I mentioned I carry a medical backpack. What’s in the bag helps me physically and emotionally.
The bag itself is not marked medical, its a black backpack with stuff that is needed. I carry my TENS unit in which fits nicely on the side so that I can hook myself up at a moments notice. I carry a few extra meds, a half bottle of water, and sample size personal hygiene products which are standard for this type of thing (rolls eyes). I carry an extra pair of under clothes with an extra pair of socks. I carry a small teddy bear, a small art pad with a few pencils and pens, my iPod and a cell phone. I mentioned sizes because the bag can’t be too heavy.
When I go in stores I’m never asked to have it checked or to leave it at the front of the desk. If that ever happens I’ll politely explain to them that its a medical bag and is needed. So far I’ve had no issues at all and I’ve been carrying this bag daily for months now. Besides, I’m usually walking with a cane and barely moving. I’m clearly no threat of snatch and dash. Also picture that I’m walking beside a 67 year old white woman who looks like Betty home maker with perfect hair. We are either the perfect crime team cover OR we will be on America’s Dumbest Criminals. It would be the latter. So, no one questions things. Perhaps they’re laughing at the odd couple. But this friendship works and I hope for a very, very long time.
Getting back to the contents of the bag. The most personal items are in their own zipped bag inside a part of the backpack that zips closed. Even if the bag spilled I wouldn’t be embarrassed. In other words, the contents are secured. I am a proud woman. Humiliation is not my friend. I want to know where things are and to access them easily but I also want them humiliation proofed.
At some point I’m going to get myself a folding cane because being the proud woman I am, I sometimes leave the cane at home and hobble along. It only takes a few minutes before I think to myself, dang me, I should have brought the cane.
I don’t resent the bag on my back. I don’t leave it in the car either because then I’d have to go get it if I needed something out of it. What’s inside needs to be with me. I need the iPod inside the store just to manage hypervigilance issues. I get over stimulated quickly and begin to switch personalities in the store. The iPod has been helpful in keeping me grounded ‘enough’ to finish what I need to do and get home. At this point its a medical need. I don’t leave without it.
If I need something inside the bag I go to the restroom to pull it out. This makes workers less nervous. The small side zipper has immediate needs. I like the way the bag was made because it lets me do what I need to do without too much suspicion. The bag is also with me during therapy, while doing my walk, and at services. It’s just a regular black backpack with three separate zipped compartments, two small mesh sides and one small zipped side. The shoulders are padded and so is the back. I paid a whole $25.00 for security and better piece of mind.