12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Birthdays, holidays and special occasions often inspire folks to produce or purchase gifts for those they love. With the best intentions, well-meaning individuals may offer wholly inappropriate gifts, particularly to those with potentially life-altering medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

What thoughtful, but inappropriate, gifts do people often try to give to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients? The list may be long, but several top choices may be identified.

First, what is multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition that attacks the human central nervous system in affected individuals. Identified as an autoimmune disorder, multiple sclerosis (MS) destroys myelin, the fatty protective covering on nerves. This onslaught causes scarring (sclerosis) and disrupts neurological transmission between the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord) and the body at large.

In each individual, the patterns and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) may vary. Generally, multiple sclerosis (MS) may cause intermittent episodes of neurological impairment, or it may progress more steadily towards disablement.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) may cause physical symptoms, cognitive symptoms and emotional symptoms in affected individuals.

What are the 12 worst gifts folks might give to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients?

Here are a dastardly dozen potentially inappropriate gifts that are best avoided for those who wish to offer thoughtful presents to individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS). These multiple sclerosis (MS) patient gift no-no’s are listed alphabetically.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Books with Tiny Print

Many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) endure recurring episodes of optic neuritis, which can cause full or partial blindness in one or both eyes. Reading materials often make poor gifts for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for this reason.

Audio books can be thoughtful gift alternatives for those with multiple sclerosis (MS), if the gift giver has special insights into the recipients’ personal literary tastes.

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12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Cleaning Equipment and Supplies

Tactful gift givers generally refrain from giving anyone cleaning equipment or supplies, but this is particularly important when gift recipients have multiple sclerosis (MS). Many individuals who live with multiple sclerosis (MS) daily already carry significant frustration over intermittent or increasing disability and the pile-up of housekeeping and other to-do items.

On the other hand, a gift certificate for a housecleaning service or a gift of a few hours of free cleaning labor can be incredibly thoughtful gifts, if gift givers have sufficient rapport with their recipients.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Clothing with Fussy Fasteners

Frequently, those enduring multiple sclerosis (MS) flare-ups or exacerbations may have trouble fastening small snaps, hook-and-eye closures, buttons, straps or zippers on clothing. Apparel with fussy fasteners can add to their frustration.

Easy pullovers and comfortable knits can make wonderful gifts for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, if gift givers know their personal styles.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Craft Kits or Projects

Because many individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) may seem somewhat sedentary, particularly during multiple sclerosis (MS) episodes, gift givers often seem to choose craft kits or projects as gifts. However, because of fine motor skill and vision challenge often associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), such gifts may be inappropriate and discouraging to recipients.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Exercise Equipment or Gym Memberships

Although the inappropriateness of this gift idea may seem obvious, a surprising number of well-meaning givers may offer exercise equipment (even adapted exercise equipment) or gym memberships to loved ones with multiple sclerosis (MS).

In addition, some multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may find their medical providers actually prescribing physical therapy or fitness programs, which are occasionally covered by health insurance plans.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Gifts with MS Messages

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Cute and clever caps, flying disks, mugs, posters, tee shirts, sweatshirts and other gifts may be found in stores and online with slogans and sayings about living with multiple sclerosis (MS). These items may be inspiring (and often support worthwhile causes, such as MS research), but most multiple sclerosis (MS) would rather pick out and purchase these products on their own.

Who wants to unwrap a reminder of a medical condition, while celebrating a birthday, holiday or special occasion?

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: MS Books or Magazines

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients tend to be well-informed about their own condition, as are individuals with other diseases and medical disorders. Although well-intentioned individuals may think it thoughtful to offer additional reading materials on the subject (such as current research findings, inspirational stories or self-help information), most multiple sclerosis (MS) might not welcome this on a birthday or holiday – or even in an everyday note or email.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Pets

Live-animal gifts are seldom appropriate for anyone, except perhaps when parents offer these to their own children (and thus enlist personally in the animals’ daily care). Pets are particularly inappropriate gifts for those with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis (MS) generally cannot predict their daily energy levels or physical capabilities, so the added responsibility of an unplanned pet may be most inappropriate.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Sporting Goods

Sporting goods (like exercise equipment and gym memberships, as mentioned above) are absolutely unwelcome gift choices for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Even adapted or therapeutic exercise equipment (such as ankle weights, exercise balls or treadmills) may only add to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients’ own discouragement at their own inconsistent mobility and strength.

In addition, many multiple sclerosis (MS) find their symptoms worsening during intense exercise.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Tickets to Events

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is absolutely unpredictable for most individuals who live with the often progressive neurological condition. Social flexibility is key, so prepaid tickets to upcoming events may be inappropriate gifts.

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Woolen or Bulky Clothing

For many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), symptoms may be aggravated by overheating or an increase in body temperature. This phenomenon has been medically documented and labeled as Uhthoff’s sign. Heavy, bulky and too-warm clothing items may make this worse for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

In fact, lightweight layering apparel items can be ideal gifts for those with multiple sclerosis (MS).

12 Worst Gifts for Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Yard and Garden Tools

Because of Uhthoff’s sign (see above) and frequently unpredictable energy and strength levels for those with multiple sclerosis (MS), yard work may be a fleeting fancy at times. Equipment and supplies for outdoor labor makes a most inappropriate gift for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Instead, a prepaid lawn cutting or an offer of an afternoon of garden weeding can be a super gift for a person with multiple sclerosis (MS).

What is the secret to great gift-giving for those with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

The most important strategy for giving thoughtful gifts to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is simply to ask first. Life is filled with enough surprises, particularly for those who live with the daily neurological unpredictability of multiple sclerosis (MS).

A little advance insight can go a long way towards choosing appropriate gifts for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for birthdays, holidays and special occasions.

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