What’s in my bag? -Post-op Crohn’s Edition

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As a German, you get culturally conditioned to be prepared. We are a people of planners and what-iffers.  This can be debilitating, but it can also be empowering. In my case, it empowered me to leave the house after my surgeries, wound vac or not, trans-rectal drain or not. So, I packed my bag and went. Here are the absolute essentials that I have in that bag. Not

in-my-bag-contentseverything is Crohn’s-related, but still useful.

  • Sunglasses. Having lived in CA for so long, I still carry sunglasses with me wherever I go, which is silly in Portland, but who cares?
  • Protein bar. To expedite the wound healing, and to get weight back on my bones, I was recommended to consume at least 70g of protein every day. It’s effing hard if you are not a big meat eater (I’m not).
  • A towelette aka. a butt-wipe. The one here is actually thought for your vajay-jay, hence the name (“sweet spot”), but I like that they are individually packed and I don’t need to shlep and entire pack of baby wipes with me.
  • Eye-drops cause allergies and contact lenses. DSC_4234
  • random change, because I am lazy and have my wallet in my coat pocket.
  • body rinse spray- between the binder, all the different meds and being not exactly the fittest, I break out in sweats.Nobody likes to smell. I got this particular brand at the hospital, and I swear by it.
  • Hand-cream, lip-stick, chap-stick, pocket knife: Essentials a woman (ok, this one here) needs! (and if you care, the lipstick brand is bite, the chapstick is from bass farms, and the pocketknife is victorinox– what else?! I highly recommend all three!)
  • Wound-care 101: My surgery wound, once the vac was gone, had a good amount of drainage. On several occasions, I felt it become all warm and moist, and simply had to change the dressing. I did not want this to stop me from going out, so I put a packet of super-absorbent gauze, a pair of scissors, alcohol wipes, and aquacel silver strips and of course something to cover the whole shebang. Here I have an extra-thick band-aid, but in the past, I also had exu-dry pads there.
  • Finally: Ze drugs. The blue stuff is generic allergy medicine, because spring means pollen’s in the air. The green and the orange are prescription pain-killers of varying strength. I usually don’t take them when I am out and about, but, again, I like to be prepared.

DSC_4232Stuff that I sometimes have in my bag, but not on that day:

  • Lidocaine cream, for the “ring of fire”
  • Loperamide- my bff for years.
  • Water- I just carry a bottle with me wherever.

Aside from taking fun pictures of stuff, it’s just really important to me that you live your life, no matter what. Sure, you need to adapt, and the days where I just run out of the house are gone (aside from the fact that I hate running). But, with a few modifications and a little preparation, nothing can stop you. I want to know- what’s in your bag?

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