Traveling and sightseeing have been ingrained into our DNA ever since the first caveman saw changes over the horizon. While Homo Erectus only had leaves and a club to pack the evolution of luggage has certainly come a long way. Over the years I have traveled extensively and each adventure requires a different approach. In my younger days, I could get away with cramming a few things in a backpack for a short getaway but after my injury much more thought has to go into the pre-travel process. As a rule of thumb, I typically pack three times the amount of supplies I think I will need for the duration of the trip. Let's face it, most of the “stuff” we require can’t simply be picked up at a Walmart or a pharmacy, so I’d rather have far too much, than not enough. There is no way to foresee the potential issues that may arise along the journey but most of us know our daily routines and therefore pack accordingly.
While this “overpacking” causes its own logistical nightmare of more luggage, it gives me peace of mind knowing I’ve brought everything I can think of sometimes “including the kitchen sink”. Typically I pack clothes in one bag, including extra clothes in case of accidents, my shaving kit with toothbrush, paste, etc and all my grooming essentials, and a separate “supply bag”. Keeping these items separated allows me to ensure that I have everything in a central location, plus I get my wife to check behind me to try to cover all bases. We do a checklist to account for items and to attempt to avoid redundancy. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook an essential item and my thoughts are two sets of eyes are always better than one.
Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans can have hiccups and leave you scrambling to fill a void. A prime example, on one of our road trips a few years ago we went through our checklist, counted all of the supplies, loaded the car, said a prayer, and headed down the road on a short five-hour getaway. It wasn’t until we pulled into our hotel that it dawned on me that I had left my sliding board propped in the corner of our bedroom... the one item I’d need in order to get in and out of the bed! I quickly got on the phone with every medical supply company in the area and finally found one with the exact replacement I would need. Disaster avoided!
We have since obtained backups for our backups and we even leave an extra sliding board, a spare wheelchair battery charger, and “toiletry essentials” in our van to avoid “senior moments”.
The moral of this blog is an old adage I learned in The Marine Corps; 2 is 1, 1 is none, and everyone has a good plan until they’re punched in the face. Life is short and wheelers require a lot of extra baggage. Preplanning is essential but not a guarantee of anything. Go with the flow as best you can, and be prepared for last-minute mixups. On a final note, be sure to count your medications (checking them twice) and keep a list in the off chance you run out. Have fun and keep chasing new adventures, life ROLLS ON!
The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution.
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