While traversing the blogosphere, I saw this article up on the Chicago Tribune Health Blog about what should be the “Essential Items for Your Medicine Cabinet.”
Included are things such as gauze, tape, thermometer, alcohol wipes, antihistamines, and decongestants.
Then I got to thinking. What are the essentials in my medicine cabinet? Many of the things on the Chicago Tribune list are included. I didn’t see the need for some of them … like the thermometer. If your fever is 101 or 104 does it make a difference? You’re going to take Motrin. I also think that other essentials need to be added.
Here’s my list …
Gauze. Lots of it. It always seems like that when bleeding starts, it doesn’t want to stop. You can use it to clean stuff out of wounds and to dress the wounds.
ACE bandages. Can hold the gauze in place and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Also useful to apply pressure to sprains/strains, etc.
QR Powder or something similar. When gauze and pressure won’t stop bleeding, this stuff is a good backup. You can get it over the counter.
Tape. The cloth or “silk” tape is the best. I carry tape with me in my truck and in my backpack. You’ll need something to attach the dressings to the skin, right? Cloth or silk tape can also be twisted up to form pretty strong “MacGyver” twine in a pinch.
Crazy Glue. Not medical advice, but the “glue” that doctors use to fix cuts is quite similar to Crazy Glue. There is also a “liquid Band-Aid” you can get over the counter.
Hemostats. You can get them online fairly cheaply and they come in handy for a lot of things. These are similar to the instruments that doctors use to put in stitches. Alligator forceps are incredibly useful for getting things out of tight places. Some doctors use them to get things out of noses and ears.
Saline Solution. You can use the eye solution to rinse stuff out of your eyes and can even use it in a pinch to clean out wounds if you don’t have running water. I also keep a can of Wound Wash Saline in my truck.
Trauma Shears. One of those “don’t leave home without them” things for me. Again, you can get them very cheap online. Here’s one site.
Tweezers. For pulling out my nasal hairs.
Nasal decongestant. Either Afrin or Neo-Synephrine or their generic equivalents.
Nasal Rinse Kit. I love these things and they work better than any medicine your doctor can prescribe to you for sinus pain or congestion.
Naphcon-A. An eye decongestant/anti-histamine. Either it or it’s generic equivalent is great for most causes of itchy or irritated eyes.
Benadryl. Can be used for allergic reactions and is also an ingredient in several sleep aids.
Hydrocortisone cream. Helps stop itching on irritated skin.
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream. This stuff is expensive. There are other less expensive generic brands at most pharmacies.
Pain reliever(s) of choice.
Anything I’m missing?