I’ve finally managed to get the rucksack that I mounted on my manual wheelchair packed and ready to go. It contains sufficient for a two-week hospital stay – longer than that and I’ll have more to worry about than clean clothes. There’s two sets of PJs (the type with shorts as my legs will leak and soak long trousers, and short sleeves to accommodate seemingly endless blood and BP tests), plus toiletries, a dressing gown (I’ve never yet been in a bay that wasn’t frigid at night), and a whole bunch of leads and chargers for my electronics. And I still have room for more, which came as a surprise, so I might add another set of PJs.
My electronics – smartphone (Galaxy S3 now a permanent part of my hospital kit), a pair of matched-content Kindles (one in use, one on charge), and, if I get the chance, my Lenovo A8-50 tablet and Galaxy S5 will be added prior to the ambulance ride. The important thing is, though, that by making the Kindles and S3 permanent additions I will never again wind up stranded with no means to communicate with the outside world, or with nothing to read. I’m also tempted to to add my 5th gen iPod Touch, but the question is, do I really need another battery to charge?
Packed separately, for now, in an A5 sized bag are 3 powerbanks which will give me emergency power for a week in the event that there isn’t an available socket for charging, and my wallet with ample cash, my plastic, and keys. That lives on a hook by the door, to be grabbed on my way out. There’s also an emergency £20 note in the rucksack – taxi fare home – in case I’m in no condition to grab the bag.
I’ve also mounted a bag under the seat, at the front, to take my Kindles and phone, my electric tyre pump (fully charged), a small toolkit and puncture outfit for the chair (pushrims are under great strain and can loosen slightly, causing them to creak annoyingly, and it doesn’t hurt to check all nuts and bolts periodically), and the contents of the above bag. That way everything I need will be mounted permanently on my chair. Having heavy stuff in the underseat bag also improves the balance – it was a little tail-heavy without it.
If I ever get any semblance of a social life back, both rucksack and underseat bag are attached with karabiners so that they can be removed easily. Not holding my breath though (and possibly false logic as I could just as easily be taken ill while out as I could at home, though it does tend to happen early in the mornings around 04.30-ish).
And I swear that any ambulance crew that refuses to transport my chair along with me will wind up in the deepest possible shit into which I can manage to drop them! Trust me on this.
Finally, a random thought. Mobile phone cases often come with pockets for plastic, stamps, and other assorted crap, but I’ve yet to see one with a pocket on the back for a spare battery. Why the hell not?