When you live with chronic illness, you know that there are going to be good days, and there are going to be days you can’t even get out of bed. When those rough days hit, the last thing you feel like you can do is run around the house gathering up supplies to take care of yourself. Trust me – I have spent more than my share of time lying in bed suffering from the pain because I didn’t feel like I could make my way downstairs where my medication was. Those days inspired me to create myself a chronic pain flare day kit. One little bag, with everything I need to get by.
Why You Need A Flare Day Kit
Having a kit that’s been put together ahead of time can be a benefit to both you, and your care takers.
For you – Your kit will save you precious time and movement when you are feeling at your worst. Since everything will be together and in one place, you will need less focus and energy to take care of yourself. I keep my flare kit in a bag right next to my bed. In arms reach, when I wake up flaring in the middle of the night what I need is already there.
For a care giver – Being organized ahead of time makes its easier for care givers to help you. Your care giver may not know where things are kept in your house, so having your basics all in one spot means that they’ll be able to find things in a snap. They can better spend their energy taking care errands, or chores that you can’t manage.
Plus – a service dog, can be task trained to bring you the flare day kit on command.
And – just toss your flare day kit bag into the car when day tripping. Then even if the worst happens while you’re out, you still have everything you need.
10 Ideas For Your Flare Day Kit
Medications – If you are like me you have regular medications that you take every day for your chronic illness, and then you have the “big guns” you pull out when you are in the middle of a flare. I’ve been caught in the middle of the night unable to get relief because I was in too much pain to get out of bed. Be sure to keep a small supply of your regular meds, and your “big guns” (pain killers, muscle relaxers, antihistamine) in the flare day kit so that everything is in reach when you need it. Check out the Port and Polish pill box I just reviewed.
Note Pad and Pen – When I am in pain I often have memory issues. I write down any extra medications that I take, and the schedule they are taken on. That way I don’t have to worry about losing track and over dosing. Service dog tip: task train your pup to carry a note to your care giver.
Heating Pad – My heating pad lives in my flare day kit. This tool helps to sooth my sore muscles and relax, as well as my mind.
TENS Unit – My little two lead Omron TENS Unit can be a life saver. If you haven’t tried transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, totally worth a try. My unit has been especially helpful with lower back and sciatic pain for me.
Soft Blanket, Eye Mask, and Ear Plugs – If your senses are overwhelmed when you flare, pack supplies to calm and sooth. While the eye mask and ear plugs help to block out the world, a super soft blanket will feel good against your skin and help to soothe.
Water Bottle and Snack – You’ll need water to take your medication with. Likewise, the snack is to make sure you have a little something in your stomach when you take your meds. I suggest a small package of nuts or a granola bar.
What else could you add?
This list is nowhere near exhaustive, it’s your flare day kit, pack it with what helps you most! I keep a plush in mine because my little narwhal makes me happy. Here are just a few more ideas.
- A book, Kindle or tablet
- Xtra charging cable
- An address book
- A plush
- Essential oils
- Pain relieving lotion
- CBD oil or gummies
- Vitamin C lozenges
- Joint braces
- Compression wear
- Ice packs
- Hot water bottle
- Netflix password