The other day was our first drizzly and autumnal day in Sydney. I snuggled up in a coat, grabbed my umbrella, wore rain appropriate footwear (read: boring) and set off for work. Whilst waiting for a green light to cross the road my attention strayed to a young guy who was also waiting to cross. He had no umbrella, no jumper or jacket, no bag. He was simply transporting himself and (presumably) his wallet to his workplace. I was mystified. Did he not notice the rain and want an umbrella? Was he not chilly and in need of a jumper, or at the very least, thought he might need a jumper sometime that day? What was he going to do for snacks, for a headache, if his new shoes rubbed his feet the wrong way, his hands felt dry, he required some reading material, he needed a tissue or a drink of water, if his lips were chapped? Whilst I started to worry on his behalf he appeared entirely unconcerned about forging into his work day without the security of a ginormous handbag full of tricks to tackle any foreseeable situation. He was the city slicker equivalent of Bear Grylls. Truly, he was.
I, on the other hand, carry three bags to and from work each day. Yes, three. Look. I agree it’s a lot of stuff to carry around. It seems excessive. However, I have a use for every single thing. Well, maybe not the stray and crumpled receipts. Or three pens and two highlighters. Or Easter egg wrappers. But I digress. The rest of it serves important purposes. It has occurred to me that a number of the items I cart around wherever I go are because I have CF and/or am married to a person with CF.
Ventolin and Atrovent make daily appearances in my life. They are particularly helpful after sprinting for a train during my commute or before high pressure presentations at work when sufficient oxygen is required.
The scientific literature tells me that Ventolin and Atrovent are much more effective if taken through a spacer. So I carry one around and it’s not an inconveniently sized and shaped object at all!
I do rather like to eat at some point throughout the day so Creon is a must have accessory for me. Each Sunday I pour as many Creon as I can into a container and pray to all the gods that there are enough to see me through the coming week because the chance of me noticing I’m getting low and topping up is slim to none.
For all the times I have not noticed my Creon is getting low and dutifully topped up (i.e.: a weekly occurrence).
Lauren Rowe from Gifted Life unveiled her handbag contents and was a little more graphic than me about what happens if we don’t take the aforementioned Creon. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Tabs of sugary and fruity goodness for the moments when Dave or I are having an hypo. Dave has a stash. I have a stash. Our car has a stash. My iPhone running band has a big stash because halfway through a run is not the optimal time to completely deplete the sugar from my blood stream.
Have you ever had an irritating and tickly cough that you just can’t banish? Me too. After a virus I personify a walking-but-barely-talking-irritating-and-tickly-asthmatic cough. These lozenges get me through those days at work when I should actually be sick at home but my boss has guilted me into coming to work so as not to inconvenience her life.
Lancet, blood sugar level tester strips, glucometer, insulin and insulin needle
Nothing says “I love you” like carrying around your husband’s diabetic apparatus.
To see Dave through the tiny interval of time between Any Type of Snack 3.0 and Next Main Meal 1.0.
Random and loose pills
It could be anything. At the moment it is a loose Nexium (anti-reflux medication). I could swallow it or throw it out. Although I should probably choose option B I’m just going to leave it there because one day it might be the only one I have left and would make the difference between a good night sleep and the hell of heartburn.
The sweat of people with CF contains much more salt that people without CF. This means I dehydrate super quickly and become a cranky excuse of a human being. The solution for me is to take Hydralyte. My husband and co-workers appreciate it immensely.
Thanks to CF my bag contains a considerable number of extra objects to dig through for my keys while our dogs are going crazy on the other side of the front door.
What’s in yours?