Helpful Links | Assistive Devices | iBFF Approved Stuff

For the last, well, awhile I've been doing rehab (physical, speech, occupational, and talk therapies) and living with a life-altering brain illness. The following lists are things I've found to be helpful...because to be honest: I've tried a lot of stuff to make life a little easier.

I try to keep these lists updated as much as possible. Here you'll find Helpful links, Assistive Devices (mostly related to my disabilities), and Invisible BFF Stuff (stuff that's made my life a little easier that's not disability-specific).

Please note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links to buy things like more houseplants, and art supplies. 


e-Lo's big little list of resources

Helpful Links

  • Angioma Alliance: information & community for Cerebral/Spinal Cavernous Malformations (angioma.org)
  • Blogging: create a blog, and document your story. (Posthope, Wordpress, Squarespace) note: there are other site builders you can use but I chose Squarespace because of security and design. 
  • Brain Injury Alliances: Minnesota (www.braininjurymn.org), USA (www.biausa.org), International (www.internationalbrain.org)
  • Courage-Kenny Rehabilitation Center: my awesomesauce rehab center. Pool therapy, adaptive gyms & sports, and health psychology. This is an MN organization, but if you live elsewhere--I hope you find something similar in your area! (details here)
  • Global Genes: I care about rare. This is a medical site for rare diseases, check it out! They are awesome!  (globalgenes.org)
  • Insight Timer: I use this almost daily. It's as strict or relaxed as you want. (meditation app)
  • Lumosity Brain Training: Part of my cognition homework, it's pretty great & I love the design and tech of it! (Lumosity)
  • Mental Health (itgetsbetter, NIMH)
  • Migraine Support: Diamond Headache Clinic is a great resource; specifically I've been asked to share this migraine resource which is a slideshow that helps you determine which type of headache or migraine your child has.

Assistive Devices

Whatever assistive/adaptive device you need right now--work it!

  • Adaptive Kitchen

Sometimes stuff is hard to hold onto like I used to, so I have these weighted utensils. (I have yet to re-try chopsticks and have a feeling they'd be a mess...so) Also bowls...on bowls on bowls. Ok nothing against plates but usually they're the worst. When all you want is a TV dinner because sitting up at the table makes you want to cry, a bowl is where it's at. It makes spooning or forking a relative breeze! I also use my rollator a ton in the kitchen as a cart #themoreyouknow.

  • Cane

You're young, at least younger than the average cane user likely, and having some bling is never a bad idea. Heck, take out that semi-agist remark and I'll say that to everyone! A little bling is never a bad idea. What constitutes your bling may not be the same as someone else's--and that's the awesome part, right? Whether your cane is pimp, bling, or John Mc, it's really all about how you own it. I like this cane for indoor use because of grip and stability, and this Switch Stick cane (that comes in a ton of patterns and colors!) for going out, feeling fancy, and because it collapses so it's great for travel.

  • Drive Nitro Rollator

Read: a badass rollator. No really, think of your walker/rollator or other assistive device as your 'visible BFF' and reflects you as much as what you wear. Jazz it up with stickers and accessories, because we're fudging worth it. This bad boy is my ride or die, my sunshine on a cloudy day, my partner in crime...I use it so much and I'm really happy with the design and functionality. It's available in a few cute colors too (mine is white) check it out: Drive Nitro Rollator. There's petite, and tall as well so pay close attention to sizes.

If you're into accessories (who isn't?) then check out the snap-in Cane Holder and Cup Holder (you'll be a hit at parties--trust me!)

  • Orthotics

If you need to use orthotics, and it's available to you, customize it! My ankle foot orthotic (AFO) came with lots of choices. Ultimately I chose a purple skull & crossbones motif, and I'm infinitely happy with it.


invisible BFF approved

Not disability specific, yay!, and in no particular order (sorry)...

  • Pill box system. Here's what I use. Pills and supplements are life! It totally reminds me of "days of the week underwear", probably because it has the day of the week on each box. Not gonna lie, it's super helpful!
  • A good robe so you can flop on your bed after a shower because that shit is tiring!
  • Hand pump soap dispensers you can use in the shower, it makes showering just a little easier & less drop-y. I like these.
  • Easy makeup (if any) or an accessory that makes you feel happy & pretty, even when you feel awful. (Lip stick, easy earrings, necklace, headband, hat, etc.) It's easy to forget this, especially the worse you feel. I used to hock essential oils before all of this and playing around with those scents is fun too!
  • Hygienic wipes because some of us are much more sedentary than we used to be, and having that fresh clean feeling helps...A LOT. My faves for face wipes are here and feminine hygiene here.
  • These nifty puzzle organizers. My puzzle game is on point thanks to being able to sort & save space on my table. Check them out here. I use the bigger pieces as a fine-motor activity, but get the Ravensgurger ones to last longer.
  • A good (and big) grippy water bottle...H2O is life!
  • Nausea things. While I haven't had luck in getting rid of the constant nausea, a few things have helped. These sea bands look like you're going to the gym in the eighties, but I do wear them everyday. Also have you tried Gin Gin's? I keep them in my bag and cannot tell you how many times they've saved me in public.
  • An electric teakettle & other things you flip a switch to turn on. Bonus: if you have loose leaf tea-check out how cute this is! Manatea
  • An electric pillow & a good cold pack to confuse those *sons of bitches*...I mean pains.
  • A pizza cutter, you'll use it for a lot more than cutting everyone's favorite food, and it's much easier to grip. I have one like this.
  • A coloring book with thick lines to color inside or outside of. Another good fine-motor and meditative activity. This one is called Easy Mandalas.
  • Alexa. I was skeptical at first but after receiving her as a present from my sister and bro-in law...I was still skeptical come to think of it. For weeks actually. BUT THEN, I figured it out and OMG it's awesome. Mostly I use it for music and timers, but did you know it has a voice-activated call feature? Hello new version of "I've fallen and I can't get up"! Check it out here.