This is the first of many education-themed posts I plan to create. Please share any suggestions and/or ideas for future topics you would like to see here!
With school starting just around the corner, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to make your backpack or locker functional for both your academic and medical needs. So, first things first:
Get your stuff together! Start by gathering all of the school supplies and medical supplies you will be keeping in your backpack/locker. Remember that all medications you will be taking at school should stay in the nurses office. If you prefer, you can also keep the above items in the nurses office as well. Some good suggestions for IBD supplies include:
- Packaged snacks that won’t get ruined in your bag
- Water bottle
- A special bathroom/nurse pass if you have one
- A change of clothes
- Emergency bathroom supplies
- Anti-nausea gum/spray/drops
- Your own ice/heat packs if preferred
- Gatorade/nutrition shakes if you need them
Organize it! Fill your locker/backpack with all of your school stuff in one area, and your IBD stuff in a different one. This way, you won’t end up with snacks and gum stuck to all of your notebooks! If you are choosing to put your supplies in the nurses office, place them all into one large bag labeled with your name so that they don’t get lost. Familiarize yourself with where these items are kept so that you can easily find them when you need them.
Final check! Do a final check to make sure that you have everything you might need in case of an IBD emergency at school. You can choose to keep everything in a locker/backpack/nurses office, or scatter them throughout all of these locations. (Example: keep snacks and water in your backpack, clothes in your locker, and nutrition drinks with the nurse). The most important thing is that you know where everything is should you need it.
You are good to go! Even if you never need to use any of the IBD supplies in your backpack/locker/with the nurse, it is much better to have them there than to need them and not have them.
While it may seem embarrassing or “weird” to keep these types of things with you at school, remember that they are there to keep you safe and comfortable. Plus, who doesn’t want to have snacks with them all day? If you are are questioned by friends/peers, just let them know the truth. You don’t have to share any details; just say something simple like “I have stomach problems, so I need to eat/drink_____.” or “I have a stomach disease called Crohn’s/Colitis, so I need ____ in case I start to not feel well.” Or, if you prefer for your classmates not to know about your IBD, keeping supplies in the nurse might be a better option for you, as you can easily access them without doing so in front of a crowd. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so having a few IBD supplies handy at school is a great way to ensure you will be covered should something happen.
Keep your eyes out for more posts about navigating school with IBD!