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Must Haves for any Spoonie's Bedside Table, Travel Kit, or Hospital Bag

What do you keep on your bed-side table? 

If you're chronically ill, keeping items within arm's reach becomes more important than ever before.  

And, if like me, you have periods of time when you spend so much time either in bed or on the couch, that you jokingly refer to these resting places as "your office," you understand the importance of a well stocked bed-side table.

These are the items I have found necessary to have on my bedside table, with me when I travel, and in any overnight bag.  

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From migraines to insomnia, earplugs are a must for me.  I use them at home and on the go.  Earplugs have gotten me through my senior prom and many an airplane flight. 
These are the earplugs I currently use.  I usually avoid the pink, marketed towards women brands, but I've tried a few types and these are a slimmer shape that fits my ear better.  I don't know if that has anything to do with my gender, and I certainly don't need them to be pink, but there you have it.

Muscle Rub

My pain increases at night and when I'm stuck in bed for long stretches, so I keep muscle rubs close by.  I stray away from Icy Hot because the smell triggers migraines for me.  Instead, these are three types of natural rubs I really like, Badger Balm, Tiger Balm , and Bee Balm Cream .  The tiger balm has the same active ingredient as Icy-Hot in some of its products so you get some of the tingle if that's what you're looking for, but I don't find the smell so overwhelming.  The other two are ginger based and work well.  The Bee Balm is a little pricey, but comes in a glass jar, and a little bit goes a long way.  I think it is worth the money because it works well and lasts a long time.

Heating Pad

Another way to combat pain, a heating pad, can be a spoonie's best friend.  Of course, it is important to have a new heating pad equipped with automatic shutoff, and heating pads should be checked regularly to make sure that all wiring is intact and operational.  Never fall asleep while using a heating pad, and make sure to use it in accordance with all instructions and safety guidelines.  No one wants to add burns, smoke inhalation, or fire damage to their list of problems!    I like using a fairly large heating pad at a low setting, and moving it where needed in intervals (primarily for muscle and abdominal pain). Using the heating pad in combination with muscle rubs is especially effective.

 Lavender Oil

I love lavender oil.  I started using it about eight years ago when I had a severe chronic migraine that took over my life.  Lavender oil doesn't magically make my pain disappear, but if I rub a small amount at the base of my skull, the scent helps me to relax and ease tension.  When you are in severe pain, anything that will take an edge off, or give you some peace is worth its weight in gold.  Because lavender oil does both, (eases my pain and eases my spirit) it earns a space on my bedside table.

Herbal Tea

I am a strong believer in and lover of herbal tea.  Most are naturally caffeine free and I find some organic herbal teas can aid in the soothing of minor ailments.   Of course, you should consult with a doctor because natural herbs like St. John's Wart can interact with medications.
 I use mint for mild nausea and camomile I just like the taste of.  Some people use ginger for digestive issues, but I prefer it with a little lemon and honey for a sore throat or congestion (I like ginger just for the taste as well).
I know some people claim some teas like lemon affect mood, but I have never experienced this.  Tea does improve my mood in that I feel comforted when I cozy up to a cup or mug of tea with its warm and familiar smell and taste.  You will always find tea on my bedside table.


Stay Hydrated!  Whether you are using water to take medications or just to keep your fluids up, there should always be a bottle or glass of water within your reach.  Always.

Rx Bar

A snack.  It doesn't have to be an Rx Bar, of course, but these are a great option.  Having something to snack on if you need to take medications, or, have issues regulating your blood sugar, is vital.  We all know the first commandment of chronic illness is to always be prepared.  I love these bars because they have no gluten, no soy, no dairy, and no added sugar (they have dates).  Since so many people with chronic illnesses are on specialty medical diets, these bars are a good option.  And, they taste good!  I moved onto these after completely overdosing on Larabars.
Now that you have your water and snack handy, you can easily take your medications.  What fun!  Keep your eyes peeled for a post on medication organization and what I've learned through trial and error about pill cases and the like.

Phone Charger

When you're stuck sick in bed, on the couch, or in the hospital, your phone can become your best friend and your lifeline to the outside world.  KEEP IT CHARGED.  I ordered an extra long phone charging cord from Amazon, which I didn't know I needed until my roommate had one and told me she ordered it from Amazon, and now I can't imagine my life without it.  Being able to charge my phone and use it simultaneously while also lying comfortably in my bed is a big deal.  On the days when I'm so sick or in so much pain that it takes hours to find one comfortable position, I will do anything not to move again.  Some days it's the little things that get you through, like extra long phone charger cords.


When my body isn't behaving and I'm stuck in one place, my mind races.  Having a notebook allows me to spill out onto paper the energy I feel in my mind and spirit while letting my body rest.  I also keep a multitude of lists because brain fog has obliterated my working memory and I need to write down everything I want to remember or get done.  I also have days when screens hurt my eyes or give me migraines so notebooks are great.  I highly recommend at least trying it.  I wrote most of this post in a notebook I keep on my nightstand or in my overnight bag.

Now you know what I keep close at hand, I want to hear from you!  What do you have to have next to your bed or with you when you travel?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Wishing you Healing Hugs and Hope,


  1. A heating pack is SO IMPORTANT. Even when we're on cross country road trips, we stick one in the car. We'll leave it on the inside dash to warm up on the sun and wala!

    1. That is such a good idea! I've always missed my heating pad on car trips and now I have a solution, thanks!!

  2. This is pretty much what I have next to me. A heating pad is probably the most important, although I don't necessarily stock that one. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Heating pads do so much for pain, they are majorly underrated!

  3. Loovveee all of these so much!! The idea is ever green :)) also been loving light boxes ATM wish I could get one!!
    Loved this
    Treasure Box


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