Ten Things that Make my Life Easier

I have written a post about 10 things that help make hospital stays more comfortable, but I now would like to share 10 things that make my daily life easier.

10. Lists, just like this one!

I began my affinity for making lists and taking notes way back in grammar school. I remember the first day of third grade, our teacher announced that we had to buy a small spiral “Assignment pad.”

Anyone remember these?

Anyone remember these?

Over time, I realized that things stick in my memory better if I write them down, and despite being able to keep track of tasks or appointments on the computer, I’ve continued making lists and taking notes on paper. It’s helped me throughout my education, at nearly every job I’ve held, through major life events such as our wedding, or building and buying a home, and most especially, keeping track of anything related to my health care.

9. The White Board

A reusable version of a notebook, my white board is one of my most important life tools. I take so many medications and do so many treatments that it’s sometimes difficult to remember what I’ve done or taken.

The list can change from day to day, depending on how I feel, but most of it is standard.

The list can change from day-to-day, depending on how I feel, but most of it is standard.

8. “I’m Good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, People like me!”

It might sound silly, especially if you remember Saturday Night Live’s “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley,” but daily reminders help me get through personal challenges. I create affirmations for various reasons.

Sometimes the smallest message delivers the biggest results.

Sometimes the smallest message delivers the biggest results.

Sometimes I create and print out messages and stick them to my mirror or refrigerator, jot something down on a sticky note, or schedule a reminder in my calendar to greet me with a positive message in the morning.

7. Keeping my daily/ongoing meds portable and in one place.

I began using these totes for my medications and smaller equipment right before a major hurricane hit our area in 2011. The government and meteorologists encouraged people to gather “survival” kits in the case of evacuation, based on our personal needs and comforts. My husband suggested getting these self-locking totes, so I created a First Aid kit and a Medication box.

Big enough to carry all my daily meds but small enough to be portable and take with me.

Big enough to carry all my daily meds but small enough to be portable and take with me.

Every week, I re-stock daily medications and add any new medications. This keeps me ready to go at a moment’s notice should the Weather forecast or an emergency force us to leave the house quickly, or even to bring my meds with me from room to room like at bedtime.

6. Ice, Ice, Baby

I drink a lot of water, and I prefer it ice-cold. During the day, I just refill the bottle and add ice as often as I want, but at night, if I wake up needing a few sips, I’m relegated to luke-warm water. I recently figured out (yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake) that if I fill the bottle with ice before I go to sleep, it will remain relatively chilled a few hours later.

Staying hydrated is easy thanks to this cute bottle!

Staying hydrated is easy thanks to this cute bottle!

5. Hair Accessories

I love wearing my hair down, but while cleaning, doing my treatments, or having coughing episodes, I need to be able to quickly pull my hair up. I use clippies, ponytail elastics, and yes, (but only at home) Scrunchies!!

They're back!

They’re back!

According to Cosmo, Scrunchies are back! I’ve waited years for this to happen! It’s so easy to wrap my hair into a quick, lasting bun, without damaging hair and sometimes not being able to look in a mirror. Now that it’s socially acceptable, I might be able to use them outside of the house.

4. An extra Few Inches

What do you do when you are short, and have the wing-span of a humming-bird? You can A. Drag a chair over and stand on it (though my mother always warned me not to do that), B. Call my hubby to come help me, or C. grow a few inches in height and arm length.
Folds up rather nicely  and hangs well on a wall hangar.

Folds up rather nicely and hangs well on a wall hanger.

Ken and I used to laugh when we first saw the commercials for this grabby tool, but I found out that it’s rather useful.

Helps my not-quite-5'2" frame reach things without having to drag a chair over or wait for hubby to come home.

Helps my not-quite-5’2″ frame reach things without having to drag a chair over or wait for hubby to come home.

I love anything that helps me be more independent, so I highly recommend this to anyone who is vertically challenged.

3. Yes, Facebook

Partly because CF patients are restricted strongly discouraged from associating with each other due to the risk of cross-contamination with really strong bacterial infections, online is the only place where I can communicate with other people with CF.

Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg!

Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg!

Especially because CF affects such a relatively small population, sharing experiences and commiserating gives us access to a virtual encyclopedia of information, even if it’s anecdotal. I’ve often learned more about important discoveries and new treatments, medication side effects, and best practices via the CF communities before my doctors can discuss things with me at my next appointment. I have surprised my doctors several times with such detailed knowledge. I do not replace my doctor’s advice or recommendations, but having a resource where I can communicate with others in the same situation is invaluable.

2. The Fan. Oh, so many uses!

The fan is pulling in some fall-like breezes into the house. So fresh and clean smelling!

The fan is pulling in some fall-like breezes into the house. So fresh and clean smelling!

  • Is your room too warm? Put a fan near a window or air conditioning vent to pull and push the cooler air into the room. This can help save money on electricity, especially in the summer months when you’re running an air conditioner. The cats also seem to love the fan blowing on them, and often hog the area of the bed where the fan’s air current is strongest.
  • Can’t sleep because someone’s blaring their car radio outside? The fan creates “white noise” and helps eliminate noise pollution.
  • Styling your hair or doing your makeup and the bathroom is still steamy from the shower? Stand in front of a fan to cool off and dry any remaining or new moisture after getting ready.
  • Waiting for nail polish to dry? Yep, the fan helps do that, too. Ever see the mini fans at the nail salon?
  • Need to  cool off your cake before frosting? A fan will help cool it down quickly.

1. Vinegar!

My Grandmother used Vinegar for everything. In my quest for something to help remove odors from clothes I forgot to take out of the washing machine overnight, I re-discovered Vinegar. No chemicals, no residue, and safe for everyone!

A huge jug of Distilled White Vinegar is about 2 bucks.

A huge jug of Distilled White Vinegar is about 2 bucks.

I now use it for so many things! A few examples…

  • Odor removal from laundry
  • Cleaning the grout between the tiles on my kitchen floor
  • Cleaning the inside of the dishwasher (I just dump some vinegar right into the inside of the unit before every use)
  • Keeping my sink shiny
  • Soaking makeup brushes to remove buildup
  • Soothe sunburn

I would love to hear about things that make your life easier. Share your experiences in a comment below!

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