Fibro Emergency Go-bag. Fibro Awareness
In my youth I was a boy scout. I enjoyed the camping and activities but I didn’t advance very far in rank. I did learn something that has stayed with me ever since, it was the concept of being prepared. When you have fibromyalgia or other chronic invisible diseases, you are limited to what you can do. But there are times when you must act, no mater had badly you feel. There are times when, in an emergency, you have to pick yourself up and go and do. You have no choice. I realized that in spite of my poor health, the world didn’t stop for me. There were times I had to get up and go tend to an emergency. It took a few ER visits to learn this valuable idea. The idea is a fibro emergency go-bag. There is nothing like a five-hour ER visit with uncomfortable surroundings and furniture to make your chronic pain worse. The go-bag is a back pack or big purse that has things in it that you can grab in a hurry and go. The idea is, that the list is checked off and the items are in your bag ready to go in an emergency. I’ve had many opportunities and countless hours to refine this idea. It’s been tested and I am grateful that I had it. I’ve been through about 15-20 ER visits with my daughter and her pseudo tumor cerebri and about12 surgeries. My wife has had cancer twice and countless procedures, chemo, radiation etc. I’ve even used the bag for my own doctor visits. It’s all prepared and ready to go. I don’t know how long a new doctor will take so I go prepared. Grab the go-bag and I’m ready. So I got a back pack and filled it with various things. I usually over prepared my bag and it got a little heavy but I was never bored again. Besides activities I realized the need for some comfort items as well. I made a list from my experience of things that have proven to be helpful. It is modified for women as well. 1. Extra Cell Phone Battery 2. Cell Phone Charger 3. Two day’s worth of all your meds 4. Earphones for your cell phone 5. Book(s) to read 6. A notepad 7. Pen or pencil 8. Med. List 9. Medical History 10. Scriptures 11. Food, at least enough to take your meds. Protein bars or energy bars 12. Bottled water 13. Cards or some other small game 14. Emergency money other than what you have in your wallet. 15. Small comfy pillow 16. A small blanket 17. Pair of comfy socks 18. Tens Unit 19. Heating Pad 20. Reading Glasses 21. Personal female items 22. A few DVD’s These items are only designed for bear minimal comfort and emergency medical items like your meds. The idea isn’t to take your bedroom with you but just enough to make a seven-hour ER visit as pleasant as it can be with fibromyalgia. In my case I’ve used it for many ER visits and I’ve used it for when I would have to wait up at 4:00 a.m. to get my daughter to surgery by 5:00 a.m. I didn’t have to do anything but get dressed and grab my bag. I have my pills and some food already in the bag. I can take my meds on schedule regardless of what the Café hours at the hospital are. This go-bag has helped a lot. Several times when we went in for early morning surgeries, we would not return home until ten or eleven at night. That bag made a big difference. I will explain my logic for these items. As you read this article make a note of what sounds right for you. If there are things you think of that I have not mentioned then write them down in your notes and leave a comment for me. Others may like your ideas as well. Item’s four through ten can be found on a smart phone which makes items one and two very important. An extra cell phone battery can be a life saver for a smart phone. You don’t always have access to a wall outlet to keep your battery fresh. So if you run the battery down then add the spare battery. Whenever possible, keep your cell phone charged. I like having two days worth of essential medications because I wonder, what if I have to spend the night at the hospital? I want to be prepared. Or what if your emergency is in bad weather and you get stranded over night. It sounds paranoid but with fibro pain you cannot afford to take matters lightly. Ear phones are important because you can’t play your itunes in front of a bunch of strangers. Music can be soothing when you’re stressed so don’t be stuck with a great play list and no way to easily listen to it. A smart phone can enable you to read ebooks and scriptures, listen to music and watch streaming videos. But if you get bored or get eye strain with the digital screen then a traditional book may be a welcome change of pace. The idea here is to keep your mind off of uncomfortable situations and hopefully help manage pain by not dwelling on it. A notepad and pencil might be nice to have to keep notes about what’s going on. There are many good reasons for these two items in your fibro bag. However, a smart phone can serve that purpose as well. Why would you need a med. list and medical history if you are responding to someone else’s emergency? You never know. When you’re in a lot of stress things can happen. Med. lists and medical histories are something you should have with you whenever you go, anywhere, all the time, just in case. I like having scriptures with me because when I am in a stressful situation like and ER visit or waiting for an operation, I find it comforting to read some from the scriptures. This could also be on your smart phone. You’re not going for a hike but I found it good to have a little food and water in case I was in an awkward situation and needed to take my meds. I have a few protein bars and one or two bottles of water. I also like having a few dollars in my go-bag in case I don’t have any in my wallet. Vending machines around here don’t always take a debit card. Items 16-19 are items for comfort like a special pillow you may like, a soft pair of socks are nice if you need to sleep during the day. A soft familiar blanket helps to make you feel at home or more relaxed. A tens unit and heating pad have saved me more than once. If I have a flare up, which is common in stressful situations, there is nothing better than my heating pad. None of the reading material and none of the non telephone aspect of your smart phone will do much good if you need reading glasses and don’t have them. It took a while to think of DVD’s That item may or may not be a good idea for you. For me, it was a good idea because most of the hospitals around here have TV’s and DVD players. Sometimes you need something else besides reading to relax. It’s not on the list, but making a reminder note and putting it somewhere obvious in your go-bag is a good idea. This note should be a reminder to get up and move around at least once an hour. Move, walk and stretch every hour as needed to reduce stiffness and getting more sore. Troy Wagstaff © Copyright, All rights reserved.