Gift guides, because you deserve presents.

Gifts For People With MS: 2021 Ultimate Gift Guide

It’s that time of year when the answer to, “I wish there was something I could do,” is “Great! Here’s a list.” You can’t cure MS, but you can improve symptoms with these thoughtful gifts that are perfect for people with MS.

like Oprah, but with brain damage

As an eggnog half-full kinda girl, instead of thinking of MS symptoms as problems—just for the holidays—I will approach these challenges as shopportunities. A chance to say, ‘Hey, Santa, MS Sucks. What are you gonna do about it?”

2021 Holiday Gifts For People With MS

Shopportunity: heat sensitivity, fatigue, upper body weakness

Six days out of seven, my hair is gross because washing it when you have MS is a whole thing. You guys know. While gift certificates for salon blow-drys will always be a winner with me, it’s not realistic to get all my grooming on the outside; a fact that hit especially hard in Toronto where we lived through North America’s longest lockdown.

MS gift: a low-heat, lightweight, hair-dryer brush

This 2-in-1 hair dryer brush by Conair is a freaking dream. It weighs less than my conscience after eating all the Miss Vickie’s, and you can brush as you dry, so you only have to worry about dropping one tool on the ground instead of two.

A hair-dryer brush is one the energy-saving gifts perfect for people with MS
Pro tip: I keep my regular hair dryer for blow drying my body. IYKYK.

Shopportunity: difficulty with concentration, and/or problem-solving

MS can mess with cognition. Last year I had some testing that helped explain why I suck at listening to you when there’s competing background noise, and why I’ve spent half an hour trying (and failing) to think of a clever second example of how my brain sometimes fails me.

Gifts for people with MS: physiotherapy for your mind

I always thought video games were for virgins and burnouts—and they are—but research shows that gaming can actually create structural changes in the brain. Video games can improve memory, hand-eye coordination, decision making skills, attention, focus, and reaction time.

The gains aren’t limited to  so-called brain-training games either. Whether you want to be a pill-popping, cherry-obsessed, grinning  yellow circle or an old-timey family on a life-threatening vacation to Oregon, the brain-boosting benefits of gaming can be yours.

Video games make great gifts for people with MS who are concerned about cognitive function
Clearly I know nothing about video games, but this one comes in pink.

Shopportunity: problems with word-finding, verbal fluency, memory

I love languages (in fact, I’m thrilled to share that all of TOA will soon be available en français). If I’m tripping on words, I can always explain it by saying “Sorry, I was trying to think of the English word”. I’m not cognitively impaired, I’m fancy.

MS gift: polyglot superpowers

Research shows that “polyglots have more grey matter and better white matter retention”. I don’t know what that means, but I want it. One of the online language-learning programs que j’adore is Frantastique. The first month is free and make sure you opt into the spicy mode because they don’t teach you how to swear on Rosetta Stone. Merde.

I’m not French, I’m just pissy.

Shopportunity: MS fatigue

After two years of Covid-induced Facetime-only visits, I finally saw my niece and nephew IRL. We spent a gorgeous day at the zoo, which meant I spent half the time slow-walking and the rest of the time getting pushed around in Optimus Prime, my convertible rollator/transport chair. My 5 year-old niece, who was being pushed around in her own wagon and totally gets the concept of ‘my legs are tired, please push me now’, didn’t seem to notice or give a fuck.

Sidney gets it.

My nephew, though, who’s 7, had a few Qs. It was the first time he’d seen me using a transport chair. Apparently, he thought I was just old. Like, really old. And now, he gets nothing for Christmas.

Just kidding, Conor. Auntie Ardy would never play you like that.

Gifts for people with MS: an explanation for kids

If you’ve got questioning kids, this book by Julie Stamm does a beautiful job of making sense of MS on a level kids can understand, while at the same time normalizing the experience. Adults might learn a thing or two about invisible illness, too.

Children's books like Some Days by Julie Stamm make great gifts for people with MS .

Shopportunity: wonky balance, weakness, foot-drop

I’d been holding off on getting a claw attachment to make my cane (which I use indoors) safer, on the grounds that they are ugly.

MS gift: better support and a more natural stride

Click here for a refresher on sick-person presents. As much as I love a bomb mobility aid, you’d better be sure a cane is something your Tripper wants and needs before you try to pawn it off as a gift. That said, this stick could be a game-changer if it’s the right fit for your loved one.

The “3rd foot” Aligned As Designed cane is designed to move like a foot, and I am more stable with this stick. The Banker likes it too; because when I knock it over—as one does—the rubber handle and foot mean the crash isn’t nearly as loud as my previous cane. 

To offset international shipping, Canadians get $10 off with code: CANADA.

Aligned as Designed canes make thoughtful gifts for people with MS.

Shopportunity: stigma

It can take a minute to get used to seeing yourself with a mobility aid. For many, the transition can be an unwelcome identity crisis. In some cases we may even feel we’re letting our loved ones down.

Gifts for people with MS: custom coolness

How can you help? Tell your Tripper you’re proud of them for doing what they need to, to keep up and keep going. That’s free. To level up your support, consider a custom animation from disabled artist, @beautyfromchaos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an artistic image that includes a mobility aid, elevates, celebrates, and tells us we belong.

Custom animations of mobility aid users make for positive and supportive gifts for people with MS and other chronic illnesses.
tag your custom animations @ms_trippingonair and I will share them in my stories!

Shopportunity: anxiety and depression

I love journaling. Journaling is a form of meditation. Except better, because meditation is boring, and journaling is like gossip. Research shows that keeping a diary can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and give voice to difficult emotions. Diaries can remind us of what we’ve already survived and give us confidence to keep going the next time life gets tough.

MS gift: a place to put your secrets

I like to barf out my feelings in the most beautiful books I can find. Stickers make pages more interesting, while also making it easier to identify days you might want to come back to. And I am obsessed with finding the right pen.

Baron fig makes bougie pens.

If you’re new to journaling and aren’t sure where to start, there are some brilliant guided journals on the market. Check out The Human Being Journal which borrows principles from mindfulness and CBT.

Shopportunity: loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression

When people ask me what advice I’d give someone newly diagnosed with MS, the first thing I say is to find your tribe. MS is complicated; it’s scary, and it can be lonely. I cannot underestimate the importance of connecting with someone else who gets it; someone of a similar age and life-stage, who is facing the same challenges.

Gifts for people with MS: a little eSupport

eSupport facilitates MS connections and takes things one step further by offering intimate online groups for people with MS. Sessions are guided by licensed therapists who are experts in MS. 

If you want to get a feel for what these sessions are all about before you add eSupport to your list for Santa, you can register here for a free open house on December 7th at noon Eastern or December 14th at noon Eastern. 

  • December 7th, 12 noon EST
  • December 14th, 12 noon EST

Shopportunity: dexterity issues, hand/arm weakness

I love eyeliner but I’m usually rocking a smudgy eye because I slept in my makeup my eyesight sucks, and I don’t have a tonne of strength in my right arm.

MS gifts: makeup tools you can hang onto

If your hands shake or you drop shit, or even if you don’t, Guidebeauty and Kohl, have makeup tools that are universally designed with everyone in mind.

Universally designed makeup tools by Guidebeauty are some of the best gifts for people with MS.
Clean, cruelty-free, vegan, universal. This tool guides your hand to perfectly-lined lids.
Kohl Flex makeup brushes make great gifts for people with MS.
The Kohl Flex Collection brushes stand up their own, are flexible, and easy to grip.

I love these brands because they recognize that people with disabilities care about the important things in life like a precision cat eye. Cat eyes for everyone!

Shopportunity: curling toes and swollen feet

MS makes my toes curl and not in the sexy way.

Gifts for people with MS: Compression Toe Sox™

I don’t know why Toe Sox™ keep my toes from curling, they just do. My toes need so much alone time that Toe Sox™ are now the only socks I wear. (Unless you count the bed socks I wear over the Toe Sox™, because Toe Sox™ don’t do anything to keep my feet warm.) Toe Sox™ have been on my list before, and they deserve to be here again because I recently discovered that you can also get compression Toe Sox™. Now, I know compression socks sound medical af, but I have some in fuschia; and as far as compression socks go, these ones suck the least.

Shopportunity: Dysesthesia

Most of my MS pain lives in my feet which are somehow cold and burning at the same time. My dogs are often purple-ish red and their hobbies include cramping and spasming to unholy, Exorcist angles.

MS gift: Heated foot massager

When the pandemic canceled massages, I splurged on this heated foot massager and now it’s part of my nightly routine.

Heated foot warmers are cozy gifts for people with MS.

Shopportunity: insomnia

My favourite way to console myself when I’m wide awake in the middle of the night is to reach for my phone and order a sweater, or a new pair of shoes. This is not a sustainable habit considering how much MS messes with my sleep.

Gifts for people with MS: wearable book light

This book light is my second favourite  insomnia coping device. It lets me read without waking The Banker and it even has a warm light setting. It doubles as a flashlight that I don’t have to carry when I walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

Shopportunity: drop foot

Winter can be complicated when you have MS, and finding the right boot is a whole thing. Icy, uncleared sidewalks are tough to navigate if you’ve got drop foot or balance problems. Weakness means boots can’t be too heavy; difficulty with dexterity can make laces a challenge; and if you use an AFO; well, you might decide to just stay inside and sit the winter out.

MS gift: happy feet

Ugg has got your back. The Lakesider Zip Puff boots are so cute they feel designed for style and not necessity. They are lightweight, warm, and they zip open on the top, so you can just drop your drop-foot right in. Swoon.

Lightweight, universally designed Ugg boots are one of the best gifts for people who have MS and love fashion,
These aren’t Dictus™ friendly, but I sized-up and can wear them with my carbon-fibre AFO.

Shopportunity: MS progression

I don’t have to tell you why MS progression sucks. If you’ve got it, you already know.

Gifts for people with MS: PoNS therapy

Okay, so this is a bit of a baller gift. Maybe a group gift, and your friends have last names like Gates, or Pope (first name “The”). PoNS is technology that when combined with physiotherapy may improve walking in some people with MS. It’s helping me, and if I really was Oprah, I’d make sure everyone that needs one, gets one. You can read my review here.

Still stuck? Check out my past guides from 2018, 2019, 2020 for more gifts for people with MS.

Happy Holidays, Trippers! I hope Santa is good to you.

Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram

Ultimate Guide To The Best Gifts For People With MS

The Grinch sits in front of a well-lit Christmas tree. There is text on a red background that reads: 2020 MS gift guide: awesome gifts for people with MS TrippingOnAir.Com

Best Gifts Of 2020 For People With MS (or anyone who likes cool stuff)

Remember when those smug Whos down in Whoville convinced the Grinch that Christmas doesn’t come from a store? All they needed was each other? Welcome to 2020, bitches. Holding hands and singing around a giant tree is the stuff of fairytales that in real life, makes Grandma die. 

Where are your masks, motherfuckers?

In the absence of presence, presents take on even more importance this year. But you guys already know how I feel about gifts (as in, if you have MS, you deserve extra).

And so, without further adieu, here is my annual gift guide for the Tripper in your life. 

2020 Best gifts for people with MS

Soft hands

If you’ve been washing your hands as often as you should be, you need a quality hand cream, and lots of it. There’s nothing nicer than l’Occitane. It’s a splurge, which makes it the perfect gift, because it’s not always the kind of thing we buy for ourselves. Lavender is my fave (possibly because I have yet to try the bergamot), but good old shea butter is the most hydrating. 

l'occitane moisturizer makes a great gift for someone with MS (or anyone whose been using a lot of hand sanitizer)
for hands so soft, no one will believe they’ve met soap


I used to be a fan of experience gifts, but it’s Covid Times, and I have no desire to experience a ventilator, so most gifts in this category are cancelled. The good news is we’ve never had so many TV options; Netflix is no longer enough. Adding a subscription service like HBO, Prime, Apple, Hulu, Crave, or whatever streaming service your Tripper is missing, is a great gift for people with MS, or anyone who plans to spend a lot of time on the couch this winter. So, like everyone.

A poster of the movie "Run" which stars a wheelchair user. Hooray for disability representation!
Can’t wait to watch this stereotype-crushing film.

Something to read 

Disability Visibility (Alice Wong) is a collection of first person essays that will make you feel seen. Sitting Pretty is Rebekah Taussig’s memoir about life with paralysis, and if you’re not already following her on Insta, you should be. I’m looking forward to reading Michael J. Fox’s new book No Time Like The Future. Parestroika in Paris is also on my list, as well as Lindy West’s new book Shit, Actually, because Lindy and I speak the same language, and not everything is about MS.

Sexy, energy-saving intimates

Last week I had a shower and washed and dried my hair; and if you don’t know why this is note-worthy, congratulations, you’re cleaner than me. Skip to the next gift item. The energy it took to get dressed in underwear, socks, and leggings, took 4 days off my life, and that’s fine, I accept that, because those are the shitty days at the end. But when I went to stand up, I realized I’d tragically put my leggings on backwards. I would have burst into tears if I’d had the strength. There’s a limit to the amount of times I’m willing to put my legs through leg holes, which is why I sleep in my clothes.

The good news is adaptive stylish clothing is finally starting to be a thing. These underwear by Slick Chic are side-fastening. They are high quality, super cute, and totally brilliant. Note: if you have difficulty with dexterity, these may not be the gitch for you as they fasten like a bra (although, kinda perf if bae can help you take them off).

A safer shower

When my giant soaker tub started to threaten my safety (rude), I was advised to get a shower bench or chair. After scrolling through medical supply store websites, and only finding white plastic and metal, hospital-issue benches, I was so demoralized that instead of getting one, I decided to keep rolling the dice with the murder-tub. And so, it was a revelation when I saw a new occupational therapist (OT), who pointed out that I don’t have to shop at a medical supply store. Duh. Now I have this beautiful wooden bench and can safely shave my legs again. I mean, I won’t. But, I could. 

A white soaker tub with a dark wooden bench makes a great gift for a person with MS.

The gift of warmth

My spirit animal is a half-dead reptile: my blood runs cold. Any gift that can warm me up is gonna be a home-run. This water bottle by Yuyu is the size of my dreams and just as hot. I will never put this in the freezer, but you totally could, meaning this water-bottle doubles as a cooling agent, and is an all-season life-saver of a gift for people with MS. 

The gift of movement 

Okay, this is a bit of a baller present, so consider it an investment in your loved one’s health. Covid, MS, and winter, all make it difficult to stay active, yet we know how important it is to use it or lose it. I wasn’t sure my legs would be strong enough for this under-desk elliptical. At first I could only do 5 minutes with a resistance of level 1, pedalling backwards. After a few weeks I increased the resistance and now I’m good for 30 + minutes, pedalling backwards and forwards. I have the Cubii Jr., but there are different brands at various price points. Purchase somewhere with a good return policy just in case. 

Warning: Gifts for people with MS can sometimes veer into Fix-Me present land, so make sure your Tripper has expressed an interest in fitness equipment before investing. To learn about why your Sick Person Present had better come with a side of earrings, click here

Underneath a wooden table is a small elliptical machine. It's a great gift for someone with MS who has expressed an interest in getting more cardio exercise.

A clean mouth

I recently had a relapse that impacted my speech and swallowing. One of the first things I learned from my SLP (speech language pathologist) was the importance of keeping my mouth clean. I assumed she’d read this blog and wanted me to stop swearing. She explained why I’m choking more on water (gin, tbh), than anything else. Ever feel like you’re literally drowning in your own saliva? Turns out MS can make the least viscous fluids the most likely to slip past my lazy swallower. The body is mostly water, and if I’m gonna choke from time to time, my lungs can handle a little H20, but if my mouth is full of germs, that can lead to serious infections. Some SLP’s recommend brushing your teeth before and after you eat, or six times a day (really? Who are these people who don’t snack?). I invested in an electric toothbrush and it has been life-changing. I can’t believe I was brushing my own teeth all these years like a sucker. Now my mouth feels dentist clean all the time. Look out, lungs.

Time alone

The best things in life are free. I can’t believe I just typed that, but hear me out. Everyone’s Covid sitch is different so this might be the opposite of what you need, but a great gift for someone with MS who maybe isn’t able to get out as much and is safe with the same person in an open-concept but cozy loft all day, the greatest gift might be some actual time alone. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that I don’t miss you. Ever.

A picture of your hero, Ardra, looking dead-eyed with a massive glass of red wine. Her hair tho, looks awesome.
I’m fine.

Toe sox

I feel like a fake and a phony anytime I put on anything remotely intended for athletes, but these socks that are made for dancers, have a tread which will keep you from slipping when you’re without shoes indoors, and may make a great gift for a person with MS, because a bonus side-effect, and the real reason I love them so bad, is that putting gloves on my feet keeps my toes from curling. I don’t know how; I’m not a scientist. I can only tell you that they are helping with this annoying problem.

Jour app

This app is part guided journal, part therapist in your phone. There’s a free  version, but I recommend doing the trial and then investing in the app. It’s that good. Even gooder, is that Jour is helping me give away 5 subscriptions. Say something nice in the comments about someone you love with MS (it could even be you!), and I will draw winners at random.

A skip in your otherwise slow step 

Basic bitches, rejoice. Ugg has joined the growing number of companies offering adaptive clothing that doesn’t look medical with the awesome, easy-to-get-on-and-off Ugg Universal. 

Ugg universal are cozy boots that are made to be accessible to people with disabilities like MS.
Insta-ready cuteness

A stronger community

Shop local when you can. Covid is destroying the businesses that make our communities liveable. Shop safely by ordering online and doing curbside pickups, or have items delivered when possible. Gift certificates for take-out from local restaurants make a thoughtful present that supports your neighborhood economy while saving your Tripper precious time and energy this holiday season. 

Ardra stands in front of Ezra's pound, her neighbourhood coffee shop. She is standing with her sleek and stylish byAcre rollator, looking like a total babe with a mobility aid.
The best coffee in my ‘hood. I love Ezra’s Pound even more when they put their Stopgap ramp out.

It’s going to be a different kind of celebration. Keep each other safe, and if you haven’t checked out my guide for surviving the season in the time of Covid, click here

Want more gifts for people with MS? Check out these gift guides from 2018, 2019, and 2021.

Happy Holidays, Trippers! What’s on your wish list?

Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram.

2019 Ultimate MS Gift Guide (and what to avoid)

It’s officially time to switch from PSLs to peppermint mochas, which means the gift-giving season is upon us; and if you’re wondering what to get the person who has everything wrong with them, my MS gift guide is here to help. 

Yeah, but isn’t it the thought that counts?

Sure. If you’re lucky enough to have a loved one whose love language is quality time and acts of service, you don’t need this list. Empty the dishwasher and namaste.

But, if the object of your affection speaks the same superficial, materialistic lingity I do; has impossible standards; and reads way too much into every gift they’ve ever received, well, you’d best keep reading.

I’m a professional.

The importance of presents

Gifts are important because they show we appreciate and are grateful for the people in our lives. The best gifts are the ones where we feel seen, because they indicate that the giver knows us so well. Great gifts can strengthen relationships, while the wrong gifts can get us all bent out of shape as we wonder Do you even know me? Dad???

If you’re shopping for someone with MS you need the inside scoop on what to avoid, and what’s gonna earn you Best. Santa. Ever. Here are my top tips:


The fixer-upper gift

If your loved one has MS, there’s a good chance you wanna fix them. You may even believe you know what’s best for them. Gifts in this category include diet and natural healing books, memoirs about people killing it with MS, supplements, fitness trackers, exercise classes, and anecdotes about someone you know who knows someone who’s sister’s neighbour’s boss cured themselves of MS.

Why it’s bad

Normally I’d say that even a bad gift is better than no gift, but the gift of unsolicited advice is literally the worst. From the time we’re diagnosed, everyone has something to say about what we should be doing. (Your MS would be better if you lost weight, ate kale, took this drug, took no drugs, wore these crystals, went to church.) At best, you mean well, but these kinds of gifts can feel like passive-aggressive undercover douchebaggery.

What to get instead

Assume we know what’s best for our MS. Stay out of the vitamin aisle, and before you pick up books with words like ‘survival’ or ‘overcoming’ in the title, ask yourself if it’s a present or advice. Yoga mats and gym memberships are allowed if the recipient has asked for them. Instead of trying to cure MS (you can’t), there are lots of gifts that can have a real impact on symptoms:

Everyone’s MS is different, but fatigue is pretty universal. Give something that helps conserve energy, like a robot vacuum cleaner, or gift cards to a food delivery service. If you’re a baller, spring for a cleaning service, and you will be loved forever. Anyone with winter-related dysesthesia will appreciate these cozy heated booties by

Sure, meditation is great, but this bracelet that lets you wear your mantra on your wrist, is better.



The experience gift

Thanks to Marie Kondo, we now know that stuff is bad. We’ve moved beyond the material and are ready to carpe the fuck out of every damn diem, because YOLO. Gifts in this category come in the form of a voucher and include things like rock-climbing adventures, laser-tag, line-dancing, whale-watching, weekends away, and wine-tastings.

I.O.U. a good time

Why it’s bad

The problem with experience gifts is that they require us to do stuff, and when you’re living that chronic illness life, doing stuff can be a drain. It requires planning and pacing, and the actual desire to do the thing we want to want to do. It might seem clear (heavy on the might) that a trail ride is too much for your person with weak legs, but so much of MS is invisible. If you wanna experience true panic, take a Tripper with a sketchy bladder to an escape room.

What to get instead

Gift certificates for things like massages, spa treatments, movies, high-tea, or your local comedy club provide experiences that allow for some flexibility and can be scheduled around energy levels and good days.


The DIY crafty gift

Gourmet meal kits are trendy af right now, and you can get do-it-yourself gifts for everything from building a birdhouse to making your own lip balm, even though lip balm literally costs a dollar and we’ve already perfected it.

Why it’s bad

If your MS’er is already into a hobby, then have at it, but don’t go giving us new shit to do. My interests include naps and not washing my hair. If I have to cook it, build it, or keep it alive, it’s not a gift, it’s an assignment; and you’re dead to me. Know that I will eat the sprinkles out of your cookie-making kit as I stare at the bag of flour wondering what I did to make you hate me.

What to get instead

Give something that says I encourage you to do nothing. I know it’s winter, and I support your decision to not go outside.

Lowkey rigor mortis rn.

Karl Lagerfeld said, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” While it’s true the chronic illness uniform can be heavy on the leisure side of the athleisure lewk, it’s also true that Karl Lagerfeld is dead. He can’t hurt you anymore. Splurging on lounge wear is the ultimate gift because wearing fleece in the outside world is kinda the dream.


The mobility aid gift

Gifts in this category include canes, rollators, transport chairs, or anything remotely medical, like a shower stool, or a reaching tool, or the bucket I just bought to wash my feet in.


Why it’s bad

You guys know how I feel about boss mobility aids, but mobility aids are personal, and you should tread lightly.

When I was first diagnosed with MS, a couple of friends told me they’d considered buying me a cane for Christmas. I was in the relapsing remitting stage of MS and my wobbly gait was temporary, but that’s not the point. I hadn’t processed what was happening to me. I wasn’t emotionally ready to start using a mobility aid. Even if a device would have made me safer, that was a decision I needed to make on my own. If they had succeeded in foisting a cane on me, it wouldn’t have felt like a gift, but an indictment on how I was(n’t) looking after myself.

What to get instead

If your loved one is already using a mobility aid, go for it. We can never have too many beautiful canes to match all our outfits; and these days, a styling stick is a gift I’d love to receive. Cool canes abound at every price point, but I’m currently coveting the iconic Alexander McQueen skull cane, if anybody’s asking.

Proud to have partnered with the North American promotion of the ByAcre rollator (ends December 12th).

The trick with gifting mobility aids is to stay in your lane. If your Tripper is using a cane, don’t upgrade them to a rollator unless they’ve asked. Or consider gifting cash to throw towards a dream device. If there’s a wheelchair user in your life, check out the stunning accessories at Ffora a company that’s poised to be a game-changer in the accessible fashion industry.  


The sick person present

Gifts in this category include tea, heating pads, a colouring book full of mandalas, a mug with cats on it. Maybe that neck massager from the “As Seen On TV” pop-up; basically anything you might find in a hospital gift shop.

Why it’s bad

Last year I wrote about the heating blanket that made me cry. This present came from The Banker; and if gifts help us define relationships, the message I received (shivering consumptive), was not the one I was trying to deliver (sexy glam wife). The thing is, not everything has to be about MS.

What to get instead

I can’t speak for everyone, but if you’re shopping for moi, look for something with sequins or glitter. Is it shiny or sparkly? If you’re more likely to find it at CVS than Sephora, put it down. I’m almost never not thinking about MS; gifts that remind me of other parts of me are always appreciated.

I am exactly this easy to shop for.

The charitable donation present

You wanna help, so you donate to a charity looking to cure or support MS.

Why it’s bad

I mean, it’s fine. I guess.

What to get instead

Please don’t stop donating to charities that fund MS research; however, contributing to the cause can come in more ways than one, and there’s nothing quite like a customized gift to let your loved one know you see them.

Artist and Fellow Tripper Lindsey Holcomb is flipping the switch on how we think about our MS. When I reflect on my black-and-bleak, damaged-and-diseased looking MRI’s, I feel a pit in my stomach and mild hostility toward my own body. Well, Lindsey is having none of that. Through a project she developed called #colorsofms, Lindsey is giving us a whole new option for how we contemplate MS by transforming MRI’s into stunning works of art.

When I see these images, I don’t feel like the grim-reaper has handed me my report card. These brains are complex and capable, fantastical and brilliant. Instead of invoking anxiety, these MRI’s inspire awe.


Lindsey’s art project is on a massive scale with plans to have these images on view in public spaces like hospitals, clinics, and at global MS conferences. But you can commission Lindsey to have your loved one’s own MRI reimagined.

Check out Lindsey’s website and Insta.


Want more gifts for people with MS? Click for gift guides from 2018, 2020, and 2021!

Happy shopping and happy holidays! You got this.



Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook.

9 Things That Will Make Summer Suck Less When You Have MS

9 Things That Will Make Summer Suck Less When You Have MS
It’s summer and I don’t feel like writing existential essays about the plight of a tragic, but beautiful heroine making her way in the world with MS. Feeling tragic is a winter activity. It’s 16 days post-solstice and I want the lazy days I was promised–where I can eat ice cream for breakfast, wear my bathing suit instead of a bra, and stare at my freckles until I’m convinced they’re cancer. If I’m writing anything it’s a reminder to take a nap, to not go camping, to pick up more rosé and to maybe get those moles looked at–if there’s time. 
But unlike teachers and snowplough drivers, bloggers don’t get summers off (we’re an essential service, obvi), and neither does your disease. MS doesn’t take a vacation. Or it does, but it’s your vacation and it’s photo-bombing you in every frame. In fact, summer can be one of the worst times for someone with MS. Uthoff’s phenomenon means that many with MS experience an increase in symptoms due to an extreme form of heat sensitivity that can make it so hard to function you’re longing for back-to-school commercials before the final bell has even rung.
Summer can suck when you have MS, but dear god, so cawinter. So instead of a sad story about summer turning into falling and falling turning into a cold early death, I present to you a few of my top picks to help you sail through the season.

9 Things That Will Make Summer Suck Less When You Have MS

1. Safety shoes that don’t look like safety shoes

I misheels so bad, but there are other options to keep you from looking like you’re auditioning for Shrek The Musical. The sandals you’ve all been asking about are by Ganter, a company obsessed with foot-health and “natural walking”. If, like me, you’re currently rocking more of a supernatural stride, Trend-Able is a great resource for what’s cool and can be worn with orthotics. Trend-Able even has shoe options for dudes.
You don’t have to smile when your shoe game is this good.

2. Clothing that’s literally cool for Trippers with heat intolerance

If you wanna get your vitamin D the old-fashioned way without wilting like every plant that’s ever been under my care, these cooling towels by Toronto-made (holla!) Koldtec™ will keep you cool like Drake and dry like Dry (the French rapper you’ve never heard of). Trippers get $5 off and a bonus ice-strip with code TRIPPINGONAIR5, or a bonus ice-strip and $14 off the bundle with code TRIPPINGONAIR14.

3. Hot packs for the rest of us

While most of me knows it’s summer, my dysesthesia-impacted feet haven’t gotten the message. It’s 30 degrees and I’m on my balcony wearing a sweatshirt and down-filled booties. (Yes, I’m also wearing pants, pervs.) I’ve tried SO MANY THINGS to fix my freezing foot pain and these warmers suck the least. The robots at Amazon who package and send them out in July are like what the fuck, Canada, are you really that cold? No, it’s just me. 

Perfect for skiers and shivering consumptives.

4. Face misters

When I lived in France, I saw people carrying enormous bottles of Evian-filled misters everywhere. I think the whole country needs to discover freon, but there’s no denying the French-girl cool that comes with misting mineral water onto your puffy red face with a $25 brumisateur.
I got this one for free for buying too much make-up. Suckers.

5. The sound of silence

There are certain sounds we only hear in summer–the saw of a lawnmower, the smack of flip-flops, my dad yelling “Close the damn door; I’m not paying to cool the whole bloody neighbourhood”. And while these noises are objectively unpleasant, none hurt my ears so bad as a tree full of clamouring birds at the crack of 5:12. Or my douchebag neighbours hosting yet another late-night laugh-riot. Either invite us, or shut the fuck up, Todd. 
These earplugs are powerful enough to drown out my FOMO while allowing me to get the kind of sleep someone with clinical-grade MS fatigue requires.  
Shouldn’t even be legal–you’re def sleeping through a fire-alarm.

6. Clean-ish hair

The first symptom listed on the pamphlet you’re given with an MS diagnosis should be dirty hair. Right at the top. Between the heat, the slippery surfaces, the effort it takes to lift a blow-dryer to my head, and the four days a full shower takes off my life, most of the time, clean hair isn’t worth it. I’m currently testing the limits of how long I can neglect basic hygiene and still maintain my relationships. So far, it’s 7 days. The first 4 of which are made significantly less gross with dry shampoo; for which, I assume, the inventor received a Nobel Prize.
My favourite from Aveda. Smells like camouflage.

7. Legitimately clean hair

When my 7 days are up and it’s time to re-introduce my scalp to water and soap, I’m lucky enough to live in one of a number of cities that has an Aveda Institute where I can get a beauty-school blow-out for about 15 bucks. WHAT?! Ok, so you have to sign a waiver, but even if my student stylist turns my blond to blue, or crimps where she should be curling, my hair will still look better than anything I could ever do.

8. Underwear you can get drunk and pee your pants in

Technically, alcohol-induced incontinence is not what these knickers were designed for, or at least that’s not the Knix™ marketing strategy. In fact they’re marketed more as high-tech “period-underwear” that can handle a little LBL (light bladder leaks).  They may not replace your current continence care, but if you should happen to introduce two Manhattans to an over-reactive MS environment, you would be pretty protected while wearing this gitch. So I’ve heard. Bonus points for a design that’s so good, so normal-looking, you’ll never have to mention your unmentionables to anyone lucky enough to see them. 
I’ll have two please.

9. Time and Energy

I never travel without Optimus Prime, my cool and comfortable, convertible rollator/transport chair. I surf the walls and furniture on my own time, but when I’m traveling, I don’t wanna waste away in a hotel room, eating $18 chocolate bars, yelling at the slow wifi because I don’t have the spoons left to spend my $18 on a Campari-spritz at a tourist-trap bar the way God intended.  
Triumph Mobility is offering TOA readers a $100 discount and a free cane/bag holder on a Rollz Motion with code TRIPPINGONAIR in the US and Canada. Or click here for New Zealand, here for Australia, and here for The Netherlands. 
This kid knows how hot it is.
What are your summer health hacks?
Stay cool, Trippers. And happy summer! 
Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram.

12 Of The Most Unique Gifts People With MS Want

It’s the gift giving season and if you have a chronic illness like Multiple Sclerosis, you deserve presents most of all, because stuff can’t cure MS, but it sure can make it suck less. 
12 Of The Most Unique Gifts People With MS Want
The unconventional gifts people with chronic illness actually want.
Gift-giving when MS is involved can be challenging. What to get the person who has everything a debilitating brain disease? One year, The Banker temporarily lost his mind and gave me an enormous, Barney-coloured heated blanket, and I cried all the way to Christmas dinner. My love language is jewel-toned, but on like actual jewels. I hated that blanket so bad, and not just because it looked like a deflated cartoon dinosaur – I hated it because it was a sick-person present.
Wow, you’re a spoiled sucky baby. A heated blanket is a pretty thoughtful gift for someone who’s cold all the time
You’re not wrong. But just because I have MS doesn’t mean I’m not vain and superficial, preferring romantic gifts over practical ones. If the Barney blanket had come from anyone other than The Banker, I would have hated it less. 
I mean, probably. I really can’t stress just how purple it was. 
I know The Banker’s intention was to warm me up, but his choice of present didn’t feel like I was the sexy wife he wanted to drown in perfume and drape in diamonds; it felt like I was the shivering consumptive he wanted to cover with a polyester tarp.
Obviously I need therapy, and maybe you do too. But therapy is expensive, and this gift guide is free. You won’t find crossword puzzles, mugs filled with hard candies, festive epsom salts, or any other geriatric gifts here. Christmas is a time for reckless indulgence; a time for drinking too much champagne, and putting pickles in trees; it is not a time for gifts that remind me I’m aging in dog years. 
Here are my top picks of the best, Tripper-approved gifts you didn’t even know you needed Santa to bring you this year

1. Clean Hair 

Showering is hard, and the last thing I ever wanna do after risking my life in that slippery, upright, future-coffin is lift a blow-dryer to my head. Whether you have heat sensitivity, balance problems, muscle weakness, fatigue, or any and all of the above, showering requires scheduling and recovery time. Having someone else wash and dry my hair is a weekly luxury that feels like an energy-freeing life-changer.
Gift: Blow-dry package from a local salon. 

2. Buy Me A Drink 

Every basic bitch’s chronic illness gift guide is gonna have tea on it. But do not come at me with a tired old box from the Hasty Market. I want fancy tea that comes with a tin and stern instructions not to over-steep it. This green tea is a major splurge, which makes it the perfect gift, because it’s the kind of thing you might not buy for yourself. Also, it comes from the tears of real dragons, or your money back (I assume). 
Gift: Jasmine Dragon Tears Tea, Gourmet Hot Chocolate, seven dollar lattes.
Good enough to bust out the wedding china.

3. Decision-Free Days 

Do you ever feel like you will literally die one hour before dinner because you have no idea what to make and making that decision will end you, so you just stare at your phone for 157 minutes hoping Siri can figure it out, but she’s actually a useless cow, so you end up eating two saltines and an unwrapped Lifesaver you found at the bottom of your purse, before going to bed in your clothes? 
There is science to back up the theory that we have a limited amount of decisions in us per day, and that number is, for sure, lower if you have MS. 
Subscription services are all the rage because they save time and energy. You only have to choose how you want to stock your fridge or freezer once a month instead of every damn day. 
Gift: Food Box. My local favourites are Plan B Organic Farm and Butcher Box.
Festive bells will distract your best frenemy from the fact that you just gave them cabbage and called it a present.

4. Take-Out 

Last night, The Banker told me how much he loved the turkey stroganoff I’d made for dinner. And I said, do you like it more than you like having sex? He didn’t feel safe answering, but the point is, if I’m making dinner I’m not making anything else. Dinner comes at a hard time of day, and no matter how much I’ve paced myself, I’ve already drained my battery. 
Gift: Gift cards to delivery services like Skip The Dishes or Foodora will free up your evening for more interesting pursuits. 
I’m all toasty inside.

5. Can I Get A Ride Share? 

Whether MS has messed with your ability to drive, you’re sick of being the DD, or your outfit is too fancy for the bus to handle, having access to transportation provides major liberation. In cities like Toronto you can even get a wheelchair accessible Uber (WAV), or Uber Assist which offers independently trained drivers to help seniors or persons with disabilities.  
Gift: Ride service gift card.

6. Books You Don’t Have To Read 

Vision loss is a real thing for many with MS, and if you’re struggling to see, e-readers are great for letting you choose a font that most people could see from space. If holding a device and moving your eyes is still too much, Audible is a great way to get learned and kill all those hours in the infusion room without the risk of paper cuts. Isn’t it great to live in the future?
Gift: E-reader, Audible subscription.

Nobody needs to know you’re reading about the sisterhood. Again.

7. Clean Base Boards 

MS fatigue can interfere with your ability to stay on top of your laundry and your lunch prep, and even if you’re able to do some tidying and light housework, for many with MS, the deep clean is too daunting to ever truly get done. If you’ve only got energy for one thing a day, it shouldn’t have to be scrubbing the toilet.  
Gift: Gift certificate for housekeeping/cleaning service.

8. If You Can’t Hide It, Decorate It 

Chances are you need a briefcase to hold all your MS meds and supplements, but you also need a smaller vessel to shlep around whatever meds you might need to get you through the day. Opening your clutch or man-bag and pulling out an orange plastic bottle just feels so…medical. 
Gift: A pretty pill-case is a gift you can find at any price point. I’m currently coveting this one I found on Etsy
Hold up. I’m a dude. This is starting to feel like a chick’s list.

9. Regularity 

If you’re a dude and you’re still reading this, and wondering what the heck Santa is supposed to bring you, remember that housework is also your responsibility. But if that’s not enough to get you excited, the Squatty Potty® will. I know what you’re thinking, this feels 100% like a sick person present. But that’s where you’re wrong, because according to my niece Abigail, Everybody Poops. It just might take a little more creativity when you’ve got MS. 
Gift: Squatty Potty.
It’s a stool for your stool!

10. Hang Out

Technically, spending time with me doesn’t count as a gift, so make sure you bring lunch or a bottle of wine, maybe bake some cookies. Better still, take me Christmas shopping and offer to carry my shit, and rest at every bench. Or offer to push me in one of the wheelchairs you can borrow from the mall. 
Gift: You being cool, and me not having to ask for awkward things.

11. Walk The Dog

If you’re looking for creative ways to say Happy Festivus, a commitment to walking the dog on the snowiest of snow days, or to scooping the cat litter on any day – because gross – is an energy saving gift that has the added bonus of providing you and yours with an extra chance to see each other during the week.  
Gift: Pet Care.  
Who wouldn’t want to hang with this bitch?

12. Cure It 

The best gift anyone with MS could ever receive would be to not have MS, obvi. Despite the tremendous developments in MS treatments, we must not get the impression that MS is under control. It’s not.  
Gift: Make a donation to an organization that supports persons with MS, or that funds MS research. I like what they’re doing at Tisch.
Having Multiple Sclerosis means managing a constant personal energy crisis. All the time, I hear from loved ones who wish they could help. While you can’t fix MS (and black market prednisone is not a sustainable option), there are ways you can help extend the battery life of someone with a chronic illness, freeing up precious resources to spend on the things that really matter, like watching cat videos on Youtube, Google Earthing your boss’s house, or reading ridiculous blogs.

Want more gifts for people with MS? Click for gift guides from 2019, 2020, and 2021!

Happy Holidays, Trippers. I hope Santa is good to you!

Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram.

8 Things You Can Buy That Make MS Suck Less

I’ve never met a crisis I couldn’t shop my way out of.
Recently, a multiple sclerosis website asked me and some other MS bloggers, about the “one thing” we can’t live without as world-class Trippers. Most said things like relationships, family, or – barf me to death – hope. Someone even said nature. Nature. Where spiders live and winter comes from.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not slamming these bloggers. No. These bloggers are better than me. These are obviously wholesome, decent people who have their priorities straight and their shit together. I, on the other hand, went with something from a store, because I’m shallow and materialistic and anyway, I can’t tell you to love your kids, but I can tell you what’s on sale at JCrew. 
As blogger after blessed blogger blah, blah, blah’d their devotion to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I was beginning to think I’d misunderstood the assignment. I feel like the website thought so too, because they put my contribution dead last. Probably in the hopes that people would have stopped reading by then. Thankfully, one kindred spirit in the comments section said ‘wine’ and I felt validated. 
But Mitch Sturgeon of Enjoying the Ride said something along the lines of never labeling anything you can’t live without because, as he had learned, MS is a thieving dick that will snatch away almost anything you love. 
I’m paraphrasing. 
Mitch listed his gratitude for his voice, which he uses to tell his wife he loves her (of course), after having lost all the function in his legs and much of the use of his arms and hands. 

He uses his voice to write his book and blog and to operate everything from lights and fans to the tv. Because we live in the future. I’m getting side-tracked here, but I was humbled into my own gratitude for that which remains, and for a moment my cold, black heart was warmed; the cynic in me, subdued.
When that strange feeling wore off, I started thinking about what valuable insights I could provide. Clearly, this crowd knows all about the importance of networks, of support systems, of dogs. Of all the things money can’t buy. Okay, technically money can buy a dog. And money definitely buys booze. But what else comes from a store and can make MS suck a little less?


8 Things You Can Buy That Make MS Suck Less

Speedi-cath compact Eve 

That’s right. While the rest of the MS bloggers were talking about how much they love, and can’t live without, their wives, I pledged my allegiance to a tiny, plastic tube that helps me pee. And I stand by it. I love this product so much, I almost don’t want to tell you about it, because sometimes they’re back-ordered and that is the literal worst. This insanely expensive, thank-God-my-insurance-covers-it, desert-island-item number one, is the size of a mini-mascara. The kind you get for free when you buy too much makeup. Also on my list – too much makeup.


While we’re talking toilets, let’s just get the scatological out of the way. It’s hard to talk about bladder problems, and even harder to talk about bowels, but if you’ve got MS, odds are yours is an asshole. I finally found a product that helps me keep things under control. The secret ingredient is magnesium hydroxide. And like, unicorn tears. Remember, everyone’s different, so talk to your doc. 


This is the last poo-related promo. I promise. Align is a high quality, life altering probiotic. Please don’t ever go out of business, makers of Align.

My blender.

The only appliance I use every damn day. Breakfast is always a nutritious, fibre-y smoothie because, if I miss it, I pay. I guess I wasn’t done talking about poo after all.  

A shoulder-strap bag. 

So my hands are free to hold my drink and/or break my fall when I trip on the curb. I got a beautiful one for my birthday from my Brooklyn Bestie, who moved to Manhattan and now I don’t know what to call him, but that’s another story. 

Optimus Prime 

Shout out to blogger Jennifer Digmann who pledged her love to Grape Ape, her badass wheelchair. I baptized my own mobility aid Optimus Prime because, like a real life transformer he converts from a cool blue rollator to a transport chair. And he can destroy Decepticons.   

Heated Socks.

Spring is here but that doesn’t mean I’m not still wrapped in a blanket, typing away through fingerless gloves. My brilliant, battery-powered, heated socks are technically for skiers so you know they’re cool. 


To keep my mind from wandering into Worst Case Scenario day-mares, I try to always have things to look forward to in my calendar. Technically, this is more elusive than the promise I made that you can buy everything on this list. So I’ll qualify it by pointing out that what you can buy is an appropriate outfit for said plans. My xmas party is 8 months away and it’s already in the calendar. 
So, what’s the best product you’ve found?

Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram