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‘Tis the season, y’all! Some of us have already enjoyed our winter-time holidays, snd some are gearing up to celebrate. Thanks to the contributions of some of our lovely GWGs, we have compiled a list of some of the best gifts that we could receive as an IBDer or ostomate!

  1. Heating pad, hot water bottle, or a heatable stuffed animal. A lot of us have a very close relationship with our heating devices and know how devastating it can be when they finally kick the bucket. Having extras around is always a plus! Extra wide heating pads are usually large enough to cover the entire abdomen, which is perfect for a lot of us!
  2. Poo-pourri! If you haven’t had the pleasure of using or smelling Poo-pourri, you’re really missing out! They have great scents and are currently offering many holiday scents and deals! (
  3. Blankets, comfy pj’s, socks, etc. For those days where we become one with the bed or the couch, it’s so nice to have cute pj’s, a cozy blanket, or a cute pair of socks to keep the tootsies warm! For those with a bigger budget, some members of your community even swear by weighted blankets to help combat pain and anxiety.
  4. A good book, coloring books, activity books, puzzles, and games. These are fairly self explanatory, but in the age of smart phones, sometimes its nice to have something physical to dive into!
  5. Gift card to the spa or a massage. A girl can always use some pampering to distract from the wear and tear of chronic illness! If you are like me and are sensitive, massage can be painful. Facials, manicures, light touch therapy, float therapy, and such are great alternatives to massage. If you massages are your thing, however, I highly recommend informing your massage therapist or spa that you have a disease that may mean that you have to run to the restroom without notice. If they know you have some sort of special need in advance, it will make your trip much more relaxing!
  6. House cleaning. There are many services that your loved ones can pre-pay for and have someone come help you with housework. A clean home is such a nice feeling and something that we can’t always do for ourselves- even help once a month can be a huge relief!
  7. Meal prep kits. There are a ton of options out there, and a lot of them have options for people with dietary restrictions. These kits make dinner time a breeze, giving you more time to focus on yourself! Sometimes reserving the energy you would have spent shopping for ingredients yourself by having them delivered to your door can make all the difference in your day/week.
  8. Squatty Potty.This very simple bathroom accessory is awesome for those of us who still #2 in the traditional way. When you spend as much time on the pot as we do, anything to make it a little more comfortable can be a huge deal. The website has a lot of poo related gifts, and options for children’s squatty potties as well! (
  9. A Tushy/Bidet. Bidets are a lot gentler on a sensitive behind, and are great gifts! The Tushy has a very sleek look, and we’ve had great reviews from a lot of members of the GWG community! (
  10. Medical care. This one isn’t something that applies to all of us, and isn’t something that we can get from our friends or families, but a lot of us feel that an ostomy, a surgery, starting a new medicine, or a diagnosis is the best gift you could receive. This year I was able to finally have surgery to get a port, and the surgery happened on my birthday! It was the best birthday gift I’ve ever received!

No matter the holiday you celebrate, if any, we would like to wish you a warm, snuggly, and relaxing winter season!

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Casey Flancbaum was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 22, which ultimately was changed to a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease the next year. She found the GWG organization and forum during a late night search for a support group geared towards women and is so grateful for the online community that she is now a part of!

Casey holds degrees in Music Performance from the Crane School of Music and University of North Texas, and is currently an active performer and teacher in the DFW area. In her free time, Casey loves to cook, garden, and spend time with her amazing husband, Samson, and three adorable fur kids, Jackson, Roxy, and Roscoe!

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls”: Gifts from my IBD IBD and Relationships: Holiday Edition Twitter Chat Recap

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