Gifts for Therapists

Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists – are your lives as full of therapies as ours are? If your family has a therapist who has made a difference in your lives and you wish to express your appreciation with a gift, we’ve gathered some ideas for you!

Everyone Deserves a Voice Bracelet

metal bracelet with stamped tags

Perfect for your favorite speech therapist, this bracelet acknowledges the role he or she has played in your or your loved one’s life – giving them a voice. $19

I Teach Kids To Talk Back tumbler

A white tumbler with words

This funny tumbler is perfect for a speech therapist with a sense of humor. $27

Wash Your Darn Hands!

A vinyl hand santizer holder with the plague doctor and Wash Your Darn Hands!

I know all of my kiddo’s therapists were big hand-washing advocates long before all this pandemic stuff happened – and what therapist doesn’t need their own personal bottle of santizier? $11

You Make a Difference tag

Stamped metal keychain.

Nice for any therapist, this tag lets them know they’ve made a difference in your life. $24

Thanks for Helping me Grow Keychain

This is a neat little keychain for an OT – the same shop also has one for a PT $6

PT Journey of a Thousand Miles Keychain

And a similar keychain for a PT, complete with a tiny dumbell! $9

Gifts for Nurses

Does your family have a special nurse or two? Maybe you or your loved one started dialysis this year, so you’ve relied upon your dialysis nurse for support and education. Or maybe you have a home nurse who’s really made a difference in your life. Maybe you’ve got a favorite floor nurse who’s in your file as a permanent request any time you’re admitted. Looking for a way to show your appreciation, but need some ideas? Well I am here to help!

Personalized, Stamped Stethoscope ID Tag

Pink Stethoscope with a metal, stamped tag.

These are adorable. They are hand-stamped and slip right around your favorite nurse’s stethoscope. $9.00

Organ Hand Sanitizer Holders

A group of hand sanitizer holders with different organs, like kidneys, lungs, etc.

Personalizable with a name, our organ sanitizers are great for nurses in specialty clinics. We can also make them with initials instead of organs! $12 at Wallypop.

Personalized Badge Reel

Resin Badge Reel that's sparkly pink with initals LPN.

These are available in a range of colors and patterns, and can be personalized with your favorite nurse’s initials, or her professional designation. $9.50

Wine Glass

Wine Glass with Vinyl lettering with a prescription for wine.

This wine glass cracked me up when I happened across it. If your nurse enjoys wine after work, this might be the perfect gift. $10.50

Personalized Heartbeat Keychain

embroidered red vinyl with a heart and a heartbeat with an initial

Personalize this keychain with your nurse’s initial. Can be made in any color – or even sparkly if that’s what you prefer. Show your nurse that you appreciate her or his heart. $7

Personalized Water Bottle

Lidded, insulated cups in three colors with a stethoscope and name in vinyl

I don’t know any nurse who doesn’t carry a water bottle with them. Show your nurse your appreciation with these personalized, insulated, reusable cups. About $17.

Gifts for your Doctors

I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I should get a gift for our main doctors at the end of every year. Just a way to thank them for keeping my kid alive for another year, an acknowledgement of their time and effort. But I also sometimes struggle with ideas. I spent some time combing through the internet to find the best doctor gifts in a variety of price ranges so you wouldn’t have to!

Personalized Hanger for their Coat

image of coat hanger with the horizontal part being wire bent into the shape of a doctor's name.

I think this hanger is completely amazing and it’s only $25-26. Obviously, you can’t spend this on every doctor, but if your family has a doctor that’s special to you, this is a thoughtful and practical gift.

Organ Hand Sanitizer Holders

A group of hand sanitizer holders with different organs, like kidneys, lungs, etc.

Obviously I love these, since I make them, but *they are so awesome.* Most of the hand sanitizer holders we’ve sold have been purchased as gifts for doctors – whether that’s a GI doctor, a cardiologist, a nephrologist, etc. These are also personalizable with a name or short phrase on the back. $12 at Wallypop.

Shot Glass

Shot glass with lettering that says Doctors Need Shots Too.

You’d need to know enough about your doctor to know whether this gift would be appreciated – but so many of us medical families do get to know our doctors pretty well over the years. If you’ve got a doctor who like a shot of whiskey (or whatever) at the end of the day, this shot glass is pretty funny. $9 on Amazon

Personalized Figurine

a clay doctor figurine.

This shop also makes female doctor figurines! I just had to pick one photo, and this page loaded faster in my browser, lol. These are adorable. You let the artist know skin, hair, eye color, hairstyle, etc., and she makes a custom clay figurine just for you. About $58.

Organ Ornaments

embroidered christmas ornaments, white circles with a heart, a kidney, or lungs

These are also available in other organs – Brain and Uterus – and they can be personalized on the back with a year, a date, or a name. (Or really, anything.) $10

Thriving on Home SubQ Infusions for your Child

Have you just learned that you will need to start home subcutaneous infusions with your child? Are you new to home infusion? It can feel overwhelming and scary, but you’ll soon find the process isn’t difficult and it’s easier, cozier, and less germy than dragging your kid to the hospital or clinic for infusions!

We were recently able to switch back to home subcutaneous (subq) infusions after doing in-hospital IV infusions for 6-8 months. While I didn’t mind letting someone else do all the work for a change, having to drive 4 hours round trip and spend several hours in the infusion suite on a regular basis was getting pretty old. We’re both happy to be back on home infusions!

Starting home infusions can feel intimidating at first but, like everything else, it’ll soon become routine. Here are our top tips for learning and thriving on home subq infusions.

1. Do it the same time, every time.

I don’t know about you, but I thrive on routine. I am less likely to make mistakes or forget things when I do them the same time, every time. I set things up in the same room, in the same place. I get out the supplies, look them over, sort them the same way every time (things I need to get ready for the infusion, things I need for the actual stick, things I need for wrapping up the infusion), etc. And I do the process exactly the same way, every time. The more routine it becomes, the less likely I am to forget something important.

I don’t need to for infusions, but if it’s helpful, write out the steps in a way that makes sense to you and set it where you can see it while you prepare. Your infusion supply company, or the manufacturer of your infusion medications, probably supplies some sort of training materials that include a checklist, as well, but feel free to write your own if theirs don’t work for you. Just don’t leave anything out!!

2. Put it on your calendar.

Schedule your infusion day like you schedule everything else. We have a lot of flexibility as far as what time of day we can do my son’s infusions, but we still need to do them on the same day every week, so I have it in my calendar as any other appointment. It not only ensures I don’t forget, but also helps to make sure we don’t overschedule on that day and end up infusing at midnight or something.

3. Set up code words or mantras

I don’t mean code words, like using baby names for the process. I don’t personally believe there’s any benefit to making up innocent sounding substitutes for medical words. (Like nurses sometimes say “arm hug” instead of “blood pressure.” That’s idiotic IMO.) We call the infusion an infusion, and the needle a needle, but our code word (or phrase) is “it’ll hurt for just a minute, then it’ll feel better.” He needs me to say this every time. He will ask every time. “How long will it hurt?” and I am to respond “it’ll hurt for just a minute, then it’ll feel better.” We have a few little call-and-response tidbits like that we use for various medical things – it’s like a mantra that’s reassuring both for the information as well as for the predictability.

4. Have a preferred activity, snack, drink, or treat

Subcutaneous infusions involve a fair amount of sitting around with a needle stuck in you. I usually offer up a treat of some sort. A movie or TV show of his choosing, a device he wants to play on, an activity he likes to do, a sibling to come play with him while he sits, stories of his choosing. A special snack. If I did infusions on myself, I’d sure set myself up with a snack, drink, and preferred activity!

5. Figure out what time of day works best

Though we’ve done infusions at other times as necessary, we eventually figured out that doing infusions right before bedtime was ideal. He’s already winding down, the routine of getting into bed and being still was already established, but being allowed to watch TV or play on devices is enough of a treat to make it seem special. Maybe Saturday mornings work best for your family. Or some afternoon after school. If you homeschool, perhaps starting an infusion at the start of the school day would work best. Play around and figure out what works best for your family.

6. Find a comfy spot

Let your kiddo pick where they want to be for their infusion. We usually do infusions in the bedroom, which is comfy and where all our supplies are located, but occasionally we’ve done them in front of the Xbox, lol, and sometimes in the family room while we all watch a movie together. He’s the one who has to sit there, so he gets to pick where to go.

7. Play Therapy

Ask your supply company to send some extra tubing and dressing so your child can give a toy an infusion or two – either before you get started, or while you do his infusion, or after you finish up. Teddy likes to wrap up each infusion by giving several of his favorite stuffed animals their own infusions, and we keep a box of supplies for this purpose.

What ways have you found to thrive on home subq infusions?

All my Hot Tips for Surviving an Outpatient Infusion with your Child

Infusion days. Ugh. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to spend hours sitting in a chair, hooked up to an IV? Especially a child? Not my kid, and I’m guessing not your kid, either. But I’m here to help you get through it. Hopefully. Let’s be honest, it’s still going to kind of suck, right? But here are my very best tips for surviving a long infusion day.

Prepare yourself for the IV or port access

How bad is it going to be? We’ve experienced the gamut here. From terrified port access, to fighting IV access, to mostly sitting still and letting them poke him. Make an honest assessment of how hard it’s going to be, and prepare yourself appropriately. You. Not your kid. You. Prepare YOU. Take a deep breath. Go to that place where you go when you need to grit your teeth and just power through. Lock those emotions up somewhere safe and deal with them later. Promise yourself beer later. Give yourself a pep talk. Cry in private before you get there. Whatever you need to do for you, do it.


Prepare your child for the infusion.

You know your kid best. Some kids do better with advance warning, at least a few hours. Some kids do better finding out immediately before something happens. Give as much information as they can handle, to whatever extent it will help them. Teddy and I have found that he prefers a quick overview of what’s going to happen EACH TIME. Even Infusion #15. He knows what’s going to happen as well as I do, but he likes to go over it. “When we get there, we’ll go to the library and get a book, and then we’ll go up and say hi to (the check-in lady). When (our usual nurse) comes, we’ll go back in the room, get your weight and some Sprite and they’ll check your blood pressure and get everything set up, and then (the child life lady) will come and the nurse will put in your IV. It’ll hurt, but just for a little bit and then it’ll feel better. Then we’ll just sit there for a few hours, and you can play on your iPad, and they’ll come do your blood pressure, and you’ll get a prize, and then we’ll go home!” He likes me to repeat the part about it’ll only hurt for a minute and then it’ll feel better, and we also usually review sitting still and people holding his arm down, and that he can choose to watch or he can choose to have them count. We usually have to go over all of this information a few times.

Prepare your child for the poke

Whether it’s IV placement or port access, infusions tend to involve needles and being held still. Even if your child has a PICC or Broviac or similar, they still need to hold still while everything is sterilized and the line is accessed. I can’t imagine how awful it must feel to be a child being held immobile by adults with needles. Even if they’ve done it a hundred times, it still can’t feel great. Does your child do best with a pep talk? Distraction? Talking them through it? Cold? Numbing cream? J-jet? Cold spray? Sitting by themselves? Sitting on your lap? Laying down? Snuggling with you? Try all of the options that sound good to your kid and let them discover what works best for them. Through trial and error, we’ve found that Teddy does best with less fuss and no pre-treatments. It’s weird. But I think he’d rather just get it over with.

Pack All The Things

No, really. How long are you going to be there? We’ve never had an infusion last less than 3 hours. And then, for us, about 4 hours of driving, as well. Bring the things for your kid. Bring more than you think you’ll need. I usually bring activities, schoolwork, and some toys, and he packs some stuffed animals, and we bring snacks (and his tube feed). And obviously also his tablet. And bring the things for you. I bring a book (or Kindle) for me, a notebook, knitting, and sometimes my laptop. And chargers. And drinks. #packallthethings   I usually walk in to our infusions with my regular backpack, plus his backpack, plus an extra bag. I look like a hoarder. But we’ve yet to run out of things to do.


Be prepared for sensory needs

Does your child have sensory needs? Or do they just get really squirreley sitting with an IV? Be prepared for this. Teddy tends to need breaks to run and engage in other gross muscle activities, but that’s not practical on infusion days. A, we’re really not supposed to leave the room and B, he’s all hooked up to an IV pole. So, we adapt. We get up every once in a while and do some moving around things like jumping and dancing. He also really responds to deep pressure and soothing movement when he’s having a particularly hard time.

Does your child use a weighted blanket that helps in stressful situations? Bring it. A compression shirt? Wear it. Fidgets? Bring them. Does your child use headphones or music to address sensory concerns? Bring them. Don’t be afraid to turn the lights down or off, if that will help.

Take advantage of Child Life and other hospital amenities

Most hospitals that do infusions on kids are big enough to have a child life department. Use them. They can help with the poke part, they can bring in toys or devices or games, they can sometimes even send someone in to play with your child. Some hospitals have an area in the infusion center where child life is stationed and kids come to them, and some hospitals prefer to keep the kids in their own rooms and send child life to them. However your hospital works, ask your nurse what the options are!

Does your hospital have other amenities? Ours has a patient library that will give a free book to every child each visit – and we always stop to get a new book before infusions if they’re open.


Prizes and Rewards

These are distinctly different, but often confused, so I’m lumping them together. In my house, a prize is a small treat or toy that is not earned. It just is. I usually bring a small prize to infusions – something that cost a few dollars, max, and that will be interesting enough to keep him busy for a little while. A Hot Wheel, or some playdough, a small toy of some sort, or some sort of new activity. A new maze book, or a small puzzle, or a game of some sort.

We also usually wrap up with another prize – or, really, it’s just lunch but it’s framed as a prize/treat. We always “get” to go to McDonald’s afterwards. (The reality is, it’s lunchtime or past it when we leave and we have to eat anyway, and McD’s has cheap ice cream that he’ll eat.) But it’s always been presented as a special treat, and he sees it as a special treat, and that’s all that matters.

You can also choose to do a reward. I don’t usually like to reward in medical situations. I feel like he does the best he can with most situations, and if he’s misbehaving, it’s usually because he’s not getting some need met, and I don’t feel that a reward is fair nor effective for Teddy in medical situations. But your kid might be different, and if rewards do work well for your kid in medical situations, go for it!


Don’t forget siblings

Obviously, you won’t forget them, but if you’re bringing siblings to infusions, you’ll not only need to consider their needs in terms of stuff (snacks, activities) but also in terms of their emotional needs. It’s stressful for brothers and sisters to watch their sibling being hurt, even when they know it’s for a good reason. Be sure to let siblings know that they can wait elsewhere during the hard parts if they want. Alternatively, maybe they want to help. Each of my kids has gone through a phase of feeling very important because they were the ones who got to help distract Teddy during a medical procedure. They each took their job very seriously.


Well, there you have it. My best tips for infusion days. Please comment with YOUR tips!