bag filled with essentials

What's In Your Bag?

#WhatsInYourBag has become a popular segment in the worlds of technology, fashion, beauty and more. Websites and social media photos show a high-end tech blogger or beauty expert as they dump out their purse or bag to reveal and discuss their daily "must haves." Of course, their "must haves" for a day typically include expensive gadgets, makeup or accessories. Which made us wonder, what about the chronic illness bag? I bet individuals with IBD would have a very different list of "must haves" when dumping our their bag of daily necessities.

So we asked our advocates to share what's in their bags. What do they carry with them on a regular basis? Some of the items are rather obvious, some items are very personal, but all the items craft a picture of life with IBD:

What's in Luke's Bag?

In here are my wallet, glasses case, a pen (to do crosswords with), a comb, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, some glasses cleaning wipes and a whole bunch of ostomy-related stuff - ostomy bags, Eakin seals, Chux (these are the kitchen cloths I use to clean around my stoma), a towel and some little plastic bags - I think these are dog poop bags? - and also a free sample I got from the last ostomy meeting I attended, in this case some little pellets you put in your bag to firm up your stool so you can sleep soundly through the night (didn't work for me). Plus a bunch of drugs, which include painkillers, cold and flu tablets, Gastrostop (when I need to slow things down) and a hayfever tablet.

What's in Shawntel's Bag?

So this is what happened when I dumped out my bag:

  • I have a blue pouch full of makeup I rarely use.
  • A wallet so I view all of my bills on the go!
  • A baby rag because you never know when someone will have an accident!
  • Some headphones
  • Cinnamon icebreakers because I’m not myself when I’m hungry
  • An entire stick of deodorant because I get a lil hot sometimes.
  • A hair bow and brush because I’m a girl
  • A lil black thing to hold a watch I never use
  • A bunch of cards
  • Some pain killers because I have IBD!
  • I’m truly embarrassed of how many pads I carry on a daily basis
  • A 2fl oz thing of sanitizer because why not?
  • A chapstick because chapstick is life.
  • A pen
  • A ziplock back with another bottle of sanitizer just Incase I lose the first one!
  • A chocolate because I feel faint when my sugar is low
  • A thing of drip drop because a girl has to stay hydrated!
  • And a sharpie because you never know when in life you’re going to need a sharpie.
  • I have another lil storage / carry thing with a pack of gum, some allergy meds, a pulse ox monitor, a lil pink thing with my phone charger and a camera and camera charger because I’m a blogger toooo!

What's in Natalie's Bag?

Here are the items I don't leave home without:

  • Sunglasses
  • Gum
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Extra strength tylenol
  • Tylenol with codeine
  • Lipstick
  • Face blotters
  • A prayer card from my YiaYia's (greek for Grandma), funeral
  • A hair tie

What's in Stephanie's Bag?

At this point in my life, everything in my bag is pretty much mom-focused and doesn't have much to do with IBD, but here it is:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Wallet
  • Sunglasses/case
  • Change of baby clothes
  • Wash cloth
  • Pacifier
  • Snacks (There were actually 5!)
  • Cough drops
  • Lip gloss and chapstick
  • Pencil
  • Nail file
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand lotion

Just like inflammatory bowel disease, no two people will have the same bag of must-haves. Of course our bags are not always the same as time goes by. Our lives change, just like the seasons, and bring new challenges and needs for preparation. How about you? What's in your bag? What items do you carry on you at all times?

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