A friend of mine suggested I write a post about this and I live to please but really not sure how many good ones I can come up with. Eh, should be fun. Life hacks and good products for spoonies in no particular order:
- Invest in non-bathing bathing supplies
- dry shampoo: greasy hair is gross, showering is an olympic sport sometimes and this stuff is the bomb.com. I recommend this brand. Also super great if you're in the hospital and don't want to wrap IVs etc
- wipes: same purpose but for the rest of your body. Also nice to get ones with aloe so you don't become all dried up. I like these.
2. Keep a to go back stocked in your room/car in case of apocalypse or other unexpected events.
|basically if you don't look like this you|
aren't doing it right
- change of clothes with warm layered option (don't forget extra underwear)
- extra day of meds
- snack if you eat food
- KT tape and medical tape
- eye mask for sleeping/blocking light
- long phone charging cord or cord with power bank thingy (can never reach outlets in ERs)
- carabiners, duct tape and zip ties (1000 uses)
- first aid kit
3. Glass water bottles
- this is kind of a weird one but especially for POTSies, who basically need to constantly drink water to survive, this is a good one
- why: easier to clean, better for putting ice in, won't give you cancer or whatever BPA does to you, durable, taste better
- also recommend getting one with a straw, easier to sip if not upright, and don't spill as much if you're a spazz
- This is the one I have an LOVE! I've dropped it hundreds of times and the straw doesn't require a lot of mouth strength to drink out of (#edsprobs)
- Pillpack is a mail order pharmacy that pre sorts and packages all your medications and supplements and ships them directly to you. I have been using them for about a year now and love it!
- they call your docs for refills for you
- they accept most major insurance companies
- pay the same copays as you would for CVS, Walgreens, Safeway etc and that is it
- great customer support and online portal
- billing options for credit card automatic/not, FSA/HSA etc
- medication remind app
- don't have to spend time sorting meds (or wrongfully doing so)
- they do my supplements as well as RX
5. Medical alert bracelets/information
- I have spent many years searching for the right type and run into the same dilemma often: classic medical alert (chain and metal with star of life) is recognized but limiting due to allergies, lack of engraving space, or constant changing information vs classier ID or EMR (electronic record) system might not be recognized by EMS.
- NOTE: after many talks with EMS friends countless have said they're only trained to look at wrists for IDs
- I have implemented a somewhat overkill system but I think its finally working:
- I use the MyID system for my EMR/bracelet/wallet card. It can be accessed by anyone with a QR reader, smartphone, computer, or phone. It is paired with an app/website portal that can be updated whenever and offers options to upload files, notify emergency contacts, write explanations of your rare and weird medical conditions and much more. I have found that of all the solutions for bracelets I have tried (flashdrive, traditional, wallet card, necklace), this works best. I also have a MyID wallet card in my wallet, and stickers on my phone case and school ID (like I said, overkill is best)
- I have this one personalized and on the front is has
"Medical Alert/ Julie LASTNAME/ "see back ICE for info"
- Back has the access info, QR code, ID and PIN
- I also have 3 silicone wristbands that give quick information on the same wrist. I do this because those are important for quick access, they draw attention to the other bracelet, and they paint the picture that I have multiple issues and they should definitely look at my EMR
- "MAST CELL DISEASE/ I CARRY AN EPI PEN"
- "LONG QT SYNDROME/ SADS AWARENESS"
- "MEDICAL ALERT/ EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME"
- BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! At school, I also have a folder taped in plain sight on my dresser next to my bed labelled "EMERGENCY INFO" (useful for EMS, often gets passed to nurses too)
- In it I have a copy of my
- MYID info
- drivers license
- insurance card
- any wishes in regards to my care
- communication instructions (since if EMS are there I often can't communicate well verbally
6. Mobility devices ≠ giving up ≠ bad
- I started off using a cane, which I got from a drugstore, standing in line behind an 80 something year old man buying a cane and wanted to qualify my purchase with something like: "its a birthday present for my grandma...?". It was one of the first times my disability became frequently visible and took a while before I got used to people's questions, judgements, and my own stigma associated with it. But the cane wasn't good for me so I moved to forearm smart crutches which people just assumed I had sprained my ankle or something and left me alone. I hobbled on those for about a year before my shoulders gave out. Then I got my rollator which I like too, but is still hard on my body. For me, transitioning to being a part-time wheelchair user was not very hard. It gave me more independence, less pain, got me places faster, and allowed me more options for bad days. It isn't all magical though, people still judge or make comments, and there are still plenty of times I would rather just be able to walk or not have to worry about accessibility.
- Most important lesson I learned in that journey was that I needed to do what I needed for my body, lifestyle, and pain levels. I'm not going to lie and say I don't care what people think or that I'm somehow above it all, but for me the independence and assistance my chair allows me if definitely worth it.