8 Essential Items for a Chronic Pain and Illness Go Bag

My mom, wonderful and amazing woman that she is was the one who suggested that I get a bag and store everything in it. This way I'm always ready to go, no more scurrying around at the last minute trying to find things like my handicap placard or my wallet, medicine, and keys.

Saving time, making life simpler, and creating less decision fatigue.

While I resisted at first, mainly because I felt so overwhelmed with the majority of my crap, I mean stuff, it was super easy to put together after my capsule wardrobe clean out.

I now have a designated, and matching go bag for every season (except fall which I plan on sewing as soon as I find a pattern I like).

Spring Bags

Summer Bags

Fall Bags

I was so thankful I had my bag packed and prepped on a fateful morning. Some of #leohusband's and my friends came back into town for a quick visit after moving to Japan. We hadn't seen them in months. I was in such terrible pain that day which started halfway through brunch.

Luckily, I had everything I needed in my bag.

8 Essential Items for a Chronic Pain and Illness Go Bag

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1. Numbing Agents

I get where I don't go anywhere without extra Lidocaine patches in my bag. Sometimes the difference between a good day out and a bad day out start and end with my Lidocaine patches.

If I wore them the night before, I usually turn to a topical cooling cream as you have to have 12 hours on and 12 hours off for the Lidocaine. My current go-to is Young Living's Cool Azul

2. Cute Pill Box

In my cute pill box, a couple of NSAIDs, breakthrough pain medication and Glutamine, anti-nausea medication (just in case the breakthrough pain meds make me sick), activated charcoal, and a muscle relaxer.

The only hard part I have is remembering to refill the pill box when I've taken stuff during an emergency. I'm working on that.

3. Handicap Placard

This is essential for me to remember because sometimes I'm in my car which has the plates, but sometimes I'm out with a friend or family, and their car doesn't have my plates.

Handicap parking is a double-edged sword. I may feel normal, so I don't park in the reserved space. I've also been in a situation where I'm in a store, the pain turns on and then I'm literally hobbling out to the car, cursing myself for not parking in handicap. Other days it's a simple choice, I'm in pain I need the space.

The only thing that ticks me off is when I see someone with no plate or placard visible park in a handicap spot. Man if I were a cop...

4. Vintage Ice Bags

Having one of these is a must. I live for icing my nerve pain down, but I can't take my gel packs everywhere I go, enter the old school ice bags.

On trips, I fill these up with ice and water. I've never been charged for using vending, but I talk to the checkout people first.

If warm is more your thing, there's usually a hot water spout on the coffee machine of most fast food and convenience stores because these babies do hot water too!

5. Essential Oil Roll Ons

I keep a calming, invigorating, and pain relief blend in my bag. I never know what I'm going to need so they are all there ready to go.

I use calming if my anxiety kicks in with my pain state.  Sometimes if I'm skyrocketing from a 3 to an 8 in less than 5 minutes I will also get anxious.

Sharp As A Tack for when I'm with company and need to be social. I need a kick in the pants to be present and not shut down especially if I'm hosting.

Pain relief is self-explanatory. Even if it is something as simple as a headache, I want to nip that in the bud because I never know what will turn the nerve pain on.

I also like that it doubles as perfume, so at least you smell nice while feeling like crap. So there's that.

6.Bullet Journal

It's good to keep my journal on hand so I can document my pain flare. Sometimes journaling distracts me, especially if I'm waiting in line or at an office. It also keeps my affirmations on hand, as well as, my goals so I can focus to get through the moment or day.

7. Book or Kindle

For the same reason as above, a good book that I'm into will also help me through a situation where I'm stuck waiting or in a pain flare.

I usually bring my Kindle because it's practically weightless, there are a ton of good books that are free, you can check out books from your local library and download them to your Kindle.

If you want to buy, books on Kindle are usually less expensive. Plus, most libraries now let you check out books to Kindles!

Here are some of my favorite book picks for chronic pain:

8. Sweater or Jacket

My temperature regulator broke with my Adhesive Arachnoiditis. Sometimes I get much too cold or too hot depending on the situation. I always keep a sweater or jacket buried in my bag.

I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful and consider making a designated bag with all of your go-to items ready. Simplifying your life and creating less decision fatigue is so helpful even if you don't have chronic pain or illness.