SMA News Forums Forums Assistive Technology How do you stay warm in winter?


  • How do you stay warm in winter?

    Posted by micaela-macdougall on November 28, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve now officially reached the point where I can’t wear any layers except a single thin sleeve, or else it’s too hard for me to move my right arm. But that makes my right arm super cold. (I don’t really use my left arm, so I just keep a blanket over it.) I’m experimenting with a space heater, but can’t quite position it to warm my arm without blocking my path to and from my desk. I’m considering a tiny tabletop heater, but I’m worried that would damage my laptop. Any ideas?

    micaela-macdougall replied 7 months, 2 weeks ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • robert-stump

    November 28, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Have you ever tried one of the radiant big round disk heaters? They glow very brightly, which is annoying, but they are fabulous at heating just you up and not really the surroundings. They can be positioned 2 feet away or further and you can still really feel the heat coming your direction since they don’t have to blow air on you. They are also more energy efficient and some come with infrared remote controls. My favorite brand discontinued their version, unfortunately, but I loved it because it was on a tall stand so it was just the right height to hit my driving hand while I am sitting at the desk. Here is one that will work on a smart switch:

  • deann-r

    November 29, 2023 at 9:41 am

    I purchased this <font color=”#00848e”>smart heater from Amazon on sale thinking I could use it like you’re describing and it’s compatible to use with Alexa. When I got it all the warnings say keep 3ft away from everything, so I’m afraid to use it. I have used a heated mouse before and a heated mouse pad cover that help when I’m using the computer. They’re usb plug in. The mouse is on the larger side, so not my favorite. I do like my rechargeable hand warmers though. Brand does make a difference. Couldn’t resist these cute Avacado ones. They’re fine but only hold a charge for an hour or so unlike my Ocoopa that last for hours. I’ve been known to shove a Hot Hands up my sleeve on occasion as well. Not for your arms but I love my Warmies microwavable slippers. Does your chair have a USB plug? They make various USB heated products you could look into as well. If you can’t tell I’m not a fan of being cold.</font>

    • micaela-macdougall

      November 29, 2023 at 2:06 pm

      So many great suggestions, thanks! I don’t think my chair has a usb plug, but I’ll check.

  • alyssa-silva

    November 29, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    Hey Micaela. I know you have to wear thin layers to keep your arms mobile. I have the same problem and actually just wrote a column about it. But would a vest work since they’re sleeveless? They have heated ones on Amazon like this one. Not sure if that would work.

  • Pat

    December 1, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Hi- am writing in response to your thoughts on keeping warm- here in our cold New England house we wear what we call “magic shirts” (and pants) under our clothing-which are actually Heattech underwear from UniClo. They are amazing, light weight, and warm. There are also Heattech Ultra Warm shirts ( and they make pants too, like long underwear) which are soft, slightly fuzzy, light, and VERY warm. Look at

    Hope this helps! Also, you could cut off the back of a Heattech shirt and put the front of the shirt only over your front and arms- it does not take up any space.

    Pat Kane, grandmother of SMA twins

  • mark-pratt

    December 3, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    I have a large heated pad that fits under my keyboard and mouse and keeps the whole area very warm. The on/off switch works with the lightest touch, it has 3 settings, but be careful it can get very hot, I only use it on low

  • micaela-macdougall

    December 4, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks, everyone, for so many good suggestions! I’m sure I can figure out a good strategy from this list.

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