Review Of WhatKnotShop Dysautonomia Bracelets

bracelet rainbowOne of my favorite collections on the Top 25 Picks for Dysautonomia Gear list is from George Hutchinson of WhatKnotShop over on Etsy.

The turquoise color of his Dysautonomia Awareness line of bracelets has such a happy range of shades. The styles he has created offer gender neutrality, which is huge since so much of the Dysautonomia world is more tuned into the ladies rather than the gentlemen who join us on our battle.

As I mentioned in the Top 25 post, I would love to see these bracelets become a ‘thing’ in the Dysautonomia community. It would make my heart so happy to see someone else out and about proudly wearing one of these bracelets.

I liked them so much, in fact, that I asked him if I could have some samples to try out and review! I’d love to get the word out and encourage you guys to get your own. These just really jump out at me as a cool and comfortable way to unite us and to start conversations with others about Dysautonomia.

IMG_7140Since I have been wearing mine this past week, I have gotten compliments, I’ve been asked about their significance, and I’ve even had my husband and two kids ask me to give them one of my samples!! I’ll have to get them their own, however, bc these are mine! 😉

As for my experience with the quality and comfort, so far – I’d say fabulous.

The bracelets are available in 3 different styles, one is a slip on, one is an adjustable slip on, and one is a one button fitted bracelet. I have one of each, and personally, I really like the way that they compliment each other. Each style is made with a different size or style of rope, and each rope style has its own slight variance of shade of turquoise.

You’d never know they were different until they are lined up next to each other, but I really think that it adds depth and character. George dyes his own cords, so the color variations are the result of the hand-dying process. The faded teal is a custom formulated color exclusive to this design, and the batch-to-batch color variations can make for a beautiful combination with more than one bracelet.


braided one button braceletslip knot rope braceletThey are made to slip on but aren’t too loose. Mine, for example, came in two different sizes. One of the slip on styles was ‘large,’ one was ‘medium,’ and one was the size of my wrist measurement (the button on style).


The first day or two, the adjustable slip on had some issues staying looped – but the design keeps it from falling off (it wraps around multiple times and there is no way for it to come off other than slipping your hand out of it). After a couple of days, the ropes settled into their new spot and I haven’t had any more trouble with it. (*Update – it has been a month and the slip knot style has had a few more episodes of coming undone, but since it can’t cause it to fall off my arm, it isn’t really an issue for me.)

They have held up well to showering, though – all things being equal – since they come off and on so easily, I just take them off. With cooler weather, I just prefer they not be wet.

If I had to pick a favorite, I’d probably the single button bracelet. It feels substantial all by itself – though they all have character. I’d love to know which one you like best!

Head on over to the WhatKnotShop on Etsy and pick your favorite out right now!



Dysautonomia Is Real

If you have Dysautonomia, you have probably heard at some point “Dysautonomia isn’t real. It’s all in your head.”

I’ve heard it. I’ve read countless posts in the support forums from fellow sufferers that a misinformed physician (of just about any and every discipline) or acquaintance has told them Dysautonomia doesn’t exist.

Anxiety, stress, any number of psychological disturbances – drug dependency…you’ve likely had your symptoms (or those of a loved one) blamed on one of these things or blown off and determined to be either non-existent or not significant.

After compiling our favorite Dysautonomia Awareness Gear for October and reading yet another post from a fellow frustrated POTSie, who was feeling defeated after being told (again) that Dysautonomia ISN’T REAL…

The Dysautonomia Is Real clothing and product line was born!


All proceeds in the month of October will be donated to Dysautonomia International! Starting in November, 40% of proceeds will go to Dysautonomia International to support research and the dysautonomia community. (As the product line creator, a portion of each sale – different for each item – is paid to me. I will then pass on your financial support to Dysautonomia International.)


So far, we have four product lines, designed to make you smile, give you encouragement, and to enlighten others to the real and disabling existence of Dysautonomia (which is the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, for the record).

Pandas Are Real

panda comboUntil 1869, ‘the West’ didn’t believe in the Giant Panda. Although local people had been aware of the existence of these animals throughout history, westerners hadn’t been convinced. Science said “No proof, No Panda.” Dysautonomia sufferers are frequently told by uninformed physicians and acquaintances that the illness just ISN’T REAL. It is our goal to spread the word that it is, in fact, a legitimate condition. This little panda wants to join the fight! Share a smile and a little knowledge all at the same time!

Gorillas Are Real

Gorilla combo (2)Until 1902, ‘the West’ didn’t believe in the Mountain Gorilla. Although local people had been aware of the existence of these animals throughout history, westerners hadn’t been convinced. Science said “No proof, No Gorilla.” Dysautonomia sufferers are frequently told by uninformed physicians and acquaintances that the illness just ISN’T REAL. It’s all in their head. It is our goal to spread the word that it is, in fact, a legitimate condition. Share a little knowledge and sport some Dysautonomia Awareness Style with the Gorillas Are Real clothing and product line!

Stronger When You Fall

acorn combo

We fall down. Sometimes we never make it ‘up’ to begin with! But we have created the Stronger When You Fall clothing and product line to remind us – and all POTSies – that sometimes falling down leaves you stronger in the end – NOT weaker. Just as an acorn must fall down to grow into the mighty oak, when we fall (or pass out, or black out, or never make it up to begin with…) the battle to never give up challenges us to grow ever stronger together. You’ve got this…

Owl Never Give Up

Owl ComboWe all have days when pulling the blankets over our head and wishing it would all just go away feels like our best option. The Owl Never Give Up clothing and product line was created to give you a little encouragement to keep going on days when it feels like too much. Take a good look at the worm the owl caught…it just might give you the little smile you need today.

We have more ideas that we are tossing around, so keep an eye out for more designs and options in the future. Awareness makes a difference. This month, which happens to be Dysautonomia Awareness Month, take some time to spread the word!

I went to a new patient visit with a local neurologist this week. I had very little hope that I would walk away with any benefit from the visit, and had every expectation of being treated like a person who needs anxiety medication instead of pain medication – or even better a ‘drug seeker.’ It happens. Usually it is due to lack of information and accurate understanding of Dysautonomia (and Ehlers-Danlos, which is my primary condition).

My new doctor actually knew about both conditions, believed me that I was in pain and needed help, treated me with respect and compassion, and sent me away with hope and a plan. Wow. I almost hugged him. He had been one of my last resorts, and while still clinging to the hope that he would be helpful – I had gone into the appointment ‘not holding my breath’ based on previous experience.

Thanks to someone teaching him accurate information- or providing information that he had cared enough to study at some point – he was able to help me.

Awareness is KEY and we can work together to get the word out. Maybe this month sharing a blog post, sporting some dysautonomia gear, or taking information to your local physicians and out in your community will be just what someone out there needs to be the difference for you or a fellow dysautonomia warrior.

We’ve got this. We can make the difference. What are you doing to spread the word? (Really – tell us! We want to know!!) 🙂

Top 25 Picks for Dysautonomia Gear

Ok, folks, after a good deal of scouring the internet and deep thought, here are our Top Picks for Dysautonomia Gear!

Some of these items are ‘awareness’ oriented, some have been chosen for their potential for personal inspiration (both blatant and subtle), some for functionality, and some for their role in funding research and support for the Dysautonomia community through a portion of the proceeds being donated to related organizations.

We’ll start out with the Top Picks for Awareness Gear in our specific special color – turquoise! While blue (and even red!) are being used for awareness of Dysautonomia, my personal favorite is turquoise, AND it is the ‘official’ color adopted by Dysautonomia International…so I’m going with it. 😉 

Rope Bracelets by WhatKnotShop on

rope bracelet combo

Tie one on for the Dysautonomia Foundation with this special custom beach teal blue one button rope bracelet.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these limited edition bracelets supports the Dysautonomia Foundation.

*Personal review coming soon! This artist is providing a sample of his work and we will let you know all about it as soon as possible. So excited! I would love for this to be a ‘thing’ in the Dysautonomia community. I love the color, it is gender neutral, and it’s casual and cool. How great would it be to see someone else wearing one and know that you aren’t alone out there?

Believe Dysautonomia Awareness Headband by FeistyFreckle on

believe headband

I love this for the younger Dysautonomia warriors out there among us. It is fresh and sweet, and can start a day off as a reminder that life isn’t over just because you are facing this illness. 🙂 We can believe in ourselves, others, and hope for a cure or treatment in the future!




Dysautonomia Awareness Bracelets by

bravelets combo

These bracelets are subtle and hip, while reminding you to ‘be brave’ and sport our fabulous turquoise!

When you purchase one of these bracelets, $10 will be donated to Dysautonomia – and you can choose to which organization (from the list of 6 great options) the money will go to!

Dysautonomia Nail Wraps by Heather & Jamberry on

jamberry nails

Since this is a custom wrap exclusively designed and printed by Heather Schurr for October’s 2014 Dysautonomia Awareness Month celebration, you will not see it on the main Jamberry website. In order to purchase these wraps and support Dysautonomia International, you must purchase a gift certificate from Heather for each sheet you wish to order, select Dysautonomia International at checkout, then email Heather at with your code(s). Heather will ship the product to you.

In celebration of Dysautonomia Awareness Month, available through the end of October 2014, 30% of the proceeds from every purchase made through Independent Jamberry Consultant Heather Schurr’s website (a fellow POTS/NCS patient) will be donated to Dysautonomia International.


Feeling Spoonie?

Check out these awesome spoon themed pieces. I found so many awesome spoon themed jewelry, that I will be posting a Top Picks specifically for them soon – but for now, here are my very favorites…

Living with Pots Necklace and Invisible Disibility Decal by TachyAshleyDesigns on

living with pots combo

This shop has several very cool items for Dysautonomia – this necklace is specifically for POTS, and I love it, but she has a variety of Dysautonomia items that are very stylish. I also like the decal, which makes a statement without being sarcastic, which can be useful in spreading awareness.

Spoon Bracelet by Aquamarine Crystal by Spoonfest Jewelry on

spoonfest bracelet, blue

This is not specifically for Dysautonomia, but the spoon theory connection and the aquamarine/blue crystal really jump out at me as an incredibly meaningful piece of jewelry for those of us with Dysautonomia. It would certainly inspire me to wear it!



Mens Spoon Rings by dremeWorks on

dremeworks mens rings

For those men out there with Dysautonomia who can relate to the spoon theory but can’t imagine (or find) a manly piece of spoon jewelry, this is it! I love the style of this artist and the masculinity of the designs he works with.





In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass Necklace by lglitterbugl on

In case of Emergency, break glass necklace

This necklace is actually for lupus/fibromyalgia but I have arranged with the artist to make a Dysautonomia specific piece by special order, if you contact her. It cracks me up, and I love the lighthearted take on the spoon theory. And you were probably diagnosed with fibro first anyway, right? 😉 I know I was!!

(This particular item has sold, but you can special order one.) 🙂



Subtle Support

If you are looking for something elegant and that supports Dysautonomia, while not being overtly “awareness” oriented, check out these lovely pieces which help to fund research and support Dysautonomia patients…

Familial Dysautonomia Awareness Bracelet by Etta Fainblatt on familialdysautonomia.orgfamilial dysautonomia bracelet

Etta Fainblatt, who lost her son to FD, has designed this beautiful bracelet
to help fund research for a cure for FD. Crystal and cobalt blue Swarovski beads, Sterling silver spacers, connector and an attractive boy and girl charm combine to create this stunning piece of jewelry can be had as a wrist or ankle bracelet.

Live and Let Live Bracelet by Catherine M. Zadeh on

live and let live gold-vert

Simple, stylish bracelets encouraging us to keep going, and reminding us to “live and let live” while helping to further research and treatment for Dysautonomia. (Yay!)

Proceeds from the sales of these bracelets will be used to fund FD research and treatment.
A tax-deductible receipt will be issued by the Dysautonomia Foundation for the proceeds
generated by the sale of the bracelets.



Pearls of Hope Set by CeCe Hillman on


The Pearls of Hope collection features stylish sterling silver pearl pendants, handmade by CeCe and her family.  Both pieces are available in traditional white pearl (pictured) or in baby pink pearl and the necklace is available on 16, 18 and 20 inch chains.
Proceeds from Pearls of Hope go to benefit Disautonomia Youth Network of America.


There are tons of shirts out there but these are the coolest, in my book. If you follow the links, you can check out all of the other styles as well!


Dysautonomia Cool Wings Hoodie on Cafe Press

Dysautonomia Hoodie on Cafe Press

Hope, Faith, Cure T Shirt on

Hope, Faith, Cure T Shirt on Zazzle

Drop it like it's POTS on zazzle

Drop it like it’s POTS on Zazzle

Dysautonomia Blue Ribbon T Shirt on Zazzle

Dysautonomia Blue Ribbon T Shirt on Zazzle


Men's Dysautonomia Awareness Hoodie

Men’s Dysautonomia Hoodie on Cafe Press

Dysautonomia Wings Men's T Shirt

Dysautonomia Wings Men’s T Shirt on Cafe Press

Invisible Illness t for men on zazzle

Invisible Illness t for men on Zazzle

Dysautonomia Wings Men's T Shirt on Zazzle

Dysautonomia Wings Men’s T Shirt on Zazzle

Chronically Fabulous Gear by FabulousByKat on

chronically fabulous combo pic

“Just because you are chronically ill, doesn’t mean you can’t be Chronically Fabulous.” Not specifically for Dysautonomia, but so cool I had to include it. 🙂





Useful Things

There are a number of items available that can be encouraging and practical while making a statement for Dysautonomia at the same time! Here are a few that I especially love…

For Hydration

I love the idea of having a dedicated water bottle to encourage ourselves while letting others know why we ALWAYS have water with us! A little awareness and personal reminder all at once…

I steered away from bottles that had to be twisted on and off to drink from them, but there are tons of options out there. These links will take you to the main pages where you can noodle about to pick your own favorites.

thermos combo


Thermos water bottles on Cafe Press

This is the type of water bottle I have for my daughter (but hers has Barbie on it) and it has been a very sturdy bottle. She is 5 and dropped and busted three other water bottles I bought at the same time, already!




igloo coolers combo

Igloo Insulated Coolers on Zazzle

Since we always need to stay hydrated and keep things like water and electrolyte drinks on hand at all times, I think these insulated coolers are perfect. The beverage dispensers come in 4 sizes from big to ginormous and the can coolers come in “12” and “24” can sizes…though not sure what that equates to in water bottles and Gatorade. 😉


For Motivation

We can all use a little reminder that we can keep going when it doesn’t feel like we can. Here are a few little reminders for the extra tough moments…

travel mugTravel Coffee Mug on Zazzle

Sometimes coffee is all that keeps us going (for those that can tolerate it, of course). I especially love this “Losing is not an option” mug because that’s pretty much why I drink coffee!




pin comboAwareness Pins on Zazzle

Need Flare? Here are 352 options for Dysautonomia awareness pins!





key chainStrong Key Chain on Zazzle

I’m not a burden, I am a human being. I’m not lazy, I am sick. I’m not complaining, I am explaining. I’m not helpless, I am STRONG.

I dig it.





hope matters magnet


Hope Matters Magnet on Zazzle

When all you can do is drag yourself to the fridge for some hydration or food, a little ray of hope might be just what you need to keep going…back to your chair. 😉





Never Give Up Pillow on Zazzle

We all know there are days (sometimes weeks) where getting vertical is just not an option. When hope feels like a distant memory, maybe snuggling up with this pillow can remind us that it isn’t over. There will always be another good day (or week!)  coming…eventually. 😉


JournalJournal on Zazzle

If you do happen to be stuck in bed, or just need to vent, perhaps reminding yourself that you “aren’t going down without a fight” and writing about it would help. 🙂


For the Service Dogs

There are a lot of Dysautonomia Service Dogs out there, and these accessories can add a little awareness to their style. There are several coordinating designs for collars, leashes, and tags, but these were my fav’s…

dog collar

Dysautonomia Ribbon Dog Collar on Zazzle




dog leash


Dysautonomia Dog Leash on Zazzle



dog id


Dysautonomia Dog ID Tag on Zazzle





Each Top Pick item or artist/shop has been chosen purely on their own merit and awesomeness rating. After each item was chosen, I contacted the artist/company to see if any special orders would be welcomed, if any discounts were possible (many were not because they already are donating proceeds, or other good reasons), if I could try out a sample to personally review for our readers, or if any commissions were possible if you guys decide to buy anything (hey – that’s still supporting Dysautonomia, bc I am a fellow patient!!). 😉

My choices were not affected in any way by the decisions and responses of the shop owners. but I have stated in each description which items may be special ordered/designed, offer discounts, support particular organizations, and/or any personal benefit I may have if you purchase a particular item. 🙂

Cafe Press and Zazzle items are affiliate links, and if you decide to purchase that item through the link on my site, I will be paid a commission. Through October 2014 (Dysautonomia Awareness Month), 50% of my commission will go to Dysautonomia International to help fund their research and work for our community. 🙂