Category Archives: Bed Safety

Peace of Mind: The Bedside Emergency Bag

bagMaybe it’s The Walking Dead’s fault or maybe it’s all the apocalyptic shows on the History channel, but end-of-the-world scenarios are on my mind more than ever before (thank you cable, I love too). Now that I’m so paranoid, I decided to employ the bedside emergency bag. If you like playing intellectual games, visit this site.

Why? Well, this is the line of thought that goes through your head when you rely on others to get out of your bed, and live alone: What if we were invaded in the middle of the night and I was stuck in bed? Who would get me up then? Or on the more realistic side of things: What if I need such and such in the middle of the night? I can’t very well get up to reach it. What then?

This and so much more is why I now have my bedside emergency bag. It’s full of everything critical – things I absolutely need to be ok without having to call for help. You just never know what may happen in the middle of the night, or what your PCA may forget to give you before leaving.

Be smart like me. Here’s what you should always keep next to you in bed, stored safely in a bag, just in case.

Tums

If have a sensitive stomach to pills, having Tums in your bag is a must. They’re so effective I just can’t get over it. If say you took a pill at midnight and started feeling queasy, chew a Tums and in a matter of seconds, almost all nausea you may be experiencing will be gone. My personal favorite is their tropical flavor. Goes down easy when the last thing you want is to eat something.

Check it out: Tums Extra Tropical

Advil

Another must for your bedside bag is your favorite painkiller. I prefer Advil, but if you’re Tylenol, Alleve or Bayer fan, that of course is just as good. You’ll just be glad you had this nearby if you need in the middle of the night. Trust me I’ve been there. It may start to feel like you’re bedside bag is becoming a mini-pharmacy, but if you can’t get out of your bed to get these things, it’s worth it.

Check it out: Advil

Extra Water

Water is another essential item to have. Make sure it’s bottled water so it can be in there for awhile without worry of it going bad. You can’t usually can’t fit a ton of water in your emergency bag, but having one bottle in there is always a smart idea.

Non-perishable Snack

Having some kind of food item in your bag that can’t go bad is also hugely important. This can mean candy bars, a small bag of crackers, even some almonds; anything that can last for several months. Sometimes food is the only way to get rid of nausea or even lightheadedness, which is why it’s always smart to have some in your bag.

Extra Catheter

A hugely important item if you use catheters is to always have an extra one.  If you’re like me, you also have a few in your catheter bag, but if you run out of those it’s nice to know you have an extra one just nearby waiting for you in your emergency bag.

Alcohol Swabs

If you do use catheters, it’s also a good idea to have a few spare alcohol swabs in your bag too. These are great for cleaning a catheter in a pincj if you need to reuse one and ran out in bed (been there). These can disinfect the tip of a catheter fairly well.

Zinc Cough Drops

And lastly, my cold prevention go-to: Lemon zinc cough drops. If I ever feel a cold coming on in bed, I pop in one of these and let the magic happen. I haven’t gotten one cold this whole winter thanks to these babies.

Check them out: Zand Lemon Zinc Lozenges

While this list above covers a lot, there are loads of other things you can include in your bedside emergency bag. A flashlight, a book, even a spare battery for your cell phone; anything you can think of that you know you’ll absolutely need if you need it. It may take a little bit of work to set all of this up, but it’s worth it in the end when you need Advil and cracker in the middle of the night and it’s right there waiting for you.

What’s in your bedside emergency bag?

In-Bed Computing Safety: Laptop Coolers

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Having a mobility disability often times forces you to do things that aren’t quite that safe – balancing a hot coffee on your armrest, using your mouth to open a beer bottle – but sometimes you just gotta do what you got to do.  We hate asking for help as much as the next guy. And one of the biggest of these you may not even realize is unsafe is using your laptop in bed.

It may seem completely harmless, watching Netflix in bed, playing your favorite game, but your laptop needs air to breathe so it doesn’t overheat.  It has vents to keep it cool and a fan; the vents are located underneath your laptop, but when you set your laptop on your comforter, it instantly plugs up these vents, causing major heat buildup in your precious machine.  All it takes is 20 minutes and before you know it, your laptop will be burning your lap.

If you continue using your laptop in bed like this, it will be the end of your laptop before you know it. A laptop has so many components squeezed into a small case that it can’t take being swallowed up by fabric. The hard drive will overheat and seriously limit the lifespan of your laptop.

For years, whenever I used my laptop in bed I would just put a book underneath it to protect my lap. I used my old Brian Froud sketchbook from the movie, Labyrinth, and it worked great. I never thought about it again either until a few months ago when my condominium building had a sign in the lobby on the fancy coffee tables that said, “Please use laptop coolers under laptops to protect both the table and your PC.”

When I saw this sign, my ears definitely perked up. “What is this laptop cooler of which they speak? It sounds like something I need!” So I Googled “laptop coolers” and lo and behold I found out what they were – a cool plastic or aluminum “coaster” for your laptop with a built-in fan that runs off your USB port, making sure your laptop stays around 72°. Sweet!

And the best part about these, if you have decreased sensation you don’t have to worry about your lap overheating and not knowing it anymore.  They were great. The cooler makes you safe, as well as your laptop, 24/7. To get one, I looked around online but ended up purchasing one from Target (didn’t feel like paying for shipping), and I actually found a decent one – a Belkin Cooling Pad.

I also discovered another cool bonus of using a laptop cooler – it raises my laptop up a few inches from the table, making it easier to reach. Gotta love that. It keeps both my lap cool and makes it easier to type…. I think I may be in love.

Do you swear by your laptop cooler? Which brand you like?

Products Mentioned

– Belkin Laptop Cooling Pad – Black

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

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