I have several bags most of which are in the Kipling range – a brand which I have come to adore because of the functional styles and great organisation within the bags but also because of the fantastic colours and patterns that they come in!
And every bag comes with a little Monkey keying; each with a different name and each named after an employee of Kipling:
My latest favourite bag is the Kipling Firefly Backpack Medium. This bag has also the ability to convert from a backpack to a shoulder bag with removable and adjustable shoulder strap. The backpack is ideal for my condition, as I use a crutch a shoulder bag I found use to get in the way so a backpack is a great alternative, it doesn’t get in the way of the crutch and in addition it distributes weight evenly, so better for the back.
As previously mentioned, Kipling bags are renowned for their organisation; and this bag includes lots of pockets so you always know where you have put your belongings!! The main compartment of the bag includes a zipped pocket, great for medications or tissues, and also includes a mobile phone pocket and a clipped keycord so you never have to rummage around the bag looking for your keys or phone again! And there is also a pen pocket – another item that also gets lost in bags!
And what is in my bag whenever I go out? There are the basics: my purse just in case I need to purchase anything. Then there is my phone, which I carry everywhere with me, although I never go anywhere by myself, there are times when my parents drop me off places such as my volunteering placement or the Wednesday group I attend. In these instances it’s important to have my phone with me in case I become unwell and need to come home, or if I suffer a fall, say in the bathroom and need to alert someone as I cannot get up!! So, my phone is a must!
As I suffer a lot of nausea, I always have some mints with me to ease it, or even if I am physically sick I always have something I can refresh my breath with and make the taste of sick disappear. I have been finding lately that I am getting quite forgetful, or as other patients call it, the dreaded ‘brain fog’, so I also make sure that I have a small notebook and pen on me so I can write important details down, such as things I need for the shops, or appointments that I need to keep so I don’t forget.
In Wales, where I live, the government has enforced a 5p charge on plastic carrier bags that people use when shopping. This is to help the environment and to encourage people to recycle more, so I also carry a foldable shopping bag with me in case I purchase anything so I don’t have to use any plastic carrier bags and save myself 5p in the process!
And there is my very handy ‘pillfold’, which is a fun and fashionable way to carry medications and vitamins when you are on the go. Instead of those annoying pill boxes, which for me when I am having tremors in the hands are very difficult to open. But the pillfold is completely different – they are made from fabric and have eight separate compartments; one for each day of the week with morning and evening compartments, which in turn makes it easy to determine which pills need to be taken and when. And with the easy to grab zip pulls they are extremely easy to open and close. As the name suggests they also fold so it’s very discreet and no one needs to know you have medications on you as it’s so discrete. This is great to carry when out because it’s discrete and means I never have to forget to bring along my medications again! I love mine so much and find it’s incredibly handy, one of my most useful purchases! Thank you Sara!
The pillfold was designed by a wonderful health activist by the name of Sara Gorman, who herself battles with Lupus, which she beautifully documents at her blog ‘Desperate Lupus’. And 5% of the money raised by the purchasing of the pillfold, or of the ‘pillpouch‘ goes to a Lupus charity. I love mine and I find it so handy; if you would like to purchase one yourself, you can: