17 Things you Need in a Chronic Pain and Illness Flare Up Survival Kit

Pain Flares. Migraines. Chemotherapy Sickness

No one likes them and no one wants them.  Sometimes you can distract yourself, sometimes you are just in survival mode until it passes.

What to do?

Chronic Pain and Illness Flare Ups: You Need a Survival Kit!

I have a pain flare box.  It's my survival kit.  I have it stocked with items to distract me, help me, and comfort me.

It's located right next to the downstairs sofa for convenience.  I have to pass by the fridge to get to it, so I pick up my gel ice packs on the way.

So what's in my kit?

17 Things you Need in a Chronic Pain and Illness Flare Up Survival Kit

1. Break though pain medicine

If you don't have kids or pets that would get into it, I recommend getting a small pill pack and putting a few of your medicines in each slot.

2. Several snacks that I can eat to take it

If you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a Paleo and Whole30 freakazoid.  I have Nick's Sticks, Larabars, Epic Bars, and RX bars in my kit so I can stay true to my healthy eating.  I'm working on a Paleo 'Saltine' recipe when it is ready, I will let you know.
If I didn't have an apple obsessed golden retriever, those would be in there too.

Taking l-glutamine in conjunction with your pain medicine helps leaky gut and builds the body’s natural pain reliever[s] (Tennant, 2017, Arachnoiditis Handbook for Relief, pg. 4, 16)
  • Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair.
  • Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage.
  • Is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and decreases muscle wasting.
4. Nausea medication

5. Muscle relaxer

6. Bottles of water

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!  I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking water during a pain flare. You need to get your cells moving and flush your body.

7. Contact solution, case, and sleeping mask

Sleeping masks are amazing. It really shuts out the light, letting your body's natural melatonin work.  Also helps to make it easier to take a nap during day time.

There are several kinds out there but this is the highest rated one on Amazon so it must be good. It comes in a three pack.  Keep one in the bedroom and one by the couch.  Last one is clean so you can rotate them in and out.
8. Heating pad

I know that this seems counter-intuitive since I said I was getting ice packs on the way to my couch.

Well, my nerve pain extends from my lumbar spine to my hip and down my legs. However, during a flare I tense up, usually leaving me with a tension headache after the pain flare has left.

I wrap this little beauty nice and snug around my neck and shoulders. Plus, during the winter, it is not super pleasant to have ice packs shoved down your pants.

9. Soft, fuzzy socks

My go to pair died I wore them so much, they were a spa aloe Dr. Scholl's sock. Soft and warm, I swear angels made these. I couldn't find the aloe ones but did find this shea butter pair. Sounds like a little slice of heaven in a pain filled day. I can't wait to get a new pair.
10. Coloring book and markers

Sometimes coloring is nice if I can really get into it. I have a lapdesk stashed under the couch. I recently got into a motivational sayings coloring book.  I'm switching it up from my Harry Potter one.  To each his own.  There are some marvelous books out there from Game of Thrones to Swear Words.
11. Sleep headphones

SleepPhones you can truly, actually sleep in. I love these. Flat speakers inside a soft, fleece headband. YAAAAS!

12. One of my favorite books

Right now I'm super into the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas.  There are several books in the series. #leohusband got the first book for me Christmas 2016 and I've been hooked ever since. I feel like I would describe them as Assassins Creed meets Harry Potter meets Game of Thones.

13. Obi ice wrap

I made this myself and I will be putting up directions, as one of my weekend warrior projects, and links to get one if you are not down with the skills of sewing.

I love it. It fits the Large Ace Bandage Gel Ice Pack and ties to anywhere on your body.

14. Soft headband

Sometimes you just want your hair out of your face.  I did cut all my hair off once I realized that my nerve pain was going to be permanent. It is a long pixie though, so I still feel the need sometimes to get it off my forehead.

15. Essential oils

Young Living's Cool Azul is my hands down go to. I rub it directly on the area of pain.

I can't ever have heat on my nerve pain. It makes the neuro-inflammation so much worse. Cool Azul is the only rub I've used that doesn't heat up after cooling. It stays cool. I love that.
16. Peppermint chap-stick

I just find that peppermint really helps to calm nausea down. I also know that medicines can really dry your skin out (again, hydrate!) so I like to keep my lips from cracking.

17. Comforting scented lotion

You want to put the most delicious smelling lotion you have ever breathed in your survival kit.  Smell plays a huge part in your brain receptors.  Get something that will make you relax and hopefully soothe you.

Why not perfume or essential oils? 

Perfume has alcohols in them, not to mention they can be overpowering and will contribute to drying out your skin, again, it's a side effect of a medication.

Even though I love them, essential oils always stand a chance of irritating your skin, or worse, your eyes.

Trust me, the last thing you want to do is rub your rollerball essential oil blend on your temples and it gets in your eye. Now you're in pain and your eye is stinging like crazy.

Not that I've done that.

OK, so I have.

In my defense, and why I really don't recommend them, pain flares tend to put you into a panic zone and you may be a tad bit overzealous in rolling that on your forehead...my go to is Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Lotion