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The Backpacks I Designed for Others Who Are Tube-Fed or on TPN

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When I first became very sick and was unable to keep food down the doctors placed me on enteral nutrition (tube-feed). I was so happy to get out of the hospital after spending over a month inpatient. I remember when the Home Nutrition company arrived at my house – I was horrified with the medical backpack they provided me with. Black, dull, boyish, unflattering and unstylish are only a few words that could describe this awful backpack.

You may think a backpack is trivial or unimportant; however, it really impacted my mentality. I consider myself a girly-girl and fashion-forward and this standardized medical-grade backpack only made me feel worse
about my own health problems. I just wanted to feel confident with my tubes and my backpack. I began myself and looked all over the internet for other backpacks. After some online investigation, I was left unsatisfied with what the market had to offer me. The backpacks on the internet were just as unfeminine and unstylish, as well as being outrageously expensive.

Due to the fact that I found nothing that suited my needs in the market, I decided to create my own backpack. After some trial and error, I created a backpack that I considered perfect for TPN (parenteral nutrition) and tube-feeds (enteral nutrition). Due to being chronically ill, I am on quite a few support groups on Facebook. I posted the backpack I created for my tube feed and now TPN. Many mutual friends reached out to me, asking for similar backpacks. After a few orders, the company organically formed through word of mouth and satisfied customers. Thus, Chronically Fit Backpacks was born.

Customers claim that these Chronically Fit Backpacks give them confidence, hope and happiness. One Chronically Fit customer stated, “I’m proud to go out in public with my tube feeds and don’t feel ashamed or like I have to hide it. I told my mom I used to disconnect my tube feed before getting my kids from the bus stop, because I didn’t want my friends/neighbors to see me with it. Now, I’m actually eager to pick the kids up from the bus stop, because I am proud of this tube that’s keeping me alive.”

chronically fit backpacks logo

Being chronically ill is difficult. We do not need to add gas to the fire with unfashionable medical gear. I strive to help women struggling with lack of confidence due to their various medical conditions. I would like to transparently educate other people that sick doesn’t mean unfashionable.

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Originally published: May 17, 2017
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