11 People With Chronic Illness Show Us What’s in Their Bag



Last updated:
contents of a woman's purse

A purse or backpack is more than just a place to throw your debit card and keys when you live with chronic health challenges. It’s your lifeline, filled with your most essential items that can mean the difference between getting through health issues that come up throughout the day — both planned and unexpected — and having to go home or to your doctor’s office to deal with symptoms.

To shed light on what it takes to get through a day with chronic illness, we asked our Mighty community to share a photo of what’s inside their bag. The photos you shared reveal the challenges you face every day, and the strength and straight-up work it takes to manage your body. Perhaps you’ll even get some ideas of things to put in your bag.

1. “This is my brand new survival bag ‘Rex.’ He comes everywhere with me along with my water bottle. I move him from a small to large backpack depending on what else I need for the activity (e.g. a meal that caters for my food intolerances, a square of yoga mat for sitting on the ground to rest in public spaces, over-ear noise-canceling headphones for crowded public places).

He contains my emergency steroid injection kit, spare meds (a selection of painkillers, digestive tablets, three types of steroid tablets, travel sickness tablets and anti-nausea meds), hand sanitizer, earbuds, a little snack-pot with nuts, a face mask to protect me from colds/viruses, earplugs, and a hanky.” — Carlie P.

rainbow furry bag outside and inside

2. “This is my go-with-me-everywhere backpack. I have extra flushes and PICC care supplies, including the tape that I can use. Meds I need for at least a day. Also has all of my chargers, iPad, coloring, and everything that I need to not go crazy while at the hospital or in clinic.” — Susan D.

inside of bag with coloring book and pens

3. “I have fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. The purple pouch is my medicine bag. Inside are cough drops (fighting a chest cold that is going on three weeks), a caffeine pill (fatigue after not sleeping.), my inhaler (illness and seasonal asthma). Not shown are my tranquilizers which are waiting to be filled. It transfers between purses and a gym bag.” — Tamara M.

floral bag with medications in plastic bag

4. “Mine has: journal and pencil case, medication case (oils, painkillers, sleeping pills, antibacterial cream, lozenges), my soft toy to remind me I can fight this, my phone and wallet, gum, muscle relaxing cream, and deodorant. I have these and my drink bottle with me at all times. My med wallet is in the photo.” — Stacey L.