Since Laura’s transplant, if we ever feel the desire to travel for even a half a day, we have a good amount of medications in tow.
Thankfully, the amount of medications that she takes has gone down considerably since we got home in February. Initially, she was on a whopping 14 different meds given every 2 hours day and night with the exception of 04:00 and 16:00. Since then, the number has reduced to 6 meds given at 4 med times during the day – none through the night at all. This has really helped but even 6 meds can cause havoc when trying to pack for an outing.
Even with 6 meds, we have to pack the following in her med bag:
- the med bottles – 6 of them
- syringes – 1ml and 3ml – numerous
- pill cutter – for her magnesium tablet
- ice for her refrigerated medication
- All ‘just in case’ meds (tylenol, benydryl (she has a couple mystery allergies), saline drops, polysporin eye drops (at one point she had conjunctivitis a bunch)
- items to clean out a wound properly should one occur (gloves, gauze, bandaids, sterile water, alcohol swabs, surgical mask) – this is because she can get infections much easier due to her immune-suppression.
Here’s how we used to pack for a trip:
It worked. I’m not saying that it didn’t…if you take meds or have ever given them, though, you know how OCD you become. This really wasn’t cutting it for me anymore and I was trying to find a solution when I found this gem at Stokes:
I saw this picnic backpack and knew that it was just what I needed to solve my needs! Here’s how I altered the backpack to make it work perfectly for what we needed:
Step 1: Remove all picnic accessories.
Step 2: Sew in a ziploc freezer bag on the side that used to hold the plates.
To sew it in you just open the bag and sew the far side of the bag on – you’ll want to use a freezer bag rather than a sandwich bag because they’re thicker. You’ll only want to sew through the one layer of fabric so you’re stitches don’t show through on the outside of the bag so just keep your needle nice and shallow – I suggest a thimble unless you want bleeding fingers!
Once it was sewn on I put in all my “just in case” meds and accessories and closed the velcro to hold it neatly in place.
Step 3: Measure out how big of spaces you need for your meds where the cups used to be and sew new seams.
I chose to keep all the original seams and add new ones on top of that- it gave me itty bitty spots that were perfect for smaller things that needed to be in the bag.
notice how in some of the smaller spots I was able to perfectly place her vitamin D, toothbrush and thermometer. I made the spots pretty tight so that the meds don’t move around while they’re in there.
Step 4: Sew a small freezer bag above meds for syringes
I didn’t have the right size of bag so I used a bigger freezer bag, cut it halfway down to be the right length and closed the bottom with packing tape. Be careful that you only go through this one layer of fabric!!! There is a thermal compartment right behind it and you don’t want to damage it!
Step 5: Add refrigerated meds and ice pack to the back, thermal compartment
I LOVE the new med bag! It is so much more organized and all of Laura’s meds are easy to see and access when we’re travelling. Everything has a place and it’s easier for me to feel at ease that I have remembered to pack everything. Here is the final product: