“Professional Patient” Tip: In Order to Use It, You Need to Own It.


How many times have I woke up and decided that today is the day that I am going to start off on the right foot and wear sun block. Although I wake up with the best of intentions, I soon learn the seemingly obvious lesson that “if you don’t own it, you can’t use it”. I start off by looking through my bathroom closet, then the drawers under the sink, then I rummage through my bedroom drawers and lastly I look through my cosmetic bag. When I can’t even find my sun block, the best of intentions can get foiled.

Every profession has “tools of the trade”, if you are a policeman you have a badge, if you are a librarian, you work with books, and if you are a florist you work with flowers. So logic says that if you are a “professional patient” like I so lovingly appointed myself, then you need the tools to be the best patient you can be. I think it is hard enough to be a good patient every single day, and to do all the things you are supposed to do to stay healthy. So why make it harder on yourself? If you are like me, and you are supposed to wear sun block all the time because your disease, or your medications make you sun sensitive… then keep it easy and keep sun block stocked all over the place. Keep sun block in your bathroom to help you start the day, keep a smaller sized one in your pocketbook for on the go re-applications, and maybe even keep one in your car. This way you have no excuses but to wear it. I even think it is better to keep some on hand in your pantry closet. I just feel like if you have good intentions, you don’t want to have to leave the house, drive to the store to buy whatever it is you are out of. By all means, I am using sun block as my example today, because yes, today I ran out of it. But please use this lesson learned for anything you are supposed to do regularly. If you are supposed to take certain vitamins everyday maybe think about buying 2 jars next time you are at the store. Don’t let your enthusiasm to become a healthier, better patient, be squashed by your lack of supplies.

I use Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 SPF 30 Cool ‘n Fabulous Disappearing Color Lotion. I love that when you put it on it is blue in color, (which quickly vanishes) so that you know exactly wear you put it and you can be sure you have covered every location. This is a product that is normally marketed to use with children, but I find I like it. Because it is Skin So Soft you get the added bonus of effectively repelling deer ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, no-seeums, sand flies and biting midges, because it is Avon it is affordable enough to buy 2 or 3! This one is my favorite because I also just buy 1 kind that works for the whole family, but there are many other great types of sunblock on Avon.com or anywhere else you might shop!

Article written by Christine Donato, 2010 butyoudontlooksick.com

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  • Mona Casselman

    The standing joke in my family is that I could live out of my purse for a week. And pockets.
    Pain meds, snacks, puzzle book, crochet project…
    In my house there are pencil holder mugs in handy locations, each holds a pair of scissors, nail file and nail clippers in addition to random pens, pencils and a pencil sharpener.
    The nest next to my chair is well-equipped with heating pad, pain relieving rub, books, extra crochet hooks, Bible and laptop.
    The bedside table– all this and more!
    I have been diligent in buying duplicates of essentials for as long as I can remember, living in rural Alaska, a trip to the local store can be a bit involved.
    With multiple disabled family members, the simpler I can make my life by preparation and backup supplies, the better off I/we are.

  • Nicole Danielle

    Thank-you for this reminder that no matter what it is we need, we need to make sure we have it. I think we have all been in a time and situation when we have run out of an important implement because we weren’t paying attention or were in a “fog” moment.

    When it comes to sunscreen, I use the continuous-spray spray-on stuff you don’t have to rub in, since my hands don’t always like to work.

    I am quite frugal by nature, so at first, I bristled at the idea of needing to buy multiples of items. Then, I left my OTC pain patches at home when I left for school…200 miles away. Since then, I carry an FMS/RA “kit” with me, making sure I take stock and restock as needed.

  • Stacey

    What I like to do with things I need (not even need, just normal stuff like shampoo, deodarant, and yes need like sunscreeen, vitamins etc) is that when I first start using a product (after I know I like it) I always buy two. One to have out and use and one to put in ‘storage’. Then when I finish the first one and go to take the other out of storage, I make sure to write it down as an item I need the next time I am out (or someone goes to the store). Even if it is something that lasts me a month, as long as it wont expire, I try to always have a full bottle of what I need put away and have one out on use. I have found it helpfull becuase then if I am having a bad week / day / etc. and I run out of a product, I dont have to go out to get a new one (just make sure to mark it on my list asap!

    Fair skinned EDS with meds that make my body really not like the sun!

  • Kim W.

    Well said Christine, and I whole-heartedly agree. You just can’t properly take care of yourself without the presence of the proper supplies. I TRY to practice that but… I think not getting enough healthy foods in the house is my problem. Some of my conditions are greatly affected by my food intake. And yet… *sigh* Less cigs, candy and fast food. Those are my vices and without them I guess I could have myself stocked up too. lol

  • Hey, Avon rep myself, small world LOL! I love the disapearing lotion for the same reasons. 1 bottle, whole family, and a bug repellant, that doesn’t repell people w/ the smell. My son and his friend love putting it on because it’s “blue and goes away.” I do want to remind everyone that sunscreen and bug repellant are only good for about a year, so make sure to toss the onld bottles and buy new, even if they are barely used. What’s the point of using something that isn’t even working. I remind all my clients when I first get word of the SSS sunscreens and repellants, that way everyone gets new.

  • Christine, thank you for a short, punchy, relevant and important little article. This is so true. It’s true for all of us about everything we need to use to manage our conditions, or to do things that would otherwise be limited. It goes way beyond the sunblock.
    For me and many others, forgetting and losing things is a symptom in itself. Your suggestion of buying multiples of the things you need to use all the time is vital.
    It also releived my mind about something I did on this month’s art supply order and some previous ones. I did buy multiple good pencil sharpeners and did buy extra replacement blades on this one. I could not find my eraser shield so I bought an extra one and considered buying two or three.
    I would use one more often if I had it handy at my desk. I’ll probably turn up the old one when I finish spring cleaning — and I’ll put it somewhere else near my other chair, so that no matter which place I sit, the eraser shield is handy in an obvious place.
    I fell into the habit of buying multiples of some types of art supplies without understanding why I did, only that there was some subtle brand difference or something in trying it out. But this is why I haven’t broken the wasteful habit.
    It means that having several pocket watercolor sets, it doesn’t matter where I am when I need to reach for one to get in a sketch. They weren’t horribly expensive and it accumulated over time but I’ve never managed to make myself get rid of the extras and just keep my favorite.
    Now I know that it wasn’t that stupid and if all I had was my favorite I would be going nuts looking for it anytime I changed my routine.
    So it’s not even just the “patient” stuff. Sometimes it’s the things we like and enjoy doing that are more accessible if we keep them handy. Someone who liked playing Solitaire might be happier owning several decks of cards than one and putting one near the bed for those bed days.
    Thanks for validating something I was doing and uneasy about.