Thanks to my innovative American manufacturer, which I praised a few weeks back, the Pillpouch just got a mini-face lift. Check out her shiny, new, silvery grommets. Very MADE IN THE USA, don't you think?
This most recent upgrade to the Pillbag production reminds me what an iterative process this manufacturing business is. Much like this living with lupus business, in fact.
In both cases, you try one thing, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe it works for awhile, but then it stops working, so you try something else. Sometimes what you thought was sufficient no longer is, and so you try to improve upon it until you get it right. Thus, you continually build upon your knowledge and experience until you reach the outcome that you were after in the first place: a solid, well-constructed, good-looking Pillbag in one case, or a stable, controlled chronic condition in the other.
For lupus, all you have to do is go back through my old blog posts to see the dozens of drugs, treatments, therapies, and strategies I've tried (under doctor's supervision, of course) to try and tame my disease. I didn't expect there to be such trial and error, but there certainly was. I just wish I'd known that it's practically required for a disease like lupus.
Today, realizing that most solutions to my lupus dilemmas can only come through such a process, I can tolerate the trial and error a lot better. Knowing that as I'm trying one thing after another, I'm actually building a case that will get me the relief, the stability, or the diagnosis I need, and the wellness I deserve.
And I know that the trials with my Pillbags are important, too - for with each iteration, I'm simply improving the quality of the Pillbags. Since I started designing the bags last year, I've either changed, upgraded, or revised: the grade of vinyl I use, the look of the logo tag, the placement of the logo tag, the way the logo tag is attached to the fabric, the type, color, and quantity of cording used per bag, and all of the suppliers that go along with it. Just recently, I changed up some of the fabrics we use, added grommets to the button holes, and altered the size of the hanging loop. Whew. Talk about trial and error!
But in an effort to improve - be it our life with lupus, or the Pillbag on our nightstand - we can learn to tolerate (and even appreciate) almost any iterative process. The trick is reminding ourselves of this fact during the process, rather than coming to the realization after the fact!