Living with a chronic illness is never easy.
Nobody wants to be sick. We want to find love and be loved and be happy just like everybody else. We want to be successful and do something that matters.
We're just living with unwanted limitations in our hero's journey. Limitations that can make life exceedingly difficult.
I personally live with a chronic health condition called Meniere's disease. You probably haven't heard of it. I hadn't heard of it either, but it can completely destroy your quality of life with violent attacks of vertigo, hearing loss, and a feeling of pressure and loud ringing in your ears.
Like many other chronic illnesses, living well is largely about learning to manage your symptoms as best as you can, and fighting to raise quality of life where ever possible.
So with that in mind, I present to you a list of the products an supplements that I use on a daily basis to live a better life with chronic illness. I hope you find it helpful!
(P.S. If you have a good product recommendation as well, leave a comment below!)
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or medical professional. All supplements can have side effects and can negatively interact with prescription medication or other supplements. Talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement!
Everyday Items Breakdown:
1) Hydroflask (40oz) - When you live with Meniere’s disease, dehydration can trigger your symptoms in a big way. So, I recently decided to get a better water bottle, and I have to say, I love this thing. Summers in South Florida are brutally hot, but the insulation on this thing keeps 40oz of water cold for up to 24 hours. It can sit in my car, in the sun, all day long, and still be ice cold! I can’t recommend the Hydroflask enough!
2) Alaska Bear Sleep Mask – It’s important to sleep in total darkness, especially if you’re a light sleeper like me, so I often wear a sleep mask. I have several, but this is my current favorite. It’s the lightest, softest, and most comfortable sleep mask I’ve tried in a long time.
3) Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones – Recently, my old Sennheiser headphones fell apart after 5 years of daily use and it was time to upgrade. An exhaustive search led me to try Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, and many others. But I’ve finally settled on this wireless set of sports headphones from Bose. They checked all the boxes: some ambient noise can get through, wireless with decent battery life, and waterproof. They even have a heart rate monitor, which syncs to your phone as any chest strap would, allowing you to use it with any app you like. (You can get a less expensive pair without the heart rate monitor too!)
4) Charlotte’s Web CBD Hemp Extract Oil (Everyday Plus Strength) – I only recently discovered CBD, but it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite supplements. It’s more effective at relieving stress and anxiety than anything else I’ve ever tried, and as a result, my tinnitus seems quieter and my symptoms have improved.
- Sign up here for $5 off first time purchases of Charlottes Web
- Find a CWHemp local retail location
- More information and other reputable CBD vendors
5) Aluball Kava Maker - Kava tea is hand’s down my favorite relaxing beverage. It’s wonderfully effective at relieving stress and anxiety, and considered a much healthier alternative to alcohol. But most importantly, it doesn’t trigger my symptoms at all. The only downside was that it used to be tedious to make. But with the Aluball, I can make a cup of kava tea in less than a minute!
- More information about Kava
- High Quality Kava available on Amazon:
6) Mind Over Meniere’s: How I Conquered Meniere’s Disease and Learned to Thrive - Of course this list would be incomplete without a copy of my book! If you have Meniere's disease, or know someone who does, this book can help you. It’s a step-by-step look at my journey, and breakdown of what went wrong, what went right, and how you can find relief, too. It contains all of my strategies for managing Meniere’s disease. If you’ve already read it, be sure to grab a copy of my new book: Rewiring Tinnitus: How I Finally Found Relief From the Ringing in My Ears!
7) 3x5 White Block Plastic Bags – I use these plastic bags to hold all of the “just in case” medications and supplements I take with me when I leave the house. They’re the perfect size and the white block allows me to jot down notes, or label the contents. I find all kinds of great uses for these bags!
8) Onnit Alpha Brain – One of my favorite Nootropic supplements for brain fog, and the only one I feel comfortable recommending. It helps considerably for several hours. I have written extensively about Alpha Brain.
9) Kirkland Aller-Tec Cetirizine – My daily antihistamine to treat allergy symptoms. My allergies trigger my Meniere’s disease and cause terrible brain fog. Cetirizine helps to keeps it all in check.
10) Fidget Cube – This was originally a silly impulse purchase, but I love this thing! I’ve always found that I think better when I have something to occupy my hands.
11) Natrol Fast-Dissolve (Sublingual) Melatonin – I don’t take melatonin every day, but when I feel like I’m going to have a difficult time falling asleep, it helps considerably! Melatonin can be very effective as a sleep aid when used sparingly.
12) Solaray Super Bio D-3 (5000IU) – Vitamin D3 is important for many different bodily functions. We normally get vitamin D3 from sunlight exposure, but I don’t spend nearly enough time outside, so I take daily as a supplement.
13) Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal – These activated charcoal capsules work wonders helping to mitigate brain fog after eating a meal that triggers my symptoms, or less healthy than I normally eat. But be careful because if you take them within two hours before or after taking any medication it will absorb the medication.
14) Solaray Magnesium Glycinate (400mg) – Magnesium is such an important mineral that plays so many different roles in the body, but most people are deficient, and not all forms of magnesium are created equal. Magnesium Glycinate has a high bioavailability and is what I take on a daily basis.
15) Solaray Two-Stage Time Release Vitamin C (1000mg) –Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, but when you take it as a supplement, most of it is broken down in the stomach and doesn’t actually get absorbed. This two-stage, 12-hour time release vitamin C solves the problem entirely.
16) Electric Tape – I use tiny pieces of electrical tape to cover all sources of ambient light in my bedroom, and in hotel rooms when I travel. It’s a great little “hack” to get better sleep!
17) Baron Fig “Nomad” Dot Grid Sticky Notes – I use sticky notes for so many different things. When brain fog can make you lose your train of thought at any moment, it’s important to write everything down. I used to use Post-its but I recently switched over to these dot grid sticky notes, as I find them better for doodling and jotting notes.
18) AcuRite Home Comfort Monitor – I live in a two-story townhouse and my air conditioner is located on the first floor. As a result, in the Florida heat, my bedroom is typically several degrees warmer than the rest of my house. And it’s much harder to fall asleep when it’s warm. I keep this thermometer/humidity meter in my bedroom to make sure it’s cool enough that I don’t have trouble falling asleep.
19) Eargasm High Fidelity Musician’s Eargplugs (Use offer code mindover for 10% off!) – Eargasm earplugs are my current favorite off the shelf brand of musician’s earplugs. They lower the decibel level of sound without muffling or distorting the quality, so you can still enjoy music and carry on conversations. I keep them with me whenever I go out. My general rule of thumb is any time I think something might be too loud, it probably is, and I put in my Eargasm earplugs.
20) Macks Snoreblocker Foam Earplugs – It might seem strange, but I go to sleep with both earplugs and my Bluetooth speaker playing nature sounds. The background noise masks my tinnitus somewhat, even with the earplugs in, and the earplugs help me to avoid distractions and get better sleep. I’m a very light sleeper, but with this setup, I can even sleep through my wife’s alarm going off at 6 am.
21) Lacrosse ball and 22) Foam Roller – Foam rollers and lacrosse balls are incredible tools for massaging sore muscles and increase mobility. Plus, releasing physical tension helps to reduce stress, which is a trigger for just about everyone. I get professional massages when I can, but I use my foam roller and lacrosse ball every single day.
- How to use a Lacrosse Ball for Self-Massage
- How to Perform a Lacrosse Ball Massage on Sore Muscles
- Foam Rolling / Foam Roller Basics
23) FUGOO Style Bluetooth Speaker – I use my FUGOO Bluetooth speaker more than just about every other electronic device I own. I connect it to my phone and use it to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and as a sound therapy machine while I sleep. It’s waterproof, loud, has great sound quality (from every angle), and a battery that lasts a mind blowing 40 hours at 50% volume. It’s been out for a few years now, but at $89.99 it was a steal, especially considering I use it for at least 12 hours every single day!
24) Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Smartphone – It’s the biggest phone I’ve ever owned, but that turned out to be a great thing for me, even though it's a bit on the heavy side. I consider the added weight a worthwhile tradeoff, as it has entirely replaced my tablet, even for reading books. But best of all, it's the first phone I’ve ever owned with a battery life that can make it through an entire day of heavy use.
25) Mind Over Meniere’s Symptom Relief Project - My album of brainwave entrainment audio tracks engineered to help relieve some of the worst symptoms of Meniere’s disease, such as vertigo, stress/anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, and fatigue. I’ve used brainwave entrainment for a long time, way before I created this album. And today, thousands of people are listening daily, finding relief when they need it most! Even if you don't have Meniere's disease, these tracks can automatically induce various mental states, such as deep relaxation, intense focus, energy boost and more!
26) RAV Power Portable Charger (22000mAh) – I bought this portable USB power bank last year when it looked like South Florida was going to be hit with a major hurricane. The hurricane missed us, but it ended being a great purchase. This thing can charge my phone up to 7 or 8 times, so if I ever lose power, I never have to worry about being disconnected. I always have it with me when I travel or if go out for an extended period of time. And with hurricane Harvey devastating Texas right now, I felt it was a good addition to this list.
27) Camelbak Podium Big Chill Insualted Water Bottle (25oz) – This is my go to water bottle for any kind of exercise. It has a smaller capacity than the Hydroflask and doesn’t keep water cold for nearly as long, but it's much easier to use and it's also much lighter. I originally purchased it for my bike rides, as it’s sized for a bicycle bottle cage. But it works really well for all types of exercise. The high flow water valve allows you drink quickly, and the insulation is more than enough to keep my water cold during longer workouts.