Saturday, June 1, 2013

Self-Accommodation and my Emergency/First Aid Kit

So, a few months ago I started writing this post and just got around to finishing it and posting it now. Since then, I read a similar post: Yes, That Too: Accommodating Ourselves which you should also check out, it is great, and it covers a lot of the same stuff. The main difference is that their post is mostly social related accommodations of sensory stuff and I add some the biomedical type accommodations and accommodation needs. 

Everyone has their own personal things they need, but these are mine. 

TW: Minimal blood and skin picking 

I bring a basic First Aid Kit with me basically everywhere. Days like today it is both essential and still incomplete. I also carry what I used to call my “aspie kit” (see Lydia Brown’s post as to why I stopped calling myself an aspie (The Problem with Aspergers ) and now generally just call my “emergency kit” with me everywhere. Both a first aid kit and an “emergency kit” can be essential for many of us and can be either one or two.
My “emergency kit” is usually kept in a regular inconspicuous pencil case. 
My first aid kit at the moment is in a Ziploc bag at the bottom of my backpack. I haven’t needed it in a while, I’ve been pretty careful and when I haven’t I’ve usually been able to bandage at home sufficiently.

Emergency Kit:
  • Bag/Case: I keep mine in simple pencil cases (the big kind with 2 zipper pockets, not the skinnier ones). I like that because I can pack it in my backpack and it comes with me everywhere. I don’t have to think about it and it keeps me calm knowing. When I have to go somewhere nicer, I can usually fit it into a purse type thing. If it is a really nice thing I can take some of the things out (or extras of those things) based on the type of event. If someone is more femme than I am I’m sure you can use a nice clutch for this kit or some type of make-up bag which can be put in a purse. One of the important things is that I like to keep it together and be able to just pack it in the bag along with my phone, wallet, water bottle, and whatever else I’m bringing and not have to constantly be thinking “what if I need X!” and then running around frantically trying to account for every scenario.
  •  Ear plugs: I buy reusable ones and keep them in their handy case and bring them with me almost anywhere just in case. Disposable ones are okay but not worth the money or environmental waste in my opinion. 
  • Tissues: for obvious purposes as well as for when I pick at my skin and it bleeds too much (their usual use with me)  
  • Chapstick of some kind:  I keep at least one with me all times if possible. In the winter especially. I lick my lips constantly in the winter and get HORRIBLE chapped lips which crack and bleed and I pick at them and they get infected and it is a bad thing. So, I usually carry a mini (e.g. 7g) thing of Vaseline with me and a small lip thing (that looks a little more normal is still for chapped lips and not a lip gloss) as well.
  •  A stim toy: obviously stim toys are the best. I often carry more than one but I try to keep a small one at least in this so that I can bring it. I have a mini slinky and a magnetic bracelet usually. Magnetic beaded bracelets (that look like these, but ignore the rest of the website) are a wonderful way to bring a stim toy to something when you need to look like a grown-up!
  • Meds: Any meds that I need to take either as needed or a few times throughout the day I keep extras of here. Specifically, my anti-anxiety meds and at least one type of painkiller are a must for me. I usually keep my inhaler here in case of asthma problems too
Miscellaneous Other: 
  • Aromatherapy: I personally really like the Bath & Body Works “Stress Relief Instant Aromatherapy” roll-on  (no produce placement or endorsement, I bought it and I like it and I didn’t compare to any other products). It is small and smells nice and does help calm me down a little bit. This is me as an Autistic disabled person, not as a nurse suggesting this since as a nurse I know nothing about aromatherapy's medical benefits etc.
  • Auditory reliefI keep my headphones and ipod outside of the kit because I use them all the time but headphones and some type of music player are definitely great kits to bring along everywhere  
  • Edible: I usually try to keep some type of protein/energy bar in there just in case I really need a snack and I’m getting grumpy and stuff. I also personally keep tea in mine sometimes. I am particular about what kinds of tea I like and find that knowing I have my own is useful.
  •  Menstruation stuff: for those who menstruate having an extra pad/tampon/menstrual cup can be great to keep with this stuff so you know you always have one on you. 
  • I often also keep one or two first aid items with me in this kit in case I don't bring the full travel first aid with me everywhere 
First Aid Kit (travel- I have a massive first aid kid that I keep at home)
  • Medical tape (paper): also useful sometimes for fixing broken jewelry, pretending it is scotch tape, and a whole bunch of other things. I buy the paper kind because it is less irritating on the skin and just more comfortable for me. I used to buy other kinds of tape and then I’d wind up getting a rash from it or just itching at it and then I’d have to get a bigger gauze pad to cover that irritation on top of the actual injury and it would just be a disaster.
  • Gauze Pads (individually wrapped): I usually keep at least one large (~4x4 inches) non-stick gauze pad in there just in case there is some bigger issue. Also, sometimes I have to re-bandage an injury that needs something that big. It can also be good as a sterile pad to wipe a small but bloody/messy injury or wash it off.  
  • Antibiotic ointment: neosporin or something like that from the store. Sometimes you can get free samples of individual little packages of them from medical places or store purchased first aid kits. 
  • Band-Aids (regular and dot for me): I only buy the sensitive skin ones (see above for tape). I get the regular basic size and the dot size and bring a few of each in my travel kit. The dot ones not everybody needs but for me they are especially awesome because as I have mentioned I am a skin picker and the dot bandages tend to be the perfect size for a lot of the tiny little spots I need to cover from that and they are less conspicuous than regular sized and stay on weird surfaces better.
  • Alcohol pads: I bring a bunch of these with me. They are good for a whole range of things not just first aid.

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