Join Me in Populating the Hashtag: #besideChronicBedside
I started a little hashtag, which I hope sounds somewhat catchy! #besideChronicBedside (currently blank; I need your help to get it going!) captures the everyday lives of those with chronic illness, with a quick shot of their bedside tables. We all keep little objects beside us, things that we can reach out to with ease when tucked into our cosy beds. The last thing you want to do is get up to retrieve something that you always need or use.
What’s By My Bedside
Some everyday items that you might already have beside you are books, your phone, maybe an eye mask or condoms. For most of us with chronic illnesses, it is a drawerful of medications. Here’s what I keep by my bedside, even while travelling:
- Beta Blocker – medication to reset my heart when it slips into a faulty rhythm.
- Blood pressure monitor – to check on my heart rate and rhythm.
- 5 different types of painkillers – used for varying degrees and categories of pain.
- 3 types of benzodiazepines – anti-anxiety tablets used depending on the situation.
- 4 types of antihistamines – allergy tablets used in different situations.
- Prednisone (steroids) – for bad flare ups where even strong painkillers don’t help.
- Anti-inflammatory plasters for swollen body parts.
- Anti-inflammatory lozenges.
- 4 types of eyedrops – an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiseptic, and moisturising one for dry eyes.
- A plastic bag just in case I need to throw up.
- Essential oils – lavender to relax, peppermint for nausea.
- Coaguchek Machine – Blood test kit to measure blood clotting time.
- Water – to swallow those meds down in case of an emergency!
The Little Things That Help Us to Get by
These are just some items by my bed. There are more ointments, potions and gels in my bathroom, the fridge, my bag, and in the store room. Most of us probably have a mini pharmacy at home:
I hope this hashtag provides more insight into what those with chronic illnesses need just to get by, even though it’s often invisible on the outside. We probably look fine today, because we took a pain pill to sleep last night.