So it would seem to most people needing a new purse is a nice thing. I do own a few purses, some nicer ones for special occasions. Also some bigger ones that are more for carrying water bottles and extra stuff, for car trips or flying.
But that day to day bag most women carry is a big problem for me.
I used to carry a regular size purse.
My mother, who is under 5 feet tall, has always carried a purse about half her size. She openly would scorn how I could carry just a normal sized purse.
My normal sized purse had besides the wallet and coin purse many other items.
Hairbrush (often small sized)
Face powder compact (I get shiny)
Flashlight (these I often buy as they are given out as gifts to children that are acting up)
simple basic first aide kit (you can get those for about $1, bandaids and antiseptic)
eye glass cleaner
sun glasses in case
Kindle or small book
Notepad with pencil or pen
Epi Pen (A MUST)
Extra medication in bottles
Keys of all sorts
folding shopping bag
small hair spray
snack (Cliff bar or granola bar)
small tooth brush and tooth paste
extra gloves (if it is winter)
extra socks (if it is winter)
small knitting project (such as hat, to kill time)
When I complained to my RA doctor about my hands and shoulder (one side was much worse) he looked at my purse and pointed at it.
THAT HAS TO GO!
So he suggested I sit down and figure out, what could perhaps just stay in my car, and what do I REALLY NEED to take in with me to a store or to the library. What was truly necessary and what would fit in the glove box.
My first sorting went poorly, but the weight of being prepared for EVERYTHING, was causing shoulder damage.
I am now down to a small crossover purse that I found on sale, from Fossil, that is perfect.
It holds JUST what is needed.
Epi Pen (never be without it)
Handicap tag (it fits in the outside pocket and I try NOT to use a space if there is only one. I then park near the cart return and use the cart as a walker. But I rarely use the last space)
medication in small container (not the entire bottle)
Sunglasses (when needed)
Sanitizing liquid (necessary for health)
I’m amazed what else I can fit in there, even the Kindle can smoosh in for a quick doctor visit. The flashlights and knitting and such can go in a small carry bag if I need them. I have TWO long doctors appointments this week. That means knitting and Kindle needed, but they aren’t needed for a trip to the grocery store.
The problem is that it appears there are two sizes of bags. HUGE and wee.
The Fossil bag I have owned is well designed. Being light weight and also engineered well, it doesn’t hurt my shoulder after being carried around. Many small bags often have so many zippers and pockets and tassels and studs or embroidery that they can weigh a lot. Every ounce counts. The cross fit is also a help. If I carry a bag by my elbow I often end up hurting that joint.
This is the bag I currently own, and the temptation to buy it in the lovely maroon is SO SO SO much. It’s a wonder of a bag in a small package. The outside pocket is perfect for the handicap tag even though it falls out sometimes.
Mind you my DREAM BAG is the tiny Haven bag….but as you can see from the price, HELLO, I get it is my companion everyday but did I mention a child in college? And we ALL HAVE DOCTORS BILLS!!!! (two doctors this week and an injection means more bills in the mail box) We can dream, but reality is I’m going to be looking at TJ Maxx clearance.
Why not get the same Fossil bag again? Because it is no longer at the sale place (TJ Maxx) and online I do put a limit on my spending. I still have a child in college. The reasons for purchasing this bag, despite the cost, is that it is so well designed and made. Only now, has it begun to show any signs of wear. The leather has held up through NH winter, and been slung in and out of more cars and shopping carts and dirty floors… and finally the lining is ripping a tad also (I am tough). Kudos to the Fossil people for making a good leather bag that is designed for USE and abuse.
The odd thing is this really isn’t a post about the need for a purse. It’s a post about how every aspect of your life revolves around your illnesses. I need a purse. I can no longer just go “I like this one”. Or “Do I pick the red or the black?” Instead it is “will this purse NOT hurt my joints and yet also carry the medication I need to save my life and the handicap tag?” It seems as if EVERYTHING has to be decided by your medical needs.
Clothing. Will this be comfortable, or will it chaff against my sensitive skin (sensitive from medication)
Shoes. Will these support my damaged joints, and if it has heels I have to WALK AWAY.
Hat. I need sun protection as my medications mean I can burn more easily. What hat will be loose enough that if I have a medication induced headache I would scream from the pressure, but also stay on and protect me. (also will this hat look stupid on me and why don’t more people wear hats so I don’t stick out?)
Car. Can I get in and out, does it have a bar on it somewhere to help me pull myself OUT.
Chair. Is that chair too straight, and how will it look with pillows all over it to support my back?
House. Yes, even the house. We moved to get a one story house because steps just aren’t going to get any easier, and while you can get a stair elevator thing, I spend so much time resting I want to be on the same floor as my family. I felt too isolated alone in bed resting a floor away from family.
Neighborhood. When we were looking at homes we were “is it flat enough for walking?”
I could go on and on, but I found that making a decision about a purse was no longer “Which one!” and is now “What will work.”
Meanwhile the old crossover bag is still going strong, and only in the early stages of needing replacing. So I have plenty of time to wait for something to come in my price range.