Filling My Emergency Bag
The changing of the season brings on a whole new ball game. There is nasty weather coming as some of us know too well what this means. If you are in hurricane country you know that you must be ready to leave at a moment's notice. In any event, it is cold and flu season and this sometimes means a trip to the hospital where you will be staying for a few nights.
Could you tell someone what you need in your absence? Have a look around you as you stand now. What things are you unable to live without? A pre-packed emergency bag will keep it all in one place. I have had one for years and I redo it as my needs and medications change.
Medications and clothes
My pharmacist gives me a list of currents medications along with dosages including puffers. I update my list as my meds change. I also include a small book to use as a journal with a pen or pencil and have a book to read and a crossword puzzle in case of no power or electrical hook up.
Other than my personal underwear and a pair of slippers, it's not necessary to take lots of clothes. You may want a sweater or jacket to wear if you get cold and one pair of decent PJ’s. I pack a pair of used and comfortable ones or jogging pants and comfortable t-shirts, but in hospital, where it is often easier to wear the gowns provided, I include a few disposable laundry bags to separate dirty clothes.
Electronics and cosmetics
Electronics have a dual purpose of helping me to stay in touch with everyone, and keeping me entertained. Remember to pack extra charging cords for your phone and your tablet along with extension cords that are approved. I have them in one place along with an 8-hour charger, just in case. Keep a list of passwords on your phone by creating a NOTES section.
The cosmetics that I take in my to-go bag are packed in small containers. I buy them at a dollar store and fill from home. My cosmetic bag starts with dry shampoo; one of the best kept secrets out there and very cost-effective. A new toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste and a few inches of dental floss will go miles to make me feel human.
Don’t forget a small bottle of moisturizer for your face, some approved nasal gel and Q tips. When you are using 02, and as it’s often very dry in hospitals, your nasal passage gets dry and can start to bleed. I also have a small comb and nail clippers.
Fans, BiPap, and CPap
Fans are necessary for air circulation. I found one for under $10.00 that can clip on a table or a chair. Since I use several fans at home, I have become accustomed to the white noise. Good air circulation helps my breathing so having a fan will help me sleep better.
Have your BiPap or CPap case close to your suitcase, if you use one. Make sure you bring all the tubes, hoses and masks with you. The absence of a tube or hose can render the entire machine useless. Unless you are going to a medical facility, take as many canisters of oxygen as you can safely manage.
Take something that is special to you
When you leave your home in a hurricane or weather situation make sure you leave a note on your door indicating that you have 02 tanks and where they are stored, so firefighters will know what dangers they can pose.
Remember to take something that is special to you and although having a pillow and blanket is often a huge comfort, I take my teacup as it often brings me a little sense of home.
Has your COPD affected the way you celebrate the holidays?