I have been to concerts before, but never any quite like that one. It was a long day, but luckily, I was prepared … for most things. I realized that going out takes extra preparation and isn’t so simple for someone with a chronic illness. That inspired this column, which is a list of things you shouldn’t leave home without.
1. Medication: This one is pretty obvious, as it is what keeps us going through everything. Take extra just in case — especially if it is something that gives you that extra boost, such as Mestinon (pyridostigmine bromide) for myasthenia gravis. Put it in a waterproof container so it won’t easily be lost in your bag.
2. Glasses/sunglasses: Sunglasses will protect your eyes against glare, which also helps you to stop squinting and prevents your eyes from tiring more quickly than they should. Glasses will help you see what you need to, as well as prevent unnecessary stress on your eyes for extended periods.
3. A blanket and camping chair: This is especially important for concerts or outdoor events. We had standing tickets, which meant there was nowhere to sit, and the floor was so dirty and sticky that I didn’t want to plonk myself down. We ended up standing for almost five hours, so my feet were sore and my muscles were about to give up on me. I longed for a seat, but the only seated area was at the top of the stairs where I would miss out on everything.
4. Snacks and food: We couldn’t take anything in with us, but we did have some in the car on our way there, as well as extras for the way home. I was very grateful for this, especially after the long trek back to the car after the concert, when a huge hunger monster was awakened!
5. Sunscreen and hat: Due to hair loss from chemotherapy, I am bald. (A little bit of fluff is growing, but nothing that would provide protection.) Thus, I am aware of protecting my poor pip from getting burnt and have bought a beautiful sun hat that protects my head, as well as my face and the back of my neck. I don’t want to end up looking like a tomato anytime soon! I also slopped sunscreen all over me to avoid getting burned in all the places not protected by clothing. I took a small bottle with me to reapply during the day as well.
6. Lip ice/ChapStick: Singing, talking, being outside, and weather can really dry your lips out, which can be painful. Be prepared!
7. Water/hydration: Some concerts will not allow you to bring your own water, so always make sure to double-check this beforehand. You need water to take your medication, to cool down, and to stay hydrated.
8. Medical aid card and chronic illness info: Should something happen to you at the event and you are separated from your friends, you need others to be aware of what is wrong with you so that they can treat you appropriately. Should you need to be taken to a local hospital, they will know who to contact and any medication contraindications.
9. Your cellphone: Having emergency numbers easily accessible is important for the same reasons, as well as to keep in contact with your friends and family. Plus, you can take photos to remember the fantastic day out.
10. A bag: Many people had backpacks at the concert, but I took a moon bag and was able to keep most things in there so that my arms weren’t getting tired from having to hold on to my extra stuff. It made a world of difference. Obviously, the more you take, the bigger and heavier your bag will be.
11. Comfortable shoes and clothing: You will be on your feet for some time, as well as repeatedly sitting down and standing up. Make sure you are comfortable so that you can enjoy yourself. Don’t try to dress up for others.
12. A jacket: It often gets cool at the end of an evening or when you move away from throngs of people. Protect yourself and don’t get sick from the drop in temperature.
13. Extra cash/bank card: In case you get thirsty or hungry or see something to remember the event by. It’s better to be over-prepared than to miss out.
These are the things I never leave home without. Would you add anything?
Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.