Cleanliness is next to godliness they say. When it comes to organising medical supplies you can’t let things go and not be organised or all hell breaks loose! You can end up running out and misplace things when you need them the most, when all could be avoided with little and regular steps to live by.
- Stock rotation - boring I know but imperative if you want to make sure none of your supplies end up in the bin. It’s very easy to leave things to one side and organise them only when needed and not there and then. However, that’s when things go missing and you can lose track. Make sure you organise your supplies straight away and take note of how much surplus (if any) you have left. There might be some items you won’t need to order so much of the following month. You may find you were extremely low on other supplies and need to order more the following month. If you don’t fall into either category it is still good practice to keep note as if any issues arise
- Storage supplies - gone are the days of beige and grey medical storage solutions (cheers to you Mrs Hinch!). Options include craft trolleys to keep in your bathroom to have everything to hand. Desktop drawer storage is a great solution if you want it separated in drawers but don’t need too much space taking up. There are lots of stylish solutions online enabling you to buy ones that match your decor making it look like part of the furniture, not medical supplies. Some people find they don’t want to see their supplies on show, they want it hidden away in a drawer or cupboard and that’s ok. If you don’t mind it being on display, some of the options below can work for you too.
- Surplus stock - when you first have your surgery and you go through the different ostomy supply company websites, before you know it you may have signed up to have lots of samples and may regret it when they all come through the letterbox as you need to find somewhere to store them. Be mindful when you do this and don’t get sucked into getting every sample you can get your hands on unless the need is there. This only takes up space and it is not advised to change your ostomy appliances regularly without using them for a good amount of time to see if they are effective or not. Always check with your stoma nurse before trying something new in case your stoma type doesn’t lend itself well to its use for a reason you may not be aware of. Surplus supplies can be donated to charities that redistribute them to those in need across seas. This has been more difficult to access since Covid, and many stopped doing so. For where to donate in your local area ask your stoma nurse. I always try to donate first. If I have been sent the wrong stock or have samples I don’t need anymore, I can’t bare to chuck them away. After working with Pelican Healthcare and seeing the research, development and tireless effort by their workforce in their production of such supplies, I will try every avenue to donate first. As for medication, your pharmacy should accept them if you no longer need them or they are expired.
- Check your dates - most tablet and capsule medication have very long expiry dates which can leave you thinking you don’t need to keep on top of this. However, if you miss a box or two during stock rotation it's easily done to end up with something that’s close to the wire. If you are into your tech, BEEP is an app you can download and scan the barcode of your medicines packaging, log your medication, and the app will warn you when it is due to expire. More useful if you have items with a short expiry date but quite a novelty to do all the same. It even beeps like the supermarket check out! This is something you could do if you have little ones to give them a job to do. I tried this with my little man with his meds and he loved it. Turn it into a game and if you have two devices you could do it on, see who can log the most medicines in a set time. Keep tablets and capsules away from little ones hands and just use the packaging if you can to ensure all is safe and sound for them to take part.
- Wardrobe spring clean - part of my spring clean routine is having a wardrobe switch around. Goodbye to my thick tights and wooly jumpers and hello Summer dresses! I team these with Comfizz support wear and boots with my leather jacket and a scarf for those days where the sun is out but there is still a little chill in the air. I love this time of year as there is so much more to wear and layering can be used to still keep warm until the Summer arrives. Keep the clothes that served you well in the Winter/Autumn months and if there are any you didn’t get use out of, donate to charity or recycle. It is so tempting to think you might wear them again next year if you still like them a little, but if you didn’t wear them this time around will you really again? Be ruthless and get rid of what you didn’t use. You will save space and time going through your wardrobe finding an outfit. A tidy space makes for a tidy mind. Give your mind as much of an opportunity for space and clarity starting with the environment you live in.
Until next time, Rach x
Disclaimer: As always, this post is from our blogger, Rachel's, experience of living with an ostomy & Hirschsprung's Disease & from what she has researched. Nothing in our blog posts should be taken as medical advice. It's always best to consult a medical professional if you have queries or concerns.
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