The problem with my medical bags has always been the same. Whether the bag is large or small, minimalist or includes everything bar the kitchen sink, it has always been difficult to find somewhere to safely store those ampoules.
All too often a fine litter of broken glass and ghastly, anonymous stains lurk at the bottom of my doctor’s bag, signifying another crushed ampoule of something or other.
Medical suppliers’ ampoule holders seem overpriced and tatty. Fishermen’s tackle boxes look promising, though are never quite the right size.
The original pharmacy cardboard boxes were about the best compromise, though they soon became dog-eared once they had broken loose inside my ‘hold everything’ bags.
At last I found the solution: a homoeopath’s mobile pharmacy wallet in the Manufactum catalogue.
Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathic medicine apparently always travelled with a special wallet like this one.
Copied from a revered exhibit in the Institute for the History of Medicine in Stuttgart and about the size of a purse, the Homeopathic Mobile Pharmacy Case is a discreet, folding wallet of high quality, vegetable-tanned leather with 24 elastic loops for ampoules.
‘The Devil may have all the best tunes, but why should the homoeopaths have all the best kit?’ I wondered as I binned the dinky little glass vials it came with. I replaced them with my favourite ampoules, containing the real stuff.
I am one of those doctors who still carry diamorphine — and I hope that, should my own GP need to attend me in a crisis, she will too. This wallet is a suitably safe and discreet receptacle for such very important injections.
It is small enough (13 x 9 cm) to carry on its own in an inside pocket. It is durable enough to look after itself in the poisonous recesses of a jobbing GP’s bag.
Gone are the days when we carried dainty nickel-plated opiate syringes in cases that could be sterilised, but this leather wallet resonates with that era.