We are going on a short trip this weekend, and I spent last night packing. I was once again reminded that packing for a trip with Gracie is considerably different than packing for anyone else. Packing for Gracie means transporting a small urgent care. You never know what she might need, and it’s far better to be prepared for the worst and need none of it than not to have crucial supplies. Remembering past trips, she has had a sprained wrist, bitten her finger to the bone, gotten rug burn over the entire front of her body from sliding down carpeted stairs, spiked fevers every time the tylenol/advil wore off from a nasty infection, and of course had numerous injuries that were less dramatic.
This time, I packed a large assortment of wound care supplies, partly to take care of the wounds she already has and partly to be prepared for any other possible wound. Lately she has been scratching herself, and of course since she’s Gracie she scratches the skin right off without batting an eye. I’ve had to cover the scratched areas with bandages to keep her from getting to them. So we have all the bandaging stuff for those scratches, plus everything else we may use.
I also packed a few ace bandages in various sizes. These come in handy for multiple purposes — not only are they great for sprains and fractures, they also work well to cover areas prone to infection like hands and fingers. And, of course, where there are ace bandages there must also be tape — lots and lots of tape, because she is a little Houdini when it comes to getting out of bandages. She doesn’t even try but they seem to simply fall off her.
And, just because you never know, I also packed the advil and tylenol and a couple medicine syringes. I doubt we’ll need these but it’s far better to have them and not need them than to try to find an open store late at night in small town America. I thought about taking the benadryl but decided to leave it at home and just brought the topical benadryl gel instead.
Then, of course, I had to bring plenty of diapers and wipes and also about a million changes of pants. Gracie goes through about three pair of pants per day, on average, because she will go from completely dry to completely soaked in a matter of minutes. You never know when the soaking will occur, and there’s no avoiding it. Even if I changed her every hour, she would still wet through her pants because she stays dry until she’s completely full of pee and then everything gets wet. The diapers and laundry and floor cleaning are a hidden cost of parenting a special needs kid.
Finally, I packed her gloves. I imagine she’ll spend a lot of time outside while we’re on vacation and she needs to have her hands protected. I need to remember her cooling vest too so she doesn’t overheat outside, but that has to be packed at the last minute so the ice will stay frozen. It’s on my list of things not to forget.
Packing for Jackson and me was much different. I grabbed our clothes and toiletries and we were done. I also had to pack some wraps and splints for my leg (turns out it’s a tibial stress fracture causing all that pain), just in case we want to hike or something. Still, it was pretty easy to pack for us. And hey, if either of us gets a wound or something, we are well prepared. We have a small urgent care in Gracie’s luggage.