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Purse Organization for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What Should You Carry?

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Updated October 01, 2013

When you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be important to keep certain things with you. At the same time, you don't want to weigh yourself down with a heavy purse.

Putting careful thought into what goes into your purse may help keep you from getting into a bad situation without overloading yourself, which can drain your energy and cause pain.

Things to Carry

Each of us has our own blend of symptoms, so all of these items may not apply to you. However, because we can develop new symptoms over time, they may be worth considering even if they're not necessities right now.

  1. A Variety of Pain Medications
    You've probably had pain come on suddenly, right in the middle of what had been a good day. While you may have one type of pain reliever that works best for you, it may not be appropriate for every situation. For example, Vicodin (hydrocodone acetaminophen) might be a good choice in some situations but not when you need to drive yourself home. Having Tylenol (acetaminophen) or an anti-inflammatory such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) might help you stave off the pain until it's appropriate to take something stronger. (It's a good idea to carry narcotics in their original prescription bottle in case you need to prove to a police officer that you got them legitimately.) Medicated or self-heating pain-relief patches can calm sore muscles in a pinch without drug side effects.
  2. Allergy Medication
    Many of us have allergies, and they can shift periodically. Having an allergy medication such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can protect you in case of an unexpected severe attack.
  3. Medications List
    In case of a medical emergency, it's good to carry a list of your current medications and supplements. A printed list in your wallet, possibly behind your driver's license or ID card, and a list inside your phone or mobile device can help increase the odds that emergency crews will find it. If you have allergies or sensitivities to any drugs, you may want to add those as well.
  4. List of Phone Numbers
    How often does brain fog make you forget your cell phone? And really, how many phone numbers do you have memorized? If you're caught in a bad situation, a printed list in your purse could help you or emergency crews.
  5. Pen & Notepad
    The worse your short-term memory is, the more you need this. Having a pen and small notepad means you can jot down things such as where your car is parked, what you're going to the store for, the places you need to go, etc.
  6. Sunglasses
    Many of us are light sensitive, so eye protection is a must.
  7. Extra Keys
    If you set your keys down somewhere, how likely are you to forget where? A back-up set can save you from frantically tearing the house apart looking for them.

With the possible exception of the keys, all of these things are fairly light and aren't bulky.

Keeping the Load Light

A heavy load is doing you no favors. These tips can help you keep your purse at a manageable weight.

  • Most of us will let a purse fill up, so try to avoid getting one that's larger than you need.
  • Consider the weight of the purse itself when you're deciding which one to use or buying a new one.
  • Look at the contents of your purse and see what bulky or heavy items you can eliminate. Do you really need all the keys on your key ring? Still carrying a photo album of your grandkids instead of keeping pictures in your phone or mobile device?
  • Try not to carry around a lot of coins.
  • See if some items would be better left in the glove compartment.
  • If you're also carrying a diaper bag or backpack, have a small bag with the essentials that you can take out of or put into the larger bag easily.

If your purse is still too heavy, you might want to consider wearing it across your body instead of on one shoulder. A small backpack may be a good option as well.

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