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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Importance of Medicine

Medicine
I was researching medicines to have on hand for TEOTWAWKI when, ironically, my family came down with a nasty bought of stomach flu. Fever, nausea, headaches, and unable to keep much of anything down. We were completely out of commission for a day and a half and luckily woke up feeling better this morning.

When you're healthy, you don't really notice it, but when you're unhealthy, you're sure as hell do. There's nothing like a few days of sickness to remind you of how important it is to be healthy, and how quickly sickness can knock you out of commission.

Illness will become even more prevalent in a TEOTWAWKI world, with compromised hygiene, water and food sources and an increased likelihood of injury. Without access to antibiotics, death from things like strep throat or infected cuts will become common. Scary and true.

Now if your vision for TEOTWAWKI includes lots of running gun battles, knife fights and the like, remember that each one of those wounds--even a relatively minor one--would have a very high likelihood of infection. The wound may be perfectly survivable, but a nasty infection would not be.

Today, many in the military are issued a pill pack that soldiers are to take upon being wounded. It contains, amongst other things, a broad-spectrum antibiotic. This is today, in modern times, where a wounded soldier is quickly evac'd to medical care. Even in those conditions, when a wounded soldier is only a short time away from medical care, the army's physicians have deemed it beneficial for them to take an antibiotic immediately upon being wounded. That's how serious the risk of infection is today. Now translate that over to TEOTWAWKI times, when there IS no other medical care. Not a good situation to be in.

Heck, just think of the times where antibiotics cured you of a nasty illness. I can personally think of several--several cases of strep throat, pneumonia. Those would have most likely turned fatal without antibiotics.

Of course, antibiotics must be prescribed by a doctor. Some doctors will write a scrip for a small supply of antibiotics for emergency or travel purposes. Many won't. You may have some leftovers from a previous illness. And there are legal ways to obtain antibiotics without a prescription, which can be found with fairly minimal searching--farm/pet medications, overseas pharmacies and so on. Of course, antibiotics should only be taken under the direction of a doctor, etc. etc.

Beyond antibiotics, just take a look at your medicine cabinet. Do you have enough OTC medicine to see you through six months or a year (or more) worth of illnesses? Head colds, coughs, fevers, flus, headaches, diarrhea--the normal, mundane stuff that most of us get at some point throughout a typical year? Those things could also become life threatening in a survival situation.

Luckily, a well-stocked medicine cabinet is not a bank-breaking proposition. Generic OTC medicines are dirt cheap, especially when you buy them on sale. Keep track of flyers from places like Wal Greens and CVS and buy when deals occur. If this is all common sense to you, then good. You'd be surprised how many homes have very minimal medicine on hand. Stock 'em up; you'll use 'em at some point.

Guns, ammo and camping gear are fun and attractive, but don't underestimate the importance of  medicine in your survival stores.
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