtime because I knew I would wake up every couple of hours and by morning would feel as bad or worse than I did when I went to bed. 

    Imagine my surprise the first night I wore Goodnighties when I slept for six hours straight, got up to use the bathroom, then went back to bed and slept another five hours.  Best of all, I awoke feeling refreshed!  I've been wearing Goodnighties every night for about five months now and I continue to get the same good quality, deep sleep every night.  And after about a week, I also noticed that I had significantly less pain. 

    I recently wrote a review of Goodnighties that will give you more information about the science behind how they work – Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear: A Product Review

    When I spoke with the people at Goodnighties and told them I would be including their product in my favorite things list, they offered a special 25% discount through October 31, 2010 to anyone who reads this article.  Just enter the promotion code “FM” (without the quotes) when you check out and the 25% discount will be applied.  You can find them here:  Goodnighties

    2.  Bare Escentuals – Just as I am sensitive to touch, my skin is sensitive to soaps, lotions and make-up.  It got to the point that I seldom wore any make-up at all because everything caused my face to break out in red splotches – not acne, just very red and blotchy looking areas. 

    Then one day I saw a presentation on QVC for Bare Escentuals and their bareMinerals make-up products.  The president of Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett, stated that there was nothing in their products except pure, natural minerals from the earth – no additives or artificial ingredients.  I decided to give them a try.  Not only did it turn out to be the only make-up that I could wear without breaking out in splotches, it was the best, most natural-looking make-up I'd ever used. 

    While I was thrilled to finally be able to wear make-up again, there was still the problem of finding other facial care products, like cleansers and moisturizers that didn't cause problems.  Thankfully, a couple of years ago, Bare Escentuals developed a complete line of facial care products – and they work every bit as well as their make-up.  So I am now, and probably always will be, a Bare Escentuals gal.

  • Here is a link to the Bare Escentuals site, but you can also purchase them through Sephora or QVC: 
    Bare Escentuals & bareMinerals

    3.  Grabber – This handy little retrieving device comes in several styles and is known by many names – The Grabber, The Gopher, Helping Hand.  You've probably seen them advertised on TV.  It's a long reach tool that helps in picking things up off the floor without bending or getting things off of high shelves without reaching. 

    Bending over is painful for me, as is stretching to try to reach something high.  Since I'm short, I can't even reach the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets without a step stool.  But with my Grabber I can retrieve my dog's ball that has rolled behind the sofa or get a box of cereal from the top shelf without pain.  And it's inexpensive enough to keep one in every room where you may need it. 

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    Here is a link to a picture of The Gopher on Amazon, but you can also pick up similar tools at most discount stores and drug stores:  The Gopher  

    4.  Aerobed – For me, most beds are painful.  I'm so sensitive that often even my clothes hurt, so finding a comfortable surface to sleep on has been quite a challenge.  My first Aerobed was their travel and camping bed.  I got it several years ago when I was doing a lot of traveling.  Hotel beds are notoriously hard and were incredibly painful for me.  I could roll up the travel bed and fit it into a small suitcase, then inflate it when I arrived at my destination.  (That was when you could fly with two bags at no extra charge.)  Now that I don't travel as much, my travel bed gets most of its use when my grandchldren come for an overnight visit. 
    When I discovered how comfortable the travel bed was, I got a full-sized pillowtop Aerobed mattress for my bed at home.  It was even better than the travel bed.  The only negative was that it was hard to make myself get up in the morning because it's so cozy and comfortable.  One of the best things about an air bed like the Aerobed is that you can adjust the firmness to suit your personal needs.   

    Here is a link to the Aerobed site where there is also a list of retail stores that carry their products:  Aerobed

    5.  Strap Wrench – We generally think of a wrench as something that belongs in a toolbox to be used in building or repair work.  But my strap wrench lives in my kitchen.  Why? Because opening bottles and jars that are tightly sealed is not only painful but quite frankly, I often just don't have the strength needed to break the seal.  Thankfully though, my strap wrench makes opening those bottles and jars easy and painless. 

    The strap wrench has an adjustable rubber strap that can be wrapped around any size jar or bottle as well as just about any kind of cylindrical object you might need to turn – like perhaps a faucet that has been shut off too tightly.  Then with a turn of the handle, the lid unscrews.  It's simply a matter of leverage.  I know there are many jar and bottle opening devices available, but you usually need several different sizes to fit different needs.  Because it's adjustable, the only opener I need is my strap wrench.

  • There are a number of different brands of strap wrenches on the market.  Mine is a Craftsman and I've been quite happy with it.  You can see it here:  Craftsman Strap Wrench

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    Those are five of my favorite things.  Now I'd like to hear about products you've found that help you feel a little better or make your life a little easier.  Just click on “Comment” below to share.


Published On: October 22, 2010