What’s in my bag: essentials for chronically-ill people on the go

I need to be prepared for everything – which includes chronic illness flares.

Here at The Tempest, we’ve started a new monthly series: What’s in my bag?

In this series, we’ll have The Tempest Staff members and fellows give you a glimpse of what they carry every day and what makeup they use on a daily basis. This month, for our series, you’ll catch a glimpse of our Staff Writer, Julia Métraux’s essentials.

I wear a lot of hats, and my main ones are being a student at The New School, being a writer,  and being a full-time chronic illness warrior with an aggressive autoimmune disease. Here are the essentials that I keep in my bag as chronically-ill person on the go:

[Image description: Selfie of Julia Métraux in a pink coat and a green dress carrying a bag]

1. iPhone

Pink iPhone
[Image description: Pink iPhone] Via The Verge
I – like many people my age – am always glued to my phone.  I use it for fun, like when I mindlessly scroll through Instagram, and for work, like when I respond to the personal messages on the seven Slack networks that I’m on (seven is far too many, but this speaks to how busy I am). I also use it when I get illness acts up by calling my doctor, a friend or family member to see if they could come to take to me to the hospital, or an Uber to get me to one of my doctors or to the Emergency Room.

2. Wallet

[Image description: Large long pink wallet[ via Wish
I need a pretty big wallet, as I have multiple cards that I need to carry with me at all times, from credit cards, metro passes to my health insurance card. I don’t need to, but I do carry my Swiss citizenship card everywhere I go in case World War III breaks out, as I am then booking it to Switzerland.

3. EpiPen

an epipen
[Image description: An epipen and its case] via Snack Safely
My autoimmune disease, vasculitis, causes me to have anaphylaxis-like episodes. Due to this, I carry an EpiPen with me to stabilize my symptoms when these attacks occur.

4. Hemp oil capsules

A bottle of hemp oil
[Image description: A bottle of hemp oil] via Amazon
I deal with pretty severe chronic pain all the time, and one thing that helps me manage it is Hemp oil capsules. While it is legal in New York where I live, It’s important to note that hemp oil is not legal in every state. You can check out any state-by-state regulations on marijuana, hemp oil, CBD in this Web MD article.

5. Computer

[Image description: Mac computer] via Laptop Mag
I need my computer for both school and my writing – which includes an internship at Narratively and being a staff writer at The Tempest at the moment. Despite it being a tad heavy, I often carry my computer around with me.

6. Notebook

: A pink and sparkly notebook
[Image description: A pink and sparkly notebook] via Mead
If I’m on public transportation, and I want to write something down before I forgot, I write it down in a notebook. I also use my notebook in classes where my professors do not like when students work on computers.

7. Pens

a black pen
[Image description: A black pen] via Amazon
I need pens to write stuff down, as I’m not a wizard. I use pretty basic ones that I find for cheap at a store or “borrow” from a friend for an endless amount of time.

8. Reusable water bottle

a multicolor reusable water bottle
[Image description: a multicolor reusable water bottle] via Pottery Barn Teen
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, and even more so if you’re like me and have a chronic illness or chronic illnesses. Carrying water with me allows me to make sure that my physiological needs are met while I’m on the go.