Skip to main content

Alternative uses for medical supplies: Summer Edition

Summer is in full swing, and with a new season comes new opportunities to find creative ways to use surplus medical supplies. Sunday was Father's Day, so we set out late in the bright, sunny afternoon on the 1 hour drive to Grandma & Grandpa's house to celebrate. We weren't more than 15 minutes down the road when Donny's sunglasses spontaneously combusted on his face. Well, okay, they didn't catch on fire, but they might as well have. They just flat out fell apart. Donny can't function in sunlight without sunglasses on. He has very sensitive eyes. Our wedding pictures are proof of that. The outdoor pictures are a mixture of sunglasses and squinty eyes. He didn't want to wear mine, so I did the only thing I could do: whipped out a roll of medical tape and slapped those puppies back together.
Good as new. Not sure why he refused to wear them outside of the car...
Today was supposed to be pool day with friends from church. We were running a little late because we had to get our workout in first. (Billy Blanks' Tae Bo on YouTube. yeah baby.) After spending half an hour slathering my pasty white children (and self) with sunscreen, we were finally ready to go. We are once again without a car this week so we had to be not lazy and walk. It takes about 10 minutes to get there but it's friggin' hot outside so the only thing that makes it worth walking to the pool is cooling off in the pool before you have to walk home. Much to the dismay of my 4 eager-to-swim kiddos, the pool is closed today for repairs. Apparently the HOA couldn't have planned ahead well enough to do repairs BEFORE it got hot enough to swim. There was much whining and shuffling of feet on the way home, followed by some crying and more whining. Being the frugal person that I am, I didn't want to waste the sunscreen I had spent so much time putting on everyone so I decided to come up with a plan B.
First, we tried making a sprinkler out of a water bottle and 4 inch wide Durapore. It worked beautifully for about 5 seconds before the durapore stopped sticking and it flew apart.
Plan C: Milk jug + Durapore. Also worked beautifully for about 10 seconds before the durapore stopped sticking and it flew apart.
Plan D: Milk jug + latex strap from Bard catheter bag. (see, I knew I kept those straps for a reason...)
And that's how Mommy saved the day, with a little help from some medical tape, a milk jug with dozens of holes stabbed into it, and a latex strap from a catheter bag.


Popular Posts

Adhesives Part 1: Adhesives & Taping Techniques for NG tubes

This series has been a long time in the making. Back when Raya got her NG tube, I had no idea there were so many different adhesives on the market. At the hospital, they had used some kind of fabric tape in a box that had to be cut with scissors and that was the ONLY thing we accidentally left at the hospital. Raya caught her little pinky finger on the tube a couple days after we got home and the only medical tape I had ended up bringing home was Durapore. This tape is VERY sticky, very strong, and definitely not the best option for the tender little cheek of a 2 month old baby. A couple days later, we went to the GI doctor and the nurse saw the tape and told me that Duoderm would be much gentler on her skin and she gave me a couple of 6x6 sheets to try out.
That was the beginning of our trial-and-error process of figuring out which types of adhesives were better for all of the different things we used them for. This will of course NOT be an exhaustive review of every adhesive out the…

Sensory Processing Disorder: How to Make a Weighted Blanket

Lately I've been toying with the idea of making Raya a weighted blanket. She loves heavy things and has a lot of sensory seeking behaviors in regards to proprioception. Translation: she craves sensory input that helps her to gain awareness of where her body is in space, and it takes stronger than average input for her to get the feedback that her body is craving. (or at least that's how I understand it :) She seeks out "heavy work" activities, like carrying heavy things, pushing heavy things around on the floor (chairs, full laundry baskets, etc), and anything that gives heavy resistance to her muscles and joints. Lucky for us, carrying her backpack is a good heavy work activity because the poor kid gets to do that for a few hours a day. :)
The idea behind a weighted blanket and other heavy work activities is that when the child gains greater body awareness through proprioceptive input, the nervous system can be calmed and the need for constant fidgiting, moving, jump…

Feeding Tube Terminology: G tube words

One of the many things I didn't have a clue about before Raya got her G tube was the fact that there are LOTS of different kinds of G tubes, all with similar but different features & functions. Some of the terminology that was tossed around in the beginning was very confusing. When I met with the surgeon to pick out a button for when Raya's initial tube was ready to be changed, they pulled a bunch of tubes out of a cupboard, put them down on the table in front of me and said, "What kind do you want?" I had NO idea what to pick, all I knew was that anything would be better than what we had at that point.

Here are a few things I wish someone could have explained to me before Raya got a G tube:

1. What the heck does PEG mean?
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In other words, a gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdominal wall using an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon to the best location to place the tube. The term PEG is used to refer to …