Monday, July 26, 2010

The Other Side by DH (part 3 of organization)

When we first started doing IVs at home we would have bags all over the living room with tubing, drugs, needles and other paraphernalia left in the paper bags that they were delivered with everything all mixed together. Our refrigerator became filled with differing drugs added onto the other maintenance drugs such as TOBI and Pulmozyme that already took up the bottom portion of our fridge. As time went we then got a two drawer clear storage bin that you can see in the left part of the picture below. We stuffed everything in it that we could organizing everything in the plastic bags that the supplies were delivered in.  This was a step in the right direction as we separated everything out and put everything that was the same in the same bag from multiple deliveries and multiple times on IVs. Finally we got even more organized to a system that I would suggest to anyone who will regularly be on IVs such as a CFer whose disease is progressing and needs to be on IVs 1-4 times a year in order to fight down the infections. 

In the picture below you see a 10 drawer organizer that is on wheels. This holds all of our IV supplies besides the heprin and saline syringes (which we left in the 2 drawer organizer because of all of the space).  We bought the 10 drawer organizer at Sam’s club and it is the perfect size.  Not too big that it takes up a lot of space but big enough to put all of the extra supplies in that we have collected over time.  It is always good to keep your old stuff (please do throw away anything that has expired -- better safe than sorry) because the home health agencies do not always deliver the right amount of something and it is a bummer to run out of something and realize it at 10 p.m. when it is impossible to get something delivered for your dose that night.  We also keep our extra stuff on hand because you never know what is going to go wrong with health insurance especially right now with all that is happening in our country.  Already in AZ we are starting to see the rationing of major health services like transplants being eliminated from state run programs. In light of these types of issues we try to keep a healthy stash on hand but not so much that it takes over or that we have out of date medical supplies.  It is hard to throw that stuff away, but it is not worth endangering Tiffany’s health because something does not work properly because of its age.  

Anyway, we labeled each drawer with what is in it and now it is very easy to put our supplies away and to find what is needed. Whether it is to flush a port or draw blood, I now no longer have to go through bags trying to find the right supplies but have it at my fingertips in just seconds which saves time and frustration. I then leave this supply organizer in the back of our closet out of the way and where it is not in the middle of our everyday life. From this I then supply our IV basket which I will show you in the next post. This last step of getting an organizer with small compartments that holds everything in different drawers has made it so much easier to stay on top of what we have and what we need.  When I get new supplies I put them in the back of the drawer and bring forward the older supplies. i.e. the tubing that start using at the beginning of an IV treatment is usually from the last time that we did IVs so that what we keep is from the current run of IVs. That allows us to usually use up anything before it expires depending on how often Tiffany goes on IVs. Taking time to organize it all with each delivery saves so much time and frustration.  Take the time to do it -- it is worth it!


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