Packing for Uni Chronic Illness Style

1 September 2014

Trying to remember everything is a nightmare. You can guarantee I will forget something every year. First year I forgot sharp knives, chopping board, cheese grater and a colander so I couldn't even drain my pasta. Luckily I joined forces with one of my flatmates and we combined our kitchen utensils and we were fully prepared. With a chronic illness it's a bit trickier as there is so many vital things to remember.

- MEDS and a Prescription list. Most important. Remember all of your meds. Also I would suggest you get 2 months worth just in case you can't get an appointment at your new Drs to set up your repeat straight away.

- Join a new Drs surgery. Not so much packing but remember to find a new Drs. No matter how much we hope us chronic illness warriors will end up in the Drs a lot plus we need our prescriptions.

- Supports & splints. I forgot my knee splint in my first year and after a bad dislocation and a night out on it because I didn't want to miss a party I had to head to A&E for a 4hr wait with a hangover to get strapped up with a new one. Plus point the fracture clinic Dr was gorgeous.

- Mobility Aids. Walking stick, crutches, wheelchair, buggy, walking frame etc plus any chargers. Pretty obvious but I nearly forgot my wheelchair wheels once because I am an idiot

- Electric Tin Opener and anything else that helps make life easier like straws (makes you popular at parties), sippy cups, adapted cutlery etc. This is a very loved gadget in our kitchen once everyone works out how to use it that is. I cannot use normal tin openers with my crappy hands and normally I could ask family but this makes life so much easier.

- Ice Packs/Hot water bottle. Can't live without either of these. I forgot my ice packs one year and I had to use ice lollies (we didn't have frozen peas) and believe me they are not the same.

- Grab Handle. If you don't have an accessible shower you may find a removable grab handle handy

- Cushions. Pack all the cushions. I think I have a total of 8 on my bed at the moment. They are great for propping yourself up and taking into the kitchen to make the very uncomfortable chairs more bearable.

- Comfy clothes. As a student it is perfectly acceptable to spend the majority of your life in a onesie and as a student with chronic illness normal clothes are never expected. Most of my flatmates are back in pjs or at least trackies within 10 mins of getting back in. One of my flatmates spends most of his life wrapped in a blanket and I spend my life in my pjs.

- Easy food. Obviously youre not going to have your parents to cook for you when you feel like death so make sure you have easy food to hand. I like to have porridge sachets or frozen mash handy.

- Favourite DVDs. Great to chuck on when you feel like crap but you can also involve your flatmates. We have so many film nights. All curled up on my bed with my billion cushions watching a film.

- Slippers. I never go in the kitchen without my slippers. The floor is cold and usually not that clean plus it eats socks. It is an evil floor. So many tights & socks have been killed by our floor

- First Aid Kit. I still need to get one of these. I keep saying I will and the most we have now is burns gel and monkey plasters. Everyone in our kitchen seems to burn themselves and plasters with monkeys on are obviously an essential.

- Dry Shampoo, This is a staple in my life anyway but don't forget the dry shampoo. Showers are exhausting

- Sensible shoes. Going out does happen and although you will be tempted to wear your gorgeous heels your feet and legs will die and you will regret it so just use it as an excuse to buy all the prettiest comfiest shoes you can find

- Ear Plugs. If you have noise sensitivity issues I would recommend ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones as some night can be a bit noisy. Halls aren't loud constantly but there are some nights with parties or elephants/kangaroos living above you (pretty sure a herd of elephants had races above me last year) that you just don't need when you're in a flare.

Thats all I can think of for now but if I think of anything else I'll do another post. Uni is an amazing experience and I hope anyone going has an awesome time.

You can see my post about moving in here and if you have any questions or want a post on another aspect of uni with a chronic illness leave a comment or email me at mermaidindisguise@outlook.com

Beth...x

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