Top Ten Creature Comforts


We’ve all been there – the nausea and vomiting that sometimes accompany a change in medication. My doctor recently changed some medicines over the past months, so I’ve been craving a lot of comfort items lately. Everyone’s “comfort” items are different, however, here are a few of mine that possibly may help other Spoonies as well:

A good book! I can get lost in a book for hours and it definitely helps me forget my problems and the pain.

Time with loved ones. My husband is king of taking care of me!

Electric heating blanket. This really soothes my achy body and is super cozy.

My kitten. She’s the most loving and attentive cuddle bug! Any of my fur babies will do. They all love the Mama!

Massage therapy or hot tub. If you’re feeling well enough to get out of the house, do it!

Fuzzy socks or fun toe socks to keep my low-circulation feet warm. Plus they are CUTE!

Tivo subscriptions are amazing for down time, especially if you can stream Internet TV.

Stream Netflix! Whenever I’m on bed rest, like now, I can always find a new TV series to watch, or old movies. It beats daytime soaps in my opinion!

Sprite. No substitutions. It always calms my stomach, just like Mom said.

Chicken noodle soup, which is an all time comfort that Mom always made for me.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about five years ago, but I’m been battling it for the past ten years. I also have what my rheumatologist calls Lupus features, because the symptoms do not finitely fit within the textbook parameters. Due to this, my doctors and I have struggled to find adequate treatment, like so many other Spoonies, I don’t fit into one distinct category. Unfortunately chronic illnesses just don’t fit into a nice box that we can put on the top shelf of our closets.

Article written by Staff Writer, Ashley Morgan.

Ashley has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since 2005 after spending five years undiagnosed and many misdiagnoses. Other secondary diagnoses include: Lupus, Hyper-mobility Syndrome, and Sjögren’s Syndrome. Originally from Glendale, California, she now calls San Antonio, Texas home. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering with youth at her Church and spending time with her husband and step-sons.  She can be found on Twitter at @Ashiemorgan

  • Ethan Santiago

    I’ve pulled my old stuffed animal off the bookshelf and started sleeping with him. I keep him under my pillow so my dog doesn’t eat him, but the few times I forgot, she left him alone! Maybe she knows he’s mine? Sunny Jake always makes me feel better.

  • Morgan

    Mine are, a huge body pillow, a heated blanket and some nice socks, 7up cherry, my dog, and a laptop 🙂

  • Lucky

    My in-laws bought me an electric body pillow for Christmas. It gets very warm, so I only use the first few settings. It works wonders because it helps multiple areas of my body at the same time.

    When I am nauseated, I like to eat gingerbread cookies or toast and to drink Ginger Ale. I will have to try some of the teas mentioned in other posts.

    My pets and my husband are the best comforts.

  • Yet another issue is that video gaming became one of the all-time greatest forms of recreation for people of various age groups. Kids engage in video games, and also adults do, too. The particular XBox 360 is just about the favorite games systems for individuals that love to have hundreds of games available to them, and who like to learn live with some others all over the world. Many thanks for sharing your thinking.

  • Diane

    Hi Eri, I haven’t tried online books. I’ve seen sites like, and have been seeing all the ads for the new digital book readers like the Kindle and Nook, but I’ll have to do some research on those and the online books. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

    Jennifer, I’ve had fibromyalgia for almost 35 years and nobody has ever told me I couldn’t use heat. Ice or cold packs just increase my pain, while heat relieves it. My doctor told me that cold packs help some people while heat packs help others, and to see what works better for me. Hot water makes me feel better that anything else, and I don’t plan to give it up. 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I see the posts about using a heating pad. I was told with fibro to never use heat, always use ice. Sometimes I get so cold and pile on the blankets. Can I really use heat?

  • my husband is a saint, I have been so weak with nausea, and just added yet another auto immune dx, Celiac disease yesterday. Ugh
    so my list is definitely my dear husband, I am like Cindy who gets cold cold cold and then sweats profusely but it is not hormones with me. that was many yrs ago, surgical. My cat, Noel, pictures of Grandson, and children, the remote control, netflix, books would love to have ereader, zofran to get thru nausea, fluffy slippers, walker, heating pad, special pillow, blanket, pain meds, something to drink, ipod, Bible. Use to be chocolate but not now, boo whoooo. or rye toast, but no longer. Any one else with Lupus Sle, sjogrens, reynaulds, celiac disease? I already lost my colon, and now small intestine are trashed so I have to take Celiac very seriously. Also Arenal gland failure or Addision disease. thanks Deanna
    Also dx with Fibromyalgia, pluerisy, spinal stenoisis, curvature of spine, cns involvement, polyneuropathies etc.

  • Diane – you may want to check with a local beauty/asthethics school if there is one in your area. They are usually very reasonable on massage rates. I couldn’t afford to go otherwise as I’m on disability also.

  • Tiffany Bernard

    In regards to the electric blanket — I love the idea (and perhaps this is paranoid) but I always worry about them shorting out/catching fire or alternately burning me if I fall asleep and forget to turn it off. Is this a valid fear, or are they a lot safer than I think?

  • Nancy Johnstone

    This was a great post, b/c I sometimes forget what to do for comfort. I live alone, & am having more & more trouble driving. Whoever wished for a hot tub: even just a regular tub, with some epsom salts & lavender essential oil, and warm enough temp, really makes my muscles feel better. Sometimes I can’t do this, as I can’t get out of the tub myself, but sometimes I can. Also, Swiss Miss sugar free hot chocolate is wonderful. For nausea, peppermint herbal tea is wonderful, & there’s a Celestial Seasonings Tummy Mint (2 mints). A little honey makes it so soothing. I have CVID, and am having more reactions to my IVIG; muscle cramping so bad I am having trouble moving around. I’ve been getting IVIG since 2004; has anyone else had this reaction? Really bad the last few months; also one month a year ago was horrible, but I’m on a different form now. As for reading, I prefer paperbooks for the ease of holding. I haven’t tried an e thing yet; my budget is very tight. I’m so glad to be on Facebook, & have email. Best to all of you; let me know if you have info re: IVIG. I’ve been taking pain meds & Tylenol–allergic to aspirin.

  • Teresa Cook

    Just was wondering what HFCS from the article. Thanks

  • Cindy

    These are all great suggestions and we all have our favorites.

    I have trouble with being cold and then too hot (hormones) so I have a fan close to my recliner and one by my bed also, then I layer my sheet and quilt so I can kick off the quilt if I’m hot and only use the sheet, then grab the quilt again later… I keep a down filled cover by my chair. It’s warm without being heavy.

    My heating pad is a must on a daily basis.

    I drink a big cupful of herbal tea a couple times a day.

    I keep socks by my chair and pull them on or off as my temp changes.

    I have warm “house shoes” with a hard sole that I can slip on to step outside to get the mail.

    In the summer I practically live in the pool, doing exercises I can’t do without water, like leg step ups on the pool steps and squats.

    I keep a fluffy housecoat handy for when I really need to snuggle into something warm and soft all over.

    Lastly, I have a great husband who brings me my dinner and refills my glass of water throughout the day. 🙂

  • Chrissy

    Diane. I have started listening to audio books on the days I cannot focus to actually read. I love my Kindle, but it doesn’t have a good read-out-loud feature, so I go for for downloadable audiobooks when I fell awful and just want someone to read to me. Its kind of like being a kid again with someone reading to you, although its adult books.

    Something I’ll mention is that for some of us with HFCS sensitivities, Sprite or any other soda is just awful for us. However, what usually settles the stomach is both the carbonation and the sugar. So, usually what I do is take a diabetic-type chewable sugar pill and if I need to I’ll get some natural sodas from the local organic grocery (or even coke products from overseas that use sugar instead of HFCS) and that works quite well for the nausea and upset stomach.

    Also, for me my indispensable comfort item is my insulated coffee pot. I can put on a pot and sip off it all day (whether i make coffee or tea in it) and I don’t have to worry about re-heating or creating a burnt flavor by having a heating coil on or anything.

  • Amy

    When it doesn’t hurt, going online (the chair for the desktop isn’t comfy & sometimes the laptop hurts me). A good book. Watching English-subtitled anime online (I love “Bleach,” plus enjoyed “Shakugan no Shana” part one, have been meaning to get to part 2 for a while; my hearing isn’t good, so the subtitles mean I don’t miss any dialogue. Others I liked are “Blood” (which is too icky for some tastes), “Death Note,” the original “Dragon Ball” – although I like “Dragon Ball Z” & I can’t recall the full title of the 3rd series in the franchise, the original “DB” is FUNNY as all get out). I have a vibrating massage cushion. Fat people gross out most massage therapists & they aren’t shy about making sure you know; I don’t need that. Stretching & deep breathing exercises when I can. Cooking meals that require time but not attention is time w/ our son, my “cook’s helper” of long standing. Soft (goose down for me) pillows. Anything funny. Reading Manga. I love music but it seems as soon as the earbuds go in, my son & husband suddenly HAVE to talk with me-I use that to my advantage at times! MahJongg & Bejeweled on my Palm T|X; using Firefox w/ flashblock to play games on pch games (I love their 3d MahJong game!). Good DVDs available thru’ the library for free. Anything sci-fi. Exploring the Bible & learning apologetics. Learning anything having to do with nursing, teaching, IT, & just general knowledge; my brain gets a lot of CFS/ME & fibrofog, the games & learning are what I do to fight back, plus Sudoku & crosswords (not too easy, not too difficult). I can get free versions online at the AARP or PCH websites. Hugs. I’m the caregiver, as bad off as I am, but DH does what he can; we take care of each other. Good coffee or better yet, tea (Chinese red tea, the basis of Lipton, is at the top, followed by Darjeeling, Assam, English afternoon tea which is more mellow than the breakfast tea). Sleep if I can manage.

  • shari

    I agree with everything on your list. Also, I got a Kindle from my husband for Christmas and I love it. It is light weight, easy to read (adjustable font size), no glare.

    Other things I’d add for me: My phone to stay in touch with friends, laptop (for staying in touch with friends, researching, watching tv/movies/videos, playing games), good smelling body lotions, oh, I bought one of those electric throws ($30) that I keep on the sofa; it makes curling up with my Kindle awfully nice. 🙂

    That’s all for now.

  • karen

    My top 10:
    10 My Nook e reader! I too can’t hold a big book for a long period of time, plus mine is the color one that I can take a break from reading if I want and play online. They are great!
    9 My dog, Sunshine. Puppy therapy is essential
    8 My husband, his support is essential
    7 Fuzzy socks – the more colorful the better, preferably with Hello Kitty or skulls and crossbones…just something crazy to make me smile.
    6 My Glee DVD Season 1. When I really feel bad, those always cheer me up
    5 Getting out with friends, when I am able
    4 The internet – reaching out to fellow sufferers online helps me so much when the people around me just don’t understand
    3 My TENS unit
    2 Heating pads: I have at least 5 or 6 at different locations throughout my house and even one at work. An absolute must
    1 My heated throw: I sleep with it every night, it keeps me from waking up with the stiffness from the fibro. It has been life-changing

  • Stephanie Marushia

    Kindle (it’s hard to hold a dead tree book for long periods), Tivo, Netflix Streaming, Keurig Coffee Maker (awesome coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or hot water in 40 seconds) to warm me up, my friends in the box, FB, Angry Birds on my Droid, and my woobies – Army blankets that are light weight and keep perfect temp control, not too hot and keeps the chill away. If you want one or 5 search ebay for Army poncho liner or woobie (yes I’ve seen them listed that way).

  • JewelsVN

    Loved this article! In “our world” of illness and pain, the word; “Comfort” is not a luxury it is a necessity!
    Often times we hurt and feel so badly that it is difficult even to think of, (what is left) that will help us to relax even for a few minutes. Thank you for sharing your “Comfort Items” with us. Even though many of us have different needs we all need comforting! Reading used to be my escape as well but due to the inability to concentrate,and retain information I can’t do it as much and somedays not at all. I found that Books on tape or cd’s really help! You can get them from your Public Library, friends, or On Line. It has a double comfort for me. Empowerment as I get something back, (but in a different format) that was taken away by the illness, and the comfort of someone’s voice reading to me, (like my Mom used to when I was younger). Very comforting indeed!

  • Vicki Brown

    I am so glad Ashely reminded me what some of my favorite comforts are . sometimes i feel so bad, i just roll over …if able…and can’t even think of what would make me feel better…or even worse…get so used to feeling bad that I forget what to do that makes me feel a little better. My husband is the best when I feel bad….I sure don’t deserve all the love he keeps giving me, but he thinks I do and that counts for alot ! Some people aren’t even as lucky as me. My children now grown and gone don’t always think of things that might help me or really so busy with begining their adult lives they don’t think of it right away, and I really wouldn’t want them to. I ask for the things that I need from them and they are good to deliver. My husband is disabled from 5 back surgeries so simple life can be difficult for us. I am currently on medical leave waiting for my disabiltiy hearing next month, which i am very nervous about. I have always been a hard worker and enjoyed my career a great deal, worked with some of the finest people in the field and miss it a great deal. I have found out that I put too much of my life into work and no hobbies, so now I am trying to find what some of my hobbies could be that I could enjoy. So always looking for suggestions. Glad to belong to bydls . I have found a place i belong !!!!

  • Eri

    Diane, I hope you get to see this… Have you tried online books? You can search the internet and find short books/stories that fit your interest and should work for you. When my sister had Chemo-brain its what I suggested to her. It let her continue to read and were short enough she would remember what happened.

  • Diane

    I miss books. I used to read a book a day, and could remember everything I read. Then fibro-fog turned my brain to swiss cheese and now I can only digest information in small chunks. I haven’t read a book in 15 years now. I’d love to have access to a hot tub or to be able to afford a massage, but right now we’re living on my husband’s disability and my unemployment.