Most BMT patients will get a tremor from the medications they have to take. Wayne has the distinction of being the patient with the worse tremors that the BMT docs have ever seen. (In fact, they called in the neurology team to be sure there was nothing else going on.) The gift ideas below come from my experience and are based on the average patient.
Straws: for people who have tremors, holding a glass without spilling is hard. Make sure there is supply on hand.
Qtips (cotton tip applicators): chemo causes a person’s skin to shed. Qtips help remove the dead skin from those hard to reach spots.
Glad Press and Seal: Product works best for a person to cover central lines for bathing. Hospital does not supply, patient must bring to hospital when admitted.
Disposable Hand towels: good hand washing technique requires drying hands on individual single use disposable hand towels – lots of hand towels will be used.
Liquid Antibacterial Hand soap: Good hand washing is the most important line of defense against infection – the Arch Enemy!
Foam tape: skin becomes fragile and sensitive after repeated dressing changes. Foam tape is gentle, peels off easily, yet is strong enough to hold the protective covering used for line care when bathing. (Cost = $7.00 medical supply house.)
Soap “Avenno Skin Relief”: This soap is gentle for persons who have had chemo. Patients must bring their own soap to hospital. Bar soap is especially hard on patients skin.
Socks: Short socks a person can sleep in.
Sleeping Hat: Not a heavy stocking cap, a lighter fleece hat works well when sleeping.
Thank you cards: the person will have many to send.
Stamps: to mail the many thank you cards the person needs to send.
Pressure Sore Donut: losing all that weight, the person is just bound to have pressure sores. Hopefully this will take some of the pressure off!
Small card wallet: to keep all the contact doctor/medical team cards together and handy.
Vanicream Lotion: Chemo and other treatment drugs will dry out their skin. Vanicream lotion is the only lotion recommended by dermatologists at the University of Utah BMT. This lotion is not available in the hospital. Vanicream can be found at Rite-Aid or Walgreens. The patient will need to bring it to the hospital and also use it once they are home. (Don’t believe the hospital staff, the lotion they have in house is not as good.)
Designer cover-up: In other words, adult bibs. People with tremors have difficulty eating,so to assure that they don’t wear their food, put a cover-up on. (For more information contact Peeches.)
Pajama shirt-button all the way down: makes accessing the central line easy.
Germicidal Wipes and Clorax wipes: everything touched by other people will need to be cleaned/wiped that comes into contact with the patient. Bathroom fixtures etc.
Sun umbrella with a clip: people who have undergone a lot of chemo have sensitivity to sun. The clip will allow the person to put the umbrella on a chair or such.
Gift card for the hospital restaurant: person will have lots of clinic appointments and they can grab a bite to eat.
Cavilion Skin Barrier: This provides a barrier between the skin and anything that has adhesive. Cancer patients will have many dressing changes and a lot of tape, this helps to protect their fragile skin. We have tried other brands but “Cavilion No Sting Barrier Film Wipes” work best and are alcohol free. (Cost $22.50 Medical Supply house.)
Electric Toothbrush/Water Pik
Digital Thermometer: This will make the caregivers job much easier. Temps are taken routinely every morning and night, much more often if there is a change or concern. (Cost $40.00 @ Cosco.)
Massage: Just imagine how sore your muscles can get laying in bed for extended periods. Contact the hospital that person is being treated at to obtain names of massage therapists, this will assure that the therapist is familiar with the restrictions that these patients have.
Manicure: No way do you want a person with tremors cutting their own nails. Of course the manicurist will have to have a flu shot and follow all the other restrictions. What about a pedicure?
I hope this list will help you when shopping for that special person. My wish is that you never have anyone on your shopping list that needs this stuff.