Archive for July, 2014

My Favorite Bag for IV Therapy

July 21st, 2014 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Every gal has a favorite bag, even us chronically sick chicks.

So why is it I was using a bag daily that I didn’t like?

When you use IV therapy regularly you become familiar with a black back pack, yes, a black back pack. Everything you need for the day fits snugly and it truly does the job of carrying around a CADD pump, lines, IV bag, saline and heparin to flush the port, and all other accessories that go along with IV therapy.

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But I was done using a bag I didn’t like every single day I knew it was time to consider some new options. I looked at a few bags I already owned but none really fit what I wanted, I had no luck at all in stores. It wasn’t until I looked at the rest of my medical supplies that I figured it out. I was using cuter bags to store my medical equipment in than the one I was walking around with. I needed a 31 Bag for the job!

My weekly IV supplies organized in 31 Bags

My 31 bags for medical supplies   My 31 bags for medical supplies

When I contacted my 31 gal I told her what I was looking for…

* a cute bag

* not crazy big

* had to to hold daily IV supplies

* have room to hold other random things a gal needs

* it needed to close

Honestly I wasn’t sure we would fill the order, I was wrong! It was narrowed down to one bag, after a color choice and some thoughts on personalization, the perfect bag was on it’s way to my house!

Just Mildly Medicated

As you can see I chose to put “medicated” on mine, and after using the new bag for the last two weeks I can tell you it has filled my every want in a daily bag to tote around all of this IV gear.

Here I am packing up for the day with a 1500 ml bag of saline.

Just Mildly Medicated

… and I still have room for my wallet, Ipad, and phone…

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and we are off to start our day, hope you have a great one too!

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If you are interested in having a super cute 31 Bag >click here<

On the right you’ll see “view our catalog”

My new bag is under purses and is called “Vary You”

“This versatile purse offers functionality and style. Wear it four different ways simply by changing the straps – as a regular backpack, one-shoulder backpack, crossbody or shoulder bag. It has two large compartments and a front flat pocket, so you’ll have enough room to carry everything you need. There’s even a patent pending on the innovative new design!”

Size: Approx. 12.5″ H x 13.5″ W x4″D

My weekly supplies are stored in an Organizing Utility Tote and Deluxe Utility Tote

A little Q and A

July 16th, 2014 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

I was over on The Wheelchair Mommy and I saw this Q and A and thought I would play along.

what am I

WHAT AM I…

Making:

My laundry pile disappear…

Cooking:

Tortilla Soup

Drinking:

Water, water, and some more water

Oh and smoothies, my favorite is Vanilla Almond Milk, Strawberries, a few blueberries and banana

I Instagrammed that awesomeness… (yep go follow me on Instagram)

smoothie

Wanting:

The call that Canine Partners for Life has my Service Dog!

Looking:

A smoothie, I totally got up and made one ;)

Playing:

I am embarrassed to say when the kids give me space and I am not engrossed in reading I do play Sims

Wasting:

Umm, clearly time playing Sims when I should be writing…

Wishing:

did I mention a service dog…

Enjoying:

My sons swim meets. I love being outside in the sun, I’m a Florida girl at heart.

I will say it requires some major hydration and my husband is always with me, heat and Dysautonomia are not compatible.

Waiting:

for prescriptions to be ready for pick up… duh

Reading:

I actually am not in love with the trilogy I am reading now so I won’t name it, I am going to see it through to the end.  I just finished Every Last One by Anne Quindelin and cried and am looking forward to reading City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare.

Liking:

My new 31 Bag that fits all of my daily IV stuff and is much cuter than a black hospital back pack. You’ll here all about it soon!

Wondering:

Where the Army will send us next, am I moving am I staying… I have no idea.

Loving:

My kids, they are pretty awesome.

Hoping:

Hmm, no fibromyalgia flares this summer, fingers are crossed!

Marveling:

That I actually want to watch Gotham… BWAHAHAHA

for non comic geeks this is funny because “Marvel” is awesome and DC… well, it has Batman…

Needing:

some lunch…

Smelling:

the laundry pile that did not in fact disappear

Wearing:

GAP pajamas

Following:

The new show The Left Overs

Noticing:

That I may have a gluten issue

Knowing:

that Canine Partners for Life is the place where my heart will grow

Thinking:

that I am a very lucky gal

Bookmarking:

All the clothes I want to buy…

Opening:

a ginger-ale

Giggling:

over my five year old daughter, the kid cracks me up…

she told me today that when she falls in love with a bad boy

I’ll have to snap her out if it because she wants to love me the most of all.
I wish I had recorded that…

Feeling:

overwhelmed, loved, tired, lucky and unlucky

I am nothing if not a non-stop roller-coaster of feelings.

 

 

Are you a Blogger? Give your readers some Q and A about you!

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :
Reading:
Wanting:
Looking:
Playing:
Wasting:
Sewing:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving:
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Needing:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Following:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Bookmarking:
Opening:
Giggling:
Feeling:

Touring Canine Partners for Life

July 1st, 2014 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

My tour of Canine Partners for Life

Canine Partners 4 Life

 

I have been on a wait list for a service dog trained at Canine Partners for Life for over two years. My wait has been longer than the average person as I am looking for a service dog that can both perform basic mobility tasks and also alert to my abnormal blood pressure and heart rate fluctuations. To add to the details in alerting we also need to have a service dog that is a poodle or low to non-shedding poodle mix, one of my children has an allergy to pet dander.

 

While on the wait list fora service dog, I have had the pleasure of making connections with other people who suffer from Dysautonomia that are partnered with service dogs. I’ve also met recipients for a wide range of disabilities that have received a service dog from Canine Partners for Life (CPL). I assumed that would have normalized the idea of a service dog and better prepared me for my visit to CPL. I am pleased to say my visit left me with a wide range of emotions and none of them were in the realm of normal.

 

We have had many family conversations over the last two years about the differences between a service dog and a pet, but even I was a bit excited when entering and seeing several service dogs in various states of relaxation near their partners’ feet. I have to say that CPL was amazing to my family; here we come in with three children under 11, all of us logically knowing what we are seeing but internally wanting coo over the view. They kept things moving, explaining things to the kids as we went, and answered all of our questions.

 

One of the first things we talked about was positioning and pacing, two things I never really considered before my visit. They had me walk with two dogs to see what my natural pace was and if I preferred the service dog side by side or ahead of me. Turns out I am a bit on the slow side, no real surprise there. I did originally say I would prefer side by side until I actually walked; as it turns out a slight lead was much more natural for me.

 

Here I am walking with Bandit

Walking with Bandit       Walking with Bandit

and this guy is Jasper

walking with Jasper

 

After some walking, which wore me out, we went in to watch an hour of Team Training. Team Training is the three-week course you participate in after you are matched and before you become an official team and head home. The CPL staff was kind enough to bring in a pup still in training an allowed to receive lots of loving from my kids while I sat with my practice dog for the morning, Jasper the black lab.

 

It was wonderful to be given a preview of Team Training and hearing how the recipients were faring after the first few days of working with their new service dogs. Some common concerns were bonding and worrying they would miss an alert thinking the dog was looking for attention. Ironically, while I was just on the outside of this circle of new recipients and their service dogs talking about concerns with alerting, Jasper went from relaxing at my feet to full attention and put his head in my lap. I patted him on the head and told him “down”; he did, but was right back up with his head in my lap. I must admit I was thinking, “Jasper, dude, you’re making me look bad.”

 

Jess, one of the trainers, came and told me that they actually knew Jasper had a tendency to alert. Wow, had I just been alerted? I took my cell phone out because I have a heart rate monitor app on it and tried to refocus on Team Training now that Jasper was back to lounging at my feet. Jess was in his sight now and I could tell he was focused on where she was in the room so I really didn’t think he was paying much mind to me.

 

Boy oh boy, was I surprised when Jasper and the top half of all of is black labness was across my lap! I started the hr monitor knowing I’d be higher than normal mostly due to a blanket of lab on me with gorgeous brown eyes making no qualms about looking me right in the eyes. My hr was in the upper 90’s, a common rate for me, so I chalked Jasper’s lap dive as he was clearly trying to make me look bad. Then all of a sudden the numbers started climbing. Within two minutes I was up to 140. I asked Jasper to sit and I reclined my wheelchair back. Mind you, Jasper was still looking straight at me, he nudged his head in my lap and then my 140 heart rate took a bit of a dive back in to the 90’s. At that point Jasper lay back down and I let the tears fall.

 

I realized that up until that moment I hadn’t truly believed my unpredictable heart rate could be alerted to. I had expressed this concern before to the CPL staff, to which they knowingly reassured me that some service dogs can alert to Autonomic instabilities. I even know people with service dogs that alert to these same issues, they have even written guest posts on this blog, but I had never until that moment believed it for me.

 

Jasper isn’t done with training, and sadly, he wouldn’t work for my family because of my sons’ allergies, but I do believe he will make someone a great partner. As for me, my service dog is out there. Maybe he or she is living with a puppy raiser right now, maybe he or she hasn’t even been born yet, but I have a new faith that I will have a partner just for me.

 

Canine Partners for life charges on a sliding scale. The cost for me when I am matched will be $3,000.oo plus the cost of traveling from Missouri to Pennsylvania and staying for three weeks. We are estimating it being around $5,000.00 for the trip in total. We are hopeful to raise at least the cost of the service dog and in the hopes of raising the cost for the trip in whole. We would be thrilled to raise more than my expenses and have a donation to Canine Partners for life.

 

If you would like to donate towards my service dog fund I have set up a You Care account to support my goals. The donation comes to me personally, and I will give updates here on Just Mildly Medicated and share links on the You Care site as we move forward.

 

 

Want to know more about Canine Partners for Life? Clink this link CPL.

Did you know Diane Sawyer arranged for my service dog? Check it out here.