I have always been a planner. I am usually prepared for almost every situation I’m in or at least I try to be. Having a chronic illness changed what I carry with me. My bag is now packed full of “just in case” items. Since we’re in quarantine, it’s the perfect time to stock up and fill your bag. That way, when quarantine is over, you won’t have to give it another thought. Here are the essentials I carry with me…
- My Medications
This is a no brainer but believe it or not, this was not always on my list. I used to carry only the amount of medications I needed and not my full medication bag. It’s pretty big and clunky. After a couple of hospitalizations that left me without my home meds, it became a common practice.
- Hand Warmers
I keep these with me for my Raynauds. As I’m writing this my fingertips are going numb. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is or what I’m wearing. It’s a good way to warm up quickly and get sensation back. Otherwise, it goes from my fingertips to my fingers, from my fingers to my hands, and so on.
- A Snack
With my dysautonomia, my blood sugar can have some issues with regulation. I try to always keep a snack on me so I don’t drop too low. Often, the effects of not eating are significant and the times I am left without a snack become a problem. It’s easy to keep a protein bar with me, the challenge is remembering to put a new one in after I eat the last one!
Liquid IV packets are convenient to carry around in a bag. They’re small and condensed but work efficiently. I try to always keep an empty water bottle with me as well but that’s more difficult to remember. I keep these packets everywhere. Like the snacks, I have to use them often and the difficultly is remembering to restock
This is good for both anxiety and nausea. When I’m anxious, it helps to chew something. When I’m nauseous the mint flavor helps to calm that down. It’s not a full-proof plan, often I need Zofran but it’s a good back up.
- Phone Chargers
I have gotten stuck at the hospital so many times without a charger. I’ve been stuck in a lot of places because of chronic illness without a phone charger. It’s a good practice for anyone but especially in our case.
- A Mini Notebook
This may seem tedious. There have been times I need to record symptoms or a doctor’s phone number and I don’t have anything to write it down on. When I’m recording symptoms on the notes on my phone they get lost. This notebook is a way to condense information and always know where it is.
None of these are rocket science but some of the simplest things are difficult to think of. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error with my bag and what to carry in it. There were times when I was living abroad that I had to walk thirty minutes, back to my apartment, to get the medications that I forgot. I’ve had my arms and legs turn completely purple from my Raynauds. I can list a lot of stories that have gotten me to these items. Let me know if you carry any of these. Leave a comment if I left something out! As always, I hope your day is full of positivity and gratitude.