About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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On assignment in a medical supply store

Several of us here in the newsroom were asked to do stories for the annual holiday Gift Guide, which will be published Nov. 10.

Christmas gifts in a medical supply store?

My assignment was to see if there were any Christmas gifts to be found in a medical supply store or in the health aids aisle of a drug store. I found that, yes, there are. Of course you have to be careful taking gift-giving advice from someone who once proudly gave someone a gift certificate to Jiffy Lube. I never heard the end of that one.

A pill reminder

Anyway, one day this week I spent an afternoon looking for ideas at Homecare America in the Westwood Shopping Center and at Walmart at Central Park. I also went to one of the local outlets for a national drug store chain, though I’m not going to mention them here or in my story because the store manager was so rude the last time I was there. That was the day the earthquake hit, when Suzanne Rossi, one of our photographers, and I went there to check on damage. All I’ll say about the experience is that some people should never be put in positions of authority.

For a hair wash without water.

As for gift ideas, how about these as possible stocking stuffers:

No-rinse shampoo, digital thermometer, pill planner, sleeping mask, elastic shoelaces, long-handled sponge, grips for door handles, lens wipes, medical alert bracelet, ear plugs or compression socks.

I did buy a gift for myself  at Walmart,  a pulse-oximeter for $35. Now when I manually check someone’s pulse, I’ll be able to double-check my reading with the machine.