Hey there, cuties!
Despite all my physical limitations, I’m still a twenty-one year old college kid with things to do and places I want to go. While I accept and respect that my illness limits my abilities, I also know that letting that stop me from living my life would make it miserable. So I still go out and do the things I want to, like visit museums and going shopping.
All that said, I don’t like carrying a huge bag and more than that, I have a lot of shoulder and back pain, so carrying a heavy bag isn’t an option for me. Hell, I have to use a rolling backpack if I want to take my laptop with me to class.
So I’ve made up a list of essentials for when I go out and about– my essentials that fit in a small bag.
Generally even while I’m walking down the street I like to have my headphones on so that not cool humans who like to say inappropriate things to women don’t bother me. But the other big reason I
like having my headphones on me is so I can listen to podcasts while I walk to distract from the pain. Generally I use my either my AirPods or my Beats Solo wireless in the rose gold color, which are amazing and came with my laptop (score!). I love using bluetooth headphones because with how irritable I can be earbud wires are the last thing I need. If those aren’t charged, however, I’ll take my Happy Plugs earbuds (I have the white marble in-ear kind and I love them– doesn’t look like they sell these anymore, though).
I carry an over the counter pain killer and anti-inflamatory with me in case I get hit by pain while I’m out. Too much walking can make my lower back and hips hurt, even if I take breaks every fifteen minutes (which I do). Carrying too heavy a bag can make my shoulders or upper back hurt, leading to needing pain killers. Or my neck can hurt after a while of being a human, especially if I have to look up a lot, leading to needing pain killers. Basically, being alive often makes me need pain killers.
I wear my apple watch to track a few things, but mostly my physical activity and how much time I walk during the day. Part of my treatment plan is making sure I exercise every day, and if I walk enough during the day I count that as my activity. Another feature I take advantage of is the “My Water” app, which I can update from my watch. Sometimes if I know I’ll be out and about for a while I use it to make sure I take enough breaks by setting a timer. The other feature I take advantage of a lot is the “Breathe” function which leads you through deep breathing using the haptics and a little cloud, which comes in handy when I feel nauseated or anxious. One of my goals when I get back from winter break is to do better about wearing it every day.
Something Un-Electronic to Do (If Possible)
If possible, I’ll carry a book, puzzle book, or other physical thing I can bring with me to do when I take breaks or if I’m in too much pain so that I don’t have to worry about my phone dying. If I’m going to be out for a while, I’ll bring a portable charger but if my bag is small or I’m not terribly worried about my phone dying then I’ll leave the charger at home. Personally I like sudoku and word puzzles.
If I’m not wearing my glasses that day, I’ll usually pack them in their case in my purse if they fit. Luckily the case is lightweight. Sometimes as the day goes on and I get more tired, my eyesight gets a little worse and things get blurry. I also like to wear my glasses when my head starts to hurt because it takes away some of the eye strain.
BONUS: Lip Balm/Gloss
No matter how much I drink, I do find myself pretty dehydrated and my lips are the first thing to show signs of that. My current favorite the Fresh Sugar Lip Balms. I also love the Clinique Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm, especially the cherry color.
What do you have to have when you leave the house, for your illness or just in general? I’m always interested in hearing about what other people carry to get ideas.