7 Things Disabled People Need Changed Now & How You Can Help


Anna Giannakouros with her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

Written By: Anna Giannakouros

How I Really Feel About Disability Pride

July is Disability Pride Month. 

The first I heard of this movement, I wasn’t sure if it had the best title because honestly, I don’t feel proud to be disabled and it’s not something I ever aspired to be. In fact, having Multiple Sclerosis for the past 12 years, I have done everything in my power not to be disabled and I keep trying to do whatever I can to be “less” physically disabled.

If there was an available cure for MS, like many, I would be first in line to take it.

If I’m not proud to be disabled does that mean that I am ashamed of being disabled? The answer is, no, but the truth is, there was a time when perhaps I was. Not because anyone told me to be ashamed per say, but because my own belief system was that, compared to my old self, I was now weak, damaged and inferior. Especially facing learning to adapt and function in a world designed for healthy able-bodied people, I felt like I was always at a disadvantage, in an impossible situation. And I was.

Disability Pride is embracing my disability and accepting it as a part of a facet of my identity with no negative connotations. I am proud of all that I am, which also includes being disabled. It doesn’t diminish me or my value as a person and in fact, it has made me more capable and empathetic in other ways. I am proud to be a part of and to represent the Disability Community and I consider myself an activist for Disability Rights.


Disability Rights

Sadly, the world we live in, through ignorance, disregard, lack of support, lack of infrastructure and even pure discrimination, reinforces the negative thinking that disabled people are less than able-bodied people. 

It doesn’t appear to be a priority to accommodate or take extra measures to facilitate the lives of disabled people and to make them feel like they have the same safety, access, rights, consideration, service, accommodations, and opportunities as everyone else. Intentionally or not, we are made to feel pitied, like freaks, stupid, insignificant, incapable, difficult, or inferior.


Don’t Judge Disabled People

Albert Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

Don’t judge people by their disability and see only the disability and not the person, and don’t assume that our lives are a tragedy because we are disabled. This is our life and we are used to it. Many times the hardest thing we have to deal with is people’s reaction to our disability rather than the disability itself.

Don’t see disabled people as different from you; we are all people with similar desires, needs and aspirations. Just because we look or move differently on the outside doesn’t mean we are not the same as you on the inside. For whatever disability you see, there is so much more depth, value and wisdom in that person, and in all of us for that matter, that is immeasurable.

I believe the true measure of a person and in a community is not in abilities and disabilities, it’s in how we make each other feel as humans and how we connect with and help each other as a way of life.


What Can Be Done to Help the Disabled?

The intention of this post is to raise awareness, promote change and give some insight on some of the negative experiences I’ve had in my community from the point of view of a disabled ambulatory wheelchair user. The reason I am disabled is due to neurological spine damage, which impacts my walking ability.

Keep in mind that most people I interact with in my life, people I know, as well as strangers, are very supportive and good intentioned, but the reality is, we need to do better in raising awareness and community support.

The message us disabled people receive through these negative experiences is that we don’t matter as much as able-bodied people and that we should be grateful for whatever is provided to help us and not to complain or ask for more. In reality though, we are living in a world that was not built with disabled people in mind at all. If anything, we are an afterthought.


1. We don’t need pity, we need respect and inclusivity.

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

If I had a dollar for every person who told me they felt bad for me, I’d build more ramps for us all.

I’ve never actually felt better getting someone’s unsolicited pity because I certainly don’t want to feel pitiful. Or sometimes out of the blue, not related to anything in conversation, someone tells me to hang in there and to stay positive. I understand where they are coming from, but that is not what we need, especially from people who don’t necessarily understand how it feels to be disabled.

Same goes for people’s unsolicited advice on what caused or is a cure for our disability. Trust me; we don’t want to hear it, especially coming from non-medical professionals. There’s a time and place for everything and often discussing these issues is not during a social event with people that hardly know you or during an appointment you book for yourself to relax like with a massage therapist or aesthetician.

I think if people really are concerned about disabled people then they should add some action to that and try and help make a difference in their community. What we want is to feel normal and independent like everyone else and have rights and access to things like everyone else. Tangible things like better wheelchair accessibility, automatic doors, handicap parking spots, better parking lot designs, better building designs and more respect in general for disabled people.

At the end of this post, I also included a list of other practical ways you can help someone you personally know who has a physical disability.


2. Add more ramps.

There are stairs and steps everywhere! I attended my son’s elementary school graduation at a reception hall that didn’t have elevator access to the top floor where the reception was being held. My husband had to literally carry me to the top floor in front of all the guests. Also, the bathroom was on the main floor and no bathroom was available on the top floor. This has happened several times with different reception halls.

It feels like there are steps everywhere, but buildings with no ramps or elevators to get to the different floors. What is a physically disabled person to do in that situation? I recognize that most people can go up and down stairs, but as a disabled person, shouldn’t I have the same inclusivity and accessibility consideration as everyone else even if it means special implementation is required?

As a community, shouldn’t we make it a priority to ensure that basic disability needs are met so that all taxpaying people like me can feel valued and included?

The truth is, reception halls are the least of my problems. So many establishments I visit like stores, restaurants or therapist locations, simply don’t have ramps to get into the building, much less elevators to get to the different floors. The only reason I am able to make appointments in places like these with no accessibility is because I have friends or family that physically help me move my body and lightweight transport chair to the destinations. As my disability increases, I will no longer be able to make it into these buildings with a wheelchair or scooter.

Some of the buildings that do have ramps, have narrow old ramps literally falling apart with no railings and are very dangerous, especially in the winter when they are covered in ice.


3. Fix automatic doors that don’t open.

I’ve been going to the same gym for three years. I love the gym and the staff is great but the automatic door opener has been broken for three years. I made a request for them to fix it, and they did, but it ended up breaking again after a month and never got fixed again. When I inquired about it again I was told that the building manager was aware and it was out of their hands and there was nothing they could do. I don’t find this to be right especially at a place to which I pay a membership.

In my experience, the majority of public establishments don’t have automatic door openers and from the ones that do, I’d say about 8/10 of them don’t actually work. This happens at hospitals and clinics, as well.

As mentioned before, I’m fortunate in my life that I’m with friends or family when I leave my home and they help me get around, pushing me up hard-to-access places and pulling or pushing heavy doors for me, but the truth is that if I was alone, I would not be able to enter these buildings.


4. Disability bathrooms are not storage closets!

Some restaurants I’ve been to, high-end and regular restaurants, that have their main bathrooms on different floors, use the disability washroom on the main floor as a broom or storage closet! The reason I know this is because I’m the lucky one who gets to use it! It was very interesting trying to navigate my wheelchair in there and not have a broom or table fall on top of me.

A similar thing happened when I attended my son’s private high school and realized that the elevator also served as the janitor’s equipment station. 

A similar instance of this occurred at a church basement where the exit of the elevator was obstructed by boxes of stock.

The same thing happened to me at my dentist’s office where the elevator exit was blocked by chairs.

At the gym, the elevator entrance was blocked by a treadmill.

I was once at a restaurant where the only wheelchair accessible bathroom was literally in another building, which I was escorted to by a server, through an elevator, down a corridor, into another hybrid bathroom/storage area.

We are not asking for special treatment, we are just asking for the same consideration, respect and courtesy that able-bodied people are given for their basic needs.


5. Better handicap-accessible parking lots.

Who designed these parking lots? The design of some parking lots is downright laughable and you can’t help but wonder who designed and approved them and what they were thinking. This further reinforces that the needs of disabled people are not really considered a priority and are more like an afterthought than anything else.

Handicapped spaces are available, but completely opposite from where the curb is lowered to allow wheelchair access. That is assuming that the curb lowers to begin with; other curbs go on with no end in sight.

Some handicapped parking spots have elevated medians on both sides so that there’s actually no wheelchair accessibility on either side of the vehicle and you are literally stranded in your vehicle.

Most lots don’t have enough handicapped spots, if any at all. This is always fun, especially when able-bodied people use the spots. I’ll never forget when a woman who wasn’t disabled stole the only available handicapped space, so she could pick up her dry cleaning and when I called her on it she asked me “What are you going to do about it? Call the Police?” Or the time when someone on a motorcycle thought it would be ok if he parked on the part of the handicap spot that was meant for where the door would open, blocking the wheelchair access.


6. More stylish disability adaptation products.

Does adaptation have to be ugly? I adapted my home recently and it was such a challenge to find equipment that was stylish and nice looking. Everything looked like it belonged in a hospital.

I’ll never forget this one time when I booked a hotel room at a five star hotel that I had visited before, but this time I asked for an adapted room. I was given a room half the size of the other rooms, but for the same price. It also had an old outdated bathroom that was adapted, but downright ugly. 

Is that the treatment we get because we are disabled?

You can’t help but wonder if people think that when you are disabled you lose your sense of taste, style and appreciation for nice things. Why wouldn’t we be like everyone else who enjoys nice things?


7. Better service and accessibility by airlines.

My wheelchair isn’t luggage, it compensates for my legs. I don’t agree with me having to check in my wheelchair like luggage when I’m boarding a flight and literally make a silent prayer that it won’t be damaged in cargo or lost. I’ll never forget the time when my wheelchair was lost on a flight and it was such an ordeal to get me off the plane and into the airport. Why is it okay that we may have to go through things like that? The same way able-bodied people walk, that is my only means of transportation and shouldn’t be separated from me.

I feel like airlines should provide better service and accessibility to disabled clients who can’t easily walk or require leg room for medical reasons. There should be a secure designated area on the flight where we can sit. If there’s room for first class seating, there should be room for disabled seating as well.  


Practical Ways You Can Help People with a Physical Disability:

  1. Spend quality time with the person. Call or message them. Pass by to visit them.
  2. Focus on positive things and on blessings that a person has in their life and not only the disability. Talk about their achievements, family, career, etc… There is always something good available to focus on.
  3. We all need to eat, so you want to help? Drop off food or another treat the person would enjoy and appreciate.
  4. Especially for people with mobility issuesoffer to pick up and drop off items they may need from exterior locations, especially those with limited or no handicapped access.
  5. Offer to help with the logistics of getting to appointments.
  6. Offer to watch someone’s kids for a few hours to give that person a break (if they are a parent of young kids).
  7. If planning an event or activity that includes that person, be considerate and try to make sure that there is handicapped access and parking.
  8. When someone uses a mobility device, don’t make a big deal about it. Understand that they are used to it and that it’s a part of their life. It may be awkward for you, but it isn’t awkward for them unless you make it awkward.


Follow Golden on Facebook for more inspirational posts and health tips.



Golden Technologies to Introduce New Innovative Products at Medtrade East

Golden Technologies Lift Chair and Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair Manufacturer


Old Forge, PA – Golden Technologies is excited to showcase new innovative products in both the power lift recliner and mobility divisions at Medtrade East, the home medical equipment industry’s largest trade show, in Atlanta, GA, October 19 and 20, 2021. The introduction of new technology and comfort features at the show will help retailers discover new ways to drive cash sales with profit-producing products.

“We aim to lead our retailers to more education that will help them succeed. Nothing replaces the experience of the face-to-face interaction gained by attending a show and now that travel restrictions have softened, we’re eager to see our retailers at Medtrade East to learn about all of the tremendous innovation we have been working on during the pandemic,” said Rich Golden, President & CEO of Golden Technologies. “Thanks to the support of our thousands of retailers across the country, including our exclusive Flagship retailers, we are poised to help more Americans maintain their independence and enjoy a new level of comfort with our unique designs and advanced technology than ever before,” he added.

In addition to showing new power lift recliners, Golden will also feature their Comfort Zone, a stress-free reclining experience by providing up to five adjustable, patented, and supportive positioning zones that can increase the body’s wellness and optimize the feeling of comfort. Golden offers the only five-zone luxury power lift recliners in the world. The tilting motion of their patented Twilight Technology provides a feeling of weightlessness while encouraging circulation by relaxing with the legs easily and comfortably elevated above the heart.

In their mobility division, Golden is creating a buzz about their new power wheelchair. “The BuzzAbout is very unique in the market. It offers a great combination of power and portability, along with a new front and rear LED lighting system for safety,” said Golden. “We’ll also show our new GB120 Buzzaround CarryOn folding scooter, one of the hottest selling scooters on the market due to its incredible portability and transportability,” he added. The scooter line is growing with the addition of new luxurious three- and four-wheel models featuring full-size comfort with the convenience of true portability.

Retailers at the show can stop by to visit Golden at booth #1247 to see what the buzz is all about.

Visit www.goldentech.com for more information.



# # #


About Golden Technologies

Golden Technologies, a family-owned and operated company, is the world’s leading manufacturer of luxurious lift and recline chairs. We take great satisfaction in the superb craftsmanship and lasting durability of our growing lines of Power Lift Chairs and Power Wheelchairs and Scooters. Golden’s products set the pace in our industry for performance, convenience, and comfort, because they all begin with superior materials and creative designs. We help provide our customers with a sense of independence, mobility, freedom, accomplishment, and belonging.


How To Enhance Golden Power Wheelchairs with the Dynamic LiNX App

Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy and Compass Sport Power Wheelchairs


Written By: Jackie Caraballo and Carl Lloyd

Did You Know There’s an App For That?!

There are so many benefits of the Golden LiteRider Envy and the Golden Compass power wheelchairs! One of the many, lesser known tools is that they can be enhanced using the Dynamic LiNX joystick control/application (app) supported by BlueTooth. Dynamic LiNX electronics uses load compensation technology, which allows the electronics to control the speed of the motors so that the chair behaves the way the client expects.

Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair Dynamic Linx App Access Key

The dongle, or access key, plugs in to where you would normally charge the chair, which will then activate Bluetooth and sync the power chair to any Apple device, such as a smartphone or ipad. If you do not have an Apple product, then you can use a PC computer or a hand-held programmer. This amazing technology makes driving the chair simpler and offers a more natural experience, especially if the customer has had a stroke or other impairment. 

Another great use for this technology is that the chair can be programmed to move more slowly or go one speed in a certain direction, which is essential for Retirement Homes or other busy areas. The app helps make the ride independent of the terrain or the environment. You can also enable tremor dampening to make the controls less sensitive if needed, particularly if the wheelchair user has Parkinsons. 

Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair Dynamic Linx AppThere is a long list of uses for the Dynamic LiNX app. In addition to programming, if the power wheelchair is ever in need of service, the app will also tell you what’s wrong with the chair and how to fix it so that the down time is very minimal. Another benefit is that if the user is farther away and needs immediate assistance, using the app from a smart phone or device, a caregiver can slow down or stop the power chair from 30 feet away. Plus, if you ever need to reset the wheelchair, you can program it back to factory settings with just the push of a button. If you need to, you can also add a timeout feature using the app. And if the power wheelchair is ever in need of service, the app will also tell what’s wrong with the chair and how to fix it, to help service it faster. 


All of Golden’s power wheelchairs come standard with the Dynamic LiNX controller. This unique technology also makes the ride independent of the terrain or environment by continuously making small adjustments depending on the driving conditions, such as hills, speed and rider weight.



Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair in six color options

Not only does the Golden LiteRider Envy mobility power chair feature the latest technology, but it’s the only tubular-framed chair in the industry. Plus, it is incredibly easy to disassemble and pick up and includes a 22-amp long range battery. There are also six colors to choose from to really tailor this product to your personal preference. Contact your retailer for assistance in pairing your device with an access key.

The Golden Compass Sport power chair features Golden’s patented Springless Articulating Chassis: All 6 wheels stay in contact with the ground offering the industry’s most stable and easy-to-use power chair. No other power wheelchair offers the same stability. 

The Golden Compass HD power wheelchair offers a stable, center-wheel-drive platform and an articulating chassis for stability over rough terrain. A bigger, beefier version of the popular Compass Sport, the Compass HD has a 450 lb. weight capacity, yet a modest 20-inch turning radius. It comes standard with a captain’s seat and our exclusive fold-flat seat hinge design for easy transport.

Discover all the ways a Golden power wheelchair can help you or your loved ones. Visit a pharmacy or home medical equipment store near you to try one out and see Dynamic LiNX technology in action! Find a retailer near you at goldentech.com/dealer-locator

All Golden power wheelchairs require the assistance of your retailer to pair your device with an access key.

Watch the video below to learn how to use the Dynamic LiNX Access App


How A Golden Lift Chair Can Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain

Joan Garrison Relaxing in a Golden Technologies Power Lift Chair Recliner To Help Relieve Arthritis  

Written By: Aline Browning and Jackie C.

Are you or someone you love suffering from arthritis? According to the CDC, this extremely painful and often debilitating disease affects 23% of all adults in the U.S. That’s over 54 million people who have arthritis. Of those, about 24 million adults are limited in their activities from arthritis. 

Arthritis attacks the joints and causes pain and inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the condition 

can affect balance, cause many sleep disturbances, and it can even change your arteries. Particularly, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of having a heart attack and for developing

 atherosclerosis. Because all of our body’s systems are so interconnected and interdependent, 

Joan Garrison in a Golden Technologies Power Lift Chair Recliner in Trendelenburg Position To Elevate Feet Above Heart

Golden power lift recliners can offer several benefits to help you battle inflammation caused by arthritis and provide reliable lift assistance when transitioning from sitting to standing. According to Stanmore(2013), “Adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of falls. Suggested reasons for this include impaired muscle strength, postural instability, fatigue, joint pain, and reduced functioning.“

Improving circulation is another benefit that Golden lift chairs provide as inflammation can harden arteries much faster than patients who don’t suffer from arthritis. “For dactylitis and enthesitis, start with the old-but-good RICE treatment,” says Yolanda Ragland, DPM, a podiatrist and founder of Fix Your Feet. “Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the first line of defense for any inflammatory process, including arthritis,” she explains. Golden MaxiComfort lift chairs and power lift recliners with patented Twilight positioning technology provide leg elevation with a gentle, supportive bend at the knee that allow individuals to raise their feet slightly above the heart.


“It has given me great joy and comfort from the very first day. It is easy to operate, very comfortable and helps ease my arthritis.


Joan Garrison in a Golden Technologies Power Lift Chair Recliner To Help Relieve ArthritisJoan Garrison, 78 years old, absolutely loves her Golden Technologies lift chair. “It has given me great joy and comfort from the very first day. It is easy to operate, very comfortable and helps ease my arthritis. There are so many different comfortable positions. Sometimes I raise my legs and sometimes I lower them, depending on where I have pain. With my age and arthritis, it’s so nice to just push a button to find the perfect comfortable position. It’s a gem and a blessing to have. I am also due for knee surgery and I know the lift will be helpful getting in and out of the chair.”

Another challenge for those suffering with arthritis is pain-related insomnia. Trouble sleeping or falling asleep can have a dramatic impact on the ability to heal optimally. Additionally, if we are dehydrated during the night, it can create more friction in the joints because of uric acid deposits. “Uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that causes pain.” Mayo Clinic (2021) Golden power lift recliners provide infinite positioning and are able to support the needs of patients with arthritis who need to adjust sleep positions frequently without the stationary limitations of a wedge pillow. 

If you or your loved one also want to experience the amazing full-body rejuvenation and relief of a Golden power lift chair, visit goldentech.com/dealer-locator to find a retailer near you to try one out in person. 

Joan Garrison Lifting in a Golden Technologies Power Lift Chair Recliner 














6 Ways To Help Alleviate The Physical Effects Of PTSD

Written By: Aline Browning

Aline Browning with her dog


Dealing with Daily Trauma

           Life can push us through some very heavy doors that lead us to places that we never imagined we would find ourselves. To many of us who live day-in and day-out with trauma, it feels like an actual place that we long to come back from. When we survive the initial trauma, we aren’t just changed in our souls and minds, we can be changed in our bodies, too.

What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological disorder that can be caused by a multitude of trauma ranging from combat to natural disasters, to abuse, violence, and severe grief. There are countless ways the mind can be traumatized. In recent years, some have become more comfortable discussing the psychological challenges associated with the disorder. We feel a bit more empowered to discuss our traumas and triggers and talk about the routines we keep that help us to avoid episodes. We talk more freely about the anger we experience when those routines fail, and we become triggered. We are even starting to recognize the contagious nature of our hypervigilant protocols as we pass them on to our spouses and children.

An area that is seldom discussed are the physiological disorders that are caused by PTSD. Many of us aren’t aware of what PTSD is capable of doing to our bodies. I only began to understand the connection that PTSD has with our physiological health as I was diagnosed with moderate arthritis in my neck and hands about a year ago, at age 40.

How Too Much Cortisol Affects Our Body

Cortisol is known as the “Fight or Flight” hormone. During an emergency such as an accident or violent attack, the body produces this hormone which is meant to protect us. This hormone dulls our sense of pain, increases the body’s metabolism of glucose so we can draw strength, regulates blood pressure, and can reduce inflammation. The problem with Cortisol is that high levels of it will actually attack the body. A person living with PTSD is continuously producing this hormone.

Research has shown that over time Cortisol breaks down the bones leading to Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis. In some cases, inflammation can become so severe that it can lead to Cushing’s syndrome. PTSD is also a high risk factor for Diabetes Type II, hypertension, memory loss, obesity, and a range of other conditions.

Too much Cortisol also inhibits the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. This is significant because it is inflammation that inhibits blood-flow and poor circulation leads to a shedding of dead blood cells in the body, this shedding produces uric acid which also promotes inflammation. It is very easy for someone living with PTSD to be caught up in a vicious cycle of inflammation.

You Can Begin to Lower Your Cortisol Right Now

Researchers conducted a study on mothers of chronically ill children, as their stress levels were expected to be higher, and found that, “The hypothesis that mothers of chronically ill children with PTSD would exhibit significantly higher salivary cortisol levels than mothers without PTSD while waiting for their child’s medical appointment was supported. These findings are consistent with previous reports of higher cortisol levels during laboratory-induced, event-related stressors among those with PTSD.” Stoppelbein, (2012)

Lower your Cortisol levels by following some simple recommendations:

  1.   Avoid Stress: Find ways to relax including lounging, listening to music, engaging in meditation, or even try journaling. A Golden power lift recliner can serve as a comfortable centerpiece of a soothing environment and promote relaxation and solace in your life, which can help lower cortisol levels.
  2.   Get your feet up: Gravity can cause fluids to build up in your lower extremities, which could exacerbate inflammation. Find ways to elevate your feet just above your heart for at least 20 minutes a day. One of the benefits of Golden lift chairs with patented positioning technology is that they are able to achieve the Trendelenburg position, raising feet above the heart, which can improve circulation and lower the buildup of blood cell waste in the body caused by cortisol.
  3.   Watch your sugar intake: Obesity and Diabetes Type II are not risk factors to take lightly so use good judgement and consume more natural sugars such as fruit.
  4.   Drink more water: Dehydration can cause inflammation and joint pain. It can also bring on attacks of Gout for some living with arthritis pain because it causes uric acid to build up in the lower extremities. Drinking water will improve circulation and brain function.
  5.   Contemplate upcoming events: This is a difficult one for me to master, you really have to analyze what environments you are going to be exposed to and consider where you are the entire time. I struggle with waterparks, amusement parks, or anywhere there is a lot of yelling. I’m familiar with the anger and embarrassment of being triggered unexpectedly in public, like from the sound of a bang. Try your best to practice mindfulness and remind yourself of some of the stimulation you might be exposed to.
  6.   Give yourself a break: Something happened to you that was almost more than you could bear, but you did bear it and made it out. Don’t be hard on yourself when you are struggling with trauma. You made it this far and have further to go.

As a professional who has struggled with Complex PTSD for 22 years, I can promise you that you can still live a normal and meaningful life and reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD. With a proactive approach and full participation on your part, it can be a beautiful life.



One Woman’s Journey Battling Lupus

Written By: Aline Browning

Updated May 3, 2022

Golden Technologies PR515 Power Lift Chair Recliner in Bridle


Lupus Can Sometimes Be Difficult To Diagnose

It took Melissa Kravitz nearly six years to finally receive a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which is the average for that diagnosis. For years she was convinced she had Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia and it wasn’t until doctors found that her achilles tendinitis was not responding to any treatment, that they came to the conclusion she has SLE. The diagnosis came about two years ago and she has gone through some changes to her lifestyle that she believes can bring comfort to others receiving a Lupus diagnosis.

“I’ll be 37 on Saturday,” Melissa shared. “I worked at the same nursing home for 17 years, but I can’t stand on my feet all day anymore. I gave that up and now I’m a substance abuse counselor. It’s a totally sedentary job.” When asked how she dealt with such a big change she stated, “I’ll admit that emotionally, it’s been hard to leave job prospects that I thought I was going to do.”


Symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Over half of people diagnosed with Lupus report having muscle weakness and pain. Particularly, pain in the feet and ankles. Many patients experience pain and swelling known as edema, which is a buildup of fluid in the extremities around the joints. Patients can also develop a condition called “Lupus Foot”, which is a painful deformity of the toes. It is also associated with achilles tendinitis, toe-nail problems, hammer toes, and circulatory problems. Lupus is an inflammatory disease with symptoms that mimic those of Rheumatoid Arthritis and even affects the same areas of the body including hands and feet. The CDC refers to SLE as, “the great imitator” (CDC 2020), because its symptoms mimic other inflammatory diseases. The disease causes patients to endure painful symptomatic periods known as flares. Because there is no known cure for SLE, managing these flares is necessary for patient well-being.

In addition to achilles tendinitis, carpal tunnel, and SLE, Melissa also suffers from Raynaud’s disease which means her body temperature is lower than normal and her tolerance for cold temperatures is very low. SLE often presents a barrage of comorbidities, so an individual with this diagnosis is typically battling several conditions.


Treatment for SLE

“I take two immunosuppressors daily, I also have to take medication to be able to sleep. Otherwise, I would be up all night thinking about the important and unimportant. I have to sleep with my legs elevated and my heels up. I have to make sure my heels don’t touch the bed when I’m asleep or I wake up in pain. I also have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I have been sleeping on my back since I was diagnosed because it’s too painful to sleep on my arms. When it gets too painful, there are physical therapy exercises I do.”

Managing Lupus flares means fighting the joint pain and fatigue and staying active. Increased physical activity, coupled with proper hydration, can reduce joint swelling and improve a patient’s lifestyle. It’s equally important how you spend your downtime.


Golden Lift Chairs Properly Elevate Feet Above the Heart

Resting properly and pampering the affected extremities will help you to cope with pain and help you maintain mobility. It is during this resting period that the benefits of a lift chair are really highlighted as an effective aide to help manage symptoms. Golden lift chairs have patented positioning technology to help properly elevate legs above the heart to a level that can allow fluids to drain back into the body and away from the feet. This position is also known as the Trendelenburg position. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it is important to elevate the affected limbs above the heart several times a day.” Aside from the gravitational benefits of a lift chair, they also provide a comfortable sleeping environment and proper sleep is imperative for cognition and the reduction of inflammation.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines.” Olson (2021)


Advice for Those Newly Diagnosed With Lupus

Melissa’s advice to anyone receiving a Lupus diagnosis is this, “I know you have a million questions right now and a million things going through your mind, but just stop and take a breath. You are going to be ok. Take it one day at a time and go at life at your own pace. Educate yourself on the disease but don’t inundate yourself with information that will overwhelm you because you don’t know what lies ahead. Write down any new symptoms and questions. Surround yourself with medical professionals that you trust, especially your Rheumatologist, as this will be a long-term relationship.”

Then she added, “As hard as it is to believe now, this disease that you always wish never happened to you may actually give you the life you were meant to have, but didn’t know it.”











12 Ways The Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair Changed My Life

Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair with her family


Being a Disabled Mom

I am a mother of three. My kids are my everything and I am so blessed to have them in my life. 

Keeping up with kids can be challenging even for the healthiest of parents and having Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I found myself struggling to keep up with them. MS can manifest itself in many forms and my most challenging symptoms are leg disability and chronic fatigue.

I never envisioned that one day in my 40s I would need help to get around. It was upsetting to have to rely on other people for help, especially my kids. I strive to be a good role model for my children and I didn’t want them to see me as a victim.

As my situation and disability progressed, I felt something had to be done to help with the situation.

My power wheelchair has allowed me to be a better mom.

I purchased the Golden Envy Power Wheelchair last year and I never imagined that I would be so happy to own a mobility device. But my power chair has given me a lot of my independence and life back.

Before buying it, because of fatigue, I would have to take constant breaks in the day for almost every task I performed and in the evenings I would retire to bed very early.

I felt as though I was living on the sidelines as a spectator watching my kids grow and enjoy life and I wanted to be more involved, but I didn’t have the physical ability to do it. As a result, I often felt frustrated, exhausted, and depleted.

Acquiring the chair and having that available support throughout the day facilitates my life.

Now, I’m too busy living life to be held back by the fact that I’m disabled or tired and my days are full and I feel enabled and happy. 

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair with her children 


The Envy power wheelchair makes my life easier in the following ways:

  • It effortlessly gets me from one place to another with simple joystick control.
  • It’s compact and has great maneuverability, which makes it very easy and fun to drive. My kids will concur!
  • It does all the legwork for me, which leaves me with a lot more energy to enjoy the things I love throughout the day. 
  • It allows me to run my household and accomplish chores like cooking and cleaning.
  • It’s fast and allows me to react swiftly to simple things that I couldn’t accomplish in time like answering the phone or doorbell; things non-disabled people can take for granted. 
  • It allows me to perform more indoor and outdoor activities with the kids.
  • It allows me to effortlessly go outside to get some fresh air or walk my dog.
  • It helps keep me in a good mood by not having to deal with the challenge, agitation, and frustration I sometimes experience in moving around without aid.
  • It disassembles easily into three sections for easy transport, which allows me to conveniently bring it to other homes or places I’m visiting. Being able to gracefully move around and feel comfortable when visiting has been life-changing as oftentimes I would spend the whole time sitting uncomfortably in a chair while visiting.
  • It gives me independence and confidence.
  • It gives me security and keeps me safe from falling.
  • It supports me in my daily life

Life sometimes throws us curve balls and it can be difficult to accept certain realities. While some things are not in our control, what is in our control is how we can choose to react to these challenges and make the best of them. 

If you are or know someone who is disabled or suffers from chronic illness and/or fatigue and has limited energy consider purchasing a Golden power wheelchair.

It’s a wonderful gift of support, independence, and quality of life. 






How To Find The Right Diet For You

Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna Giannakouros Cooking using her Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair


5 Ways To Have More Energy & Better Brain Function, Plus Recipes!

Having Multiple Sclerosis and living with this health issue, I’ve become very much in tune with my body in relation to food and alcohol, because I often feel the effects of what I consume right away in relation to my MS symptoms, as well as other symptoms. There are so many opinions out there about what’s the best eating regime. These opinions can be backed with a lot of conviction and analysis and it can get confusing trying to figure it all out and know what is best for you.

I’m sure we’ve all heard opinions like these before:

  •       Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  •       Eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks
  •       Don’t snack in-between meals
  •       Carbs or fat are good/bad
  •       Red meat is good/bad
  •       Vegetarianism or vegan is good/bad
  •       Gluten or dairy is good/bad
  •       Soy or peanuts are good/bad
  •       Eggs are good/bad
  •       Corn is good/bad
  •       Nightshades are good/bad
  •       Food intolerances are real/a myth
  •       Eat everything in moderation
  •       Counting nutritional information is good/bad
  •       Etc…

It can all get a bit overwhelming. As for me, I don’t believe that there is an ideal “one fits all” eating regime. We all have different bodies, cultures, and lifestyles, and we all stay motivated in different ways. What works for one person wonderfully may not work for someone else at all. Also, depending on your health and body type, you may or may not have the luxury of indulging in certain foods without facing consequences. That’s why it’s important to experiment and find what works specifically for you. You know your body better than anyone.


1. Elimination Diet Anna Giannakouros Cooking with Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair


Focusing on how you physically feel is a good place to start when trying to determine what eating regime best suits you. Pay attention to how you feel when you are at your best and make a note of what foods you ate around that period of time and what eating pattern you followed.

Examples of good indicators of this are:

  •       Good gut function and digestion
  •       Controlled body weight
  •       More energy
  •       More alert and better brain power
  •       Good sleep
  •       Stable mood
  •       Good mental health

Similarly, pay attention to what foods you ate or an eating pattern you followed when you weren’t feeling well. That can be more difficult to do if you are consuming a wide range of different foods but for starters you can look for indicators like this in your body and then attempt to make a correlation with the food pattern or regime you were on.

  •       Weight gain or loss
  •       Low Energy
  •       Bloating
  •       Cramping
  •       Heartburn
  •       Digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea
  •       Gas
  •       Joint pain
  •       Acne and other skin problems
  •       Mood swings
  •       Agitation
  •       Bad sleep

If you suspect a particular food or type of food doesn’t agree with you, try eliminating it from your diet for a month and see if you notice an alleviation of symptoms. You may even notice a difference after a couple of days. Examples of good food categories to start with are sugar, processed foods, grains, gluten, dairy, and different types of meat.

At a later point, re-introduce the food and investigate if negative symptoms arise. Depending on what you find you may want to look into making more elimination changes or get more informed about what the best way is to re-introduce these foods into your system without them having a negative impact on you any longer.

My Eating Regime

Anna Giannakouros Cooking with support from Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

In my case, having an autoimmune disease, the consequences are grave when I eat foods that I do not tolerate well. Here are some examples of the increase in negative symptoms I experience when I go off my eating regime and eat foods that I don’t tolerate.

  •       Migraines
  •       Fatigue
  •       Gait issues
  •       Nerve pain
  •       Constipation
  •       Agitation
  •       Mood swings
  •       Puffy eyes
  •       Swelling
  •       Bloating
  •       Rashes
  •       Hives



2. Paleo


Over the years, I have found a mix of what works for me to keep me feeling my best and my MS symptoms manageable. I follow a Paleolithic diet which is grain, dairy and gluten free because those categories of food increase inflammation in my body.  A Paleolithic diet is based on historic hunter/gatherer whole foods like meat, fish and seafood, vegetables, berries, and nuts.


3. Keto


I also follow a ketosis diet. A ketosis diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that causes your body to burn fat for energy purposes as opposed to carbohydrates. This process puts your body into a metabolic state of ketosis. When this happens, your body turns fat into ketones in the liver which provides energy to the brain and provides other health benefits like cell regeneration, nervous system support and even a slow down in the aging process.

You can measure if you are in ketosis by using breath tests, urine testing strips or blood monitor devices. In my experience, the most reliable way to measure is using a blood monitor device. I use a “Keto Mojo” device that I highly recommend.

Having MS, I suffer from chronic fatigue and it is a daily challenge. Without even testing my ketone levels I know when I am in ketosis because I feel an increase in energy and see an improvement of gait and brain alertness. It makes a huge difference in managing my MS symptoms.

There are different types of ketosis regimes and combinations of macros one can follow. Macros are daily carbohydrate, protein and fat allocations. I typically maintain an allocation of 15% carbohydrates, 18% protein, 67% fat and follow a Clean Keto Regime, which means I maintain my paleo food restrictions (ex. dairy, gluten and grain free) and concentrate on eating nutrient based foods and healthy fats.

Following Clean Keto, I supply my body with minerals and vitamins to help combat my MS and enjoy health benefits in general like good energy, digestion, mood, brain function and skin and weight.


4. Intermittent Fasting


I also practice intermittent fasting, which helps ensure I remain in ketosis on a daily basis. I feel an Anna Giannakouros Healthy Eatingincrease in energy during my fasts, as well as better brain function.

There are different fasting schedules that can be followed. After experimenting with different fasting times I’ve determined what works best for me is eating between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day and fasting for the remaining time. This is called the 16:8 method; fasting every day for 16 hours and enjoying an 8-hour eating window.


5. Mediterranean Diet


Being raised in Greek origin, the foods that I tend to gravitate towards have a Mediterranean influence: I enjoy eating a lot of plant-based nutrient-dense foods like dandelion greens and plenty of vegetables. I consume a lot of olive oil for fat and enjoy healthy protein sources like fish and seafood.



I find that eating healthy and whole foods requires a lot of homemade cooking. Luckily, I do enjoy cooking, but it can get challenging dealing with a chronic illness and keeping up with meal planning and other things. Investing in my Envy Power Wheelchair has really allowed me to conserve energy and do more of the things I love, which includes cooking.

Here are a few of my favorite easy and quick recipes that are delicious, as well as Paleo and Keto friendly. I hope you enjoy them:


Cajun Shrimp

Cajun Shrimp

In this recipe I use 600 grams of large, frozen, cooked, cleaned and deveined Wild Argentinian Shrimp,but you can also use different types of shrimp and if raw simply sauté for 2-4 minutes (until pink) instead of 1-2 minutes as noted in the recipe.

Defrost the shrimp. Heat about 2 heaping TBSP of ghee (clarified butter) in a pan over medium/high heat. Add shrimp to pan and generously sprinkle (about 1 tbsp each) with garlic powder and Cajun Spice Mix (see below for spice mix recipe). Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Plate and top with fresh basil or other fresh herbs on hand.

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad

In this recipe, I use 600 grams of frozen, cooked and cleaned Octopus Legs. 

Defrost the octopus according to package instructions. Rinse in water. Cut into bite size pieces and add to a bowl. Chop 1 medium red onion and add to the bowl. Add about 1 TBSP each of capers, fresh lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Generously drizzle with olive oil (about 3 TBSP) and season with sea salt and pepper according to taste. Top with fresh tarragon leaves or other fresh herbs on hand.

Berry Rhubarb Tart

Berry Rhubarb Tart

This is a delicious and guilt-free dessert.

For the filling: wash and chop 2 cups of rhubarb. Sauté the rhubarb in a pan, on high heat, with a tbsp of ghee, for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup each of washed blueberries and raspberries. Sauté for 4-6 minutes until the berries have broken down and the mixture has blended together. Close heat and mix in a TBSP of arrowroot powder (for thickness) and 3 packs of Stevia or another natural sweetener of your choice.

For the crust: manually mix 1/2 cup melted ghee and 1 beaten egg to 2 cups almond flour and form a dough ball. Spread out the dough ball, with your hands, across the bottom of a standard pie baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Allow crust to cool. Pour and fill rhubarb/berry mixture into the pie and serve.

Cajun Spice Mix

Cajun Spice Mix

Spices are so healthy. They have anti-inflammation properties, immune-boosting properties, brain health properties, antibacterial properties and a lot more. I try to incorporate a lot of spices in all my meals. This is one of my go-to spice mixes: Cajun Spice Mix: great on meat, fish, rubs, vegetables, sweet potatoes, etc…

3 TBSP paprika; 1.5 TBSP sea salt; 1.5 TBSP garlic powder; 1 TBSP onion powder; 1 TBSP oregano; 2 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp thyme; 1 tsp cayenne pepper; 1 tsp chili powder. Add to a jar and shake all together.


Follow Anna on Instagram @Immakeepstandin for more health and fitness tips and inspiration.

Golden Lift Recliners: The Perfect Maternity & Nursing Chair

Updated March 29, 2022

Written By: Jackie Caraballo

Pregnant Mother and Child In a Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner

Golden Power Lift Recliner Benefits During Pregnancy & Recovery

Golden power lift recliners have so many wellness benefits beyond the lifting mechanism, which helps gently lift in and out of the chair. Golden lift chairs also provide amazing comfort and full-body rejuvenation with patented positioning technology, which may contribute to faster recovery and rehabilitation from a Cesarean section and other surgeries.

Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner Helping Pregnant Woman Out of ChairHaving recovered from three months of bed rest during my twin pregnancy and a C-section, I really could have used a Golden lift recliner to help me finally get into a comfortable position, get in and out of a chair, and then to aid in recovery. 

Until a few years ago, I had never even heard of a lift chair. If you’re not in the home medical equipment industry, not many people have. Now, I have seen how these recliners truly change peoples’ lives. They not only help the elderly, but those suffering from cancer or recovering from surgery. They even provide ergonomic support and comfort for all, which is essential for pregnant women, especially with high-risk pregnancy, and afterward recovering from childbirth. 


A Relieving Sleep Chair For Acid Reflux

Golden Power Lift Chair Recliner is Perfect Maternity ChairPlus, if you’ve had children, then you most likely know how difficult getting infants to sleep can be. Between two babies, both with acid reflux and colic, my husband and I often took turns sleeping with a baby on our chest all night in an uncomfortable recliner. I was in my 20s and had no idea how much our discount-store recliner would affect our lives. If I had only known, I would have added a Golden lift recliner to our registry. So now I want to spread the word to other parents-to-be: make sure to let your friends and family know that a Golden lift chair makes a fantastic joint baby shower gift, and will provide ergonomic support as a nursing chair while breastfeeding, and comfort and relief for years to come. 

Health Benefits of a Golden Power Lift Chair

The health benefits are numerous. Pregnant Woman Sleeping in a Golden Zero Gravity ReclinerThe patented Twilight technology reclines the back to an ideal 30-degree angle, which no other recliner can do. This angle is recommended by physicians for post-surgical procedures (such as a C-section), alleviating pressure on the lungs and proven to minimize acid reflux (finally get relief moms-to-be!), sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure. This exclusive positioning also distributes weight and relieves pressure points even beyond zero gravity recliners. 

Golden DayDreamer Power Lift Chair ReclinerAlthough our Twilight Wellness Recliners are the best option, we completely understand that budgets can be tight, especially when a baby is on the way. Another fantastic option is our MaxiComfort line of lift recliners available in a variety of sizes and colors. My personal favorite is the Daydreamer chairI just love how the power pillow really cushions my head and the adjustable power lumbar supports my back. Another great option is our more traditional lift recliners in the DeLuna series, which still provide ergonomic placement of the lower body for muscle relaxation and infinite positioning. The Elara lift recliner also features an adjustable headrest for even more comfort and support.

Pregnant Woman Resting in Golden Technologies PR118 Elara Power Lift Chair Recliner

Every Golden lift chair meets the highest quality standards of product testing and most are made in America with domestic and imported materials. Golden is also a family-run manufacturing company based out of Old Forge, Pa. So, not only will you be getting an exquisite, custom-made recliner that’s hand-sewn and built, you will also be supporting an American business. 

We wish you and your baby the best of health, happiness, and sleep-filled nights!

To find a retail store near you, visit our Golden Store Locator.


10 Tips To Conserve Energy During the Holidays

Written By: Anna Giannakouros

Anna Giannakouros During Christmas 2020


How To Manage Holiday Shopping & Visits During The Pandemic

As the holidays approach, I’m filled with excitement and anticipation for a wonderful holiday season ahead spent with friends and family. Especially after what a year 2020 has been, I think we all deserve it!

Even though some of us are still in a partial lockdown because of Covid-19, I plan on celebrating Christmas with lots of shopping, gifts, drive-bys, and seeing my friends and relatives in a limited way.

While the holiday season is fun, it can also be exhausting, especially for people with a disability or a chronic illness and being a “Spoonie”, as I am. A Spoonie is someone who suffers from a chronic illness and has a limited amount of energy to complete tasks or function in a given day. Often, the illness is not apparent to other people and the person looks healthy and able-bodied as I did especially before I started using mobility aids. In reality, the energy struggle is sometimes enormous just to make it through a given day and there’s only so much that can be accomplished.

The term “Spoonie” was created by Christine Miserandino, a patient advocate and Lupus sufferer. She explained the term by laying out several spoons on a table where each spoon represented a person’s energy reserve for activities performed in a day. Examples could be bathing, getting dressed, making your bed, cooking, eating, washing the dishes, shopping, exercising, going to a doctor appointment, meeting a friend for lunch, going out for supper, staying up late, etc… all typical activities that a regular healthy person accomplishes without much thought and often many times in a day.

However, people with a chronic illness or disability only have a handful of spoons that they can use in a day; maybe even only 1 or 2 spoons on some days. If one pushes themselves too far and goes over their limit, the consequences can be grave and in my case, could lead to a flare-up (exacerbation of MS symptoms) that can last for days or even weeks.

So, every day is a balance between rest and spoons, and we have to choose wisely what limited tasks (or spoons) we will perform (use up) on that given day. As the holidays approach, I’m thinking of all the extra spoons I will need, and it can get overwhelming. These extra spoons can be things like holiday gift shopping, wrapping gifts, drive-bys, cooking, baking, visits, staying up late, meeting people, etc. All of these activities will take their toll unless managed properly.

Here are some tips that I follow to conserve energy during the holidays:

Shopping Online

Anna Giannakouros wrapping Christmas gifts

There’s nothing worse than waiting for the last minute to buy your holiday gifts and then scrambling to wrap them while you should be getting ready to go somewhere. I avoid being in that situation by getting my purchases done early so that I have enough time to organize, wrap, and label them gradually without any stress.

For clothing, accessories, and home decor, online shopping is the way to goit takes a lot less energy than physical shopping and is quicker and more convenient. It’s easier to compare prices and search for a variety of products and it can be done from the comfort of your own home, avoiding sales pressure and crowds. That’s a huge benefit now with the pandemic going on.

Another way to keep things simple and efficient, is if you find a great gift, buy multiples of it for different people.

Simplify Gift Wrapping

As much as I used to enjoy elaborately wrapping Christmas gifts, I simply don’t have the energy for it anymore. Many times, just opening and putting away the boxes received feels like a workout! So what I do is purchase gift bags and tissue paper, drop the gift in a bag, add some tissue paper, tie the bag handles with ribbon, add a label, and I’m done in under a few minutes. I space out wrapping the gifts over different days, so it’s not too tiring preparing them all in one day.

Another gift-wrapping option is to have the retailer do it for you. Some sites offer gift wrapping and delivery options which are so helpful and convenient, especially now, during the pandemic, where visits are limited.

Another easy, but thoughtful holiday gift is simply gifting money. What I did for this year is purchase cute mini Christmas boxes equipped with a ribbon that I plan on filling with Hershey Kisses and some cash. So simple and nicely presentedwho wouldn’t want that as a gift?

Or, if you have a loved one with a disability, consider going in on a more functional, but necessary joint gift with friends and/or family, such as a power lift recliner, mobility scooter, or power wheelchair. It will truly make a difference in their life every day, and they will think of you every time they use it. You can find a local home medical supplier near you at goldentech.com/dealer-locator

Drive-by Visits

One thing that I learned during the pandemic and while being in lockdown is that you can still find ways to connect with your loved ones even if it isn’t a long event or in close proximity to them. A great way to connect is to simply drive by their homes (meet in the driveway) for a greeting and/or to exchange gifts.

Of course, this isn’t the most ideal setting for a holiday exchange, but it is a lot less tiring and shorter than the usual holiday festivities that we are accustomed to and for a Spoonie, it does efficiently and effectively do the job of connecting with loved ones in a less tiring scenario.

What I will do is schedule some drive-bys throughout December to visit people in different areas of the city and this way, the meetings will not all be condensed during the last days of the year when things get to be more hectic.

Pace Yourself

Anna Giannakouros on her Golden LiteRider Envy Power ChairTake breaks in the day and rest between different activities.

Breaks can be as simple as putting your feet up, resting your eyes, breathing exercises, short naps or meditating, and they do wonders for recharging your battery, improving your stamina, and regaining your strength during the day.

They help improve physical & cognitive functions and help reduce stress & anxiety levels. 

I try to take a 10-minute break every hour of the day and this allows me to have productive days; or I would be out of spoons by Noon.

Conserve your energy by using mobility aids. Purchasing my power chair has been life changing and has helped me enormously in managing my disability and chronic fatigue.

I regularly exercise and walk as much as I can to keep my body fit and active and I rely on my power chair to manage my fatigue and improve my quality of life. Without it, I would only be able to do a fraction of the things I get done now and I would be tired and agitated more often.

Organize your spoons wisely.

If you know you have plans in the evening, take it easy in the day and rest accordingly so that you have enough energy to last you until the evening. For example, don’t do something strenuous like a tiring workout or house cleaning on a day where you have plans in the evening. Understand that you have physical limitations and respect them; there’s no shame in that.


The holidays are full of traditions and preparations like decorating, baking, and cooking from scratch and these are great activities, but can be very tiring. Dealing with a chronic illness or even just getting older in general means that our body simply cannot do as much anymore and that’s ok.

I’ve learned to adapt without giving up on traditions and I accomplish that by comprising a bit.

For example, choosing my local Greek bakery for traditional dishes and treats over hours in the kitchen, or going with the Pillsbury doughboy in lieu of my traditional shortbread cookies.

I’m happy, the family is happy, and at the end it’s all good.

The same goes for receiving guests, it’s ok to ask for help with food preparations and clean up and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario.

Manage your Social Calendar and Set Boundaries

The holidays can get hectic with a lot of back-to-back events. Sometimes, we find it difficult to say No to these events because of family and/or social pressure and responsibilities.

That’s understandable to some degree but keep in mind that no one quite understands what it means to have a chronic illness or disability unless they actually have one and no one will deal with the consequence of you physically or emotionally overexerting yourself more than you.

So, know your body and limits and plan your social calendar accordingly. Don’t overextend yourself or feel guilty if you cancel something at the last minute because you aren’t up to it. Don’t agree to something out of fear of coming across impolite or not meeting obligations.

Sometimes we must learn to put ourselves first and say no to circumstances we don’t feel up to being in. I for one, try not to accept social commitments that require me to stay out late on consecutive nights because I need a day in between to recover. So I plan my social calendar with a day break in between.

Surround yourself with people who are sensitive to your situation and are accommodating and understanding.

Protect your energy; the holidays bring all types of people together and sometimes these people aren’t necessarily vibration matches to each other. Pay attention to your mood when you are in the company of certain people. Energy is contagious and if people or events leave you emotionally irritated and you feel your eyes beginning to roll backward (LOL) consider removing yourself from that situation. 

Sometimes this can simply be physically moving away from a group of people or shifting a conversation to another topic.

Eat Well, Stay Hydrated, and Exercise

You know your body better than anyone else and what foods help you to feel better or worse.

Sometimes eating certain foods like heavy foods or sugar and consuming alcohol takes a lot of energy for your body to digest and If you are already suffering from fatigue issues, being in a food coma doesn’t help matters, that’s for sure! So yes, indulging is normal over the holidays, but do so in moderation and you will feel better in the long run and your body will thank you for it.

Many of us go off our regular schedule and eating and sleeping routine during the holidays and forget to drink water because of that. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as there are so many benefits to drinking water and the best one for spoonies is that it helps with fatigue. Being properly hydrated reduces migraines and headaches, helps regulate your mood, aids in digestion, flushes out toxins, improves brain function, and boosts the immune system.

Light, low impact exercise is very good to help with chronic fatigue as it boosts endorphins in our body which make us feel more energized. Reserve some spoons for exercise every day and the benefits will carry you through. Don’t push hard or fast but find a comfortable set of exercises that you can do daily. Stretches and strengthening exercises are good examples.

Remember What’s Important

In the end, the holidays are not about the decorations and preparations, the shopping and the gifts or the ribbons and bows. In the words of Dr. Seuss from the “Grinch who stole Christmas” he says “Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

It can get easy to get overwhelmed with the secondary stuff and forget that the holidays are really about peace, love, joy, acceptance, and the spirit of giving and gratitude. So, when I begin to feel tired or overwhelmed or even agitated with people, I remind myself that even though the festivities are fun, the true meaning of the holiday season is to feel peace and joy in my heart.

I remind myself that those feelings are always accessible if I just take the time to relax, close my eyes, and feel them. I remind myself that the holidays are about spending time and showing affection to the people in our lives that we love and appreciate.

And you don’t need all the bells and whistles to do that.