An Ounce of Prevention...
My wife and I are very good friends with a couple who thinks like us and who finally made the leap and moved out into the country. The down side is it was a fair piece away from where I live and so we did not see each other for several months. One day we bundled up the kids and headed out to the sticks to see them in their new digs and give them a dog (another story, that).
My buddy who we’ll call Tommy is a young, strong man. I have known him for years and I’ve seen him bulk up with weight lifting and I’ve seen him slim down – heck I’ve even seen him a bit chunky after the holidays. Well when we got to his house and met in the kitchen I was thinking “man, he looks like crap”. But I’m too polite to say so. My wife (God bless her) has no such compunctions and said “Tommy, you look like crap – what’s wrong?” He was emaciated and had a weird a coloring.
Tommy’s wife who we’ll call Tammy gave him the Death Eyes that only she can throw and said, “See? Tell them!” Bottom line – Tommy needed to have his gall bladder removed and had been putting it off and putting it off. He is a smart man – he knew it was a simple operation. He knew he would feel better when it was over. And yet he procrastinated.
He is a survivalist (my word – not sure how he’d characterize himself) and he KNEW that he was putting not only himself, but his entire family at risk if TEOTWAWKI occurred while he was in his current state. So I resolved to bug him until he had it taken care of. He did and he’s fine now.
Not to criticize the mote in my brother’s eye – I have needed to have some dental work for a few months now and I haven’t gotten around to scheduling an appointment. Right now this type of preventive medicine is no big deal – easy to schedule, easy to complete. Let Murphy throw a monkey wrench into the scheme though and we have an entirely different set of problems.
Guys and gals – the time to take care of these basic medical concerns is now. Army soldiers cannot deploy if they haven’t had their teeth checked in the past 6 months. And they are going to a place that has field hospitals and dental clinics. In a TEOTWAWKI situation you will have neither. When was the last time you visited the dentist? Or had your eyes checked? Or got a complete physical? How are your cholesterol and blood pressure levels? How is your back, or knee, or elbow?
Your ability to deal with any lingering medical issues will be severely restricted in any type of emergency. Additionally, medical problems will be much more significant issues in your life at that time because of your inability to gain relief. Take care of yourself now.
Diagnosing and dealing with on-going medical problems is one aspect of preventive medicine but there are others. Ensuring clean water is one – if you drink dirty water you will get sick. Directly related to this is proper disposal of human waste. Do you have a back up plan for when your porcelain throne ceases to function? Do you have the proper supplies and training to support this plan? Along the same lines is personal hygiene and proper washing of dishes and laundry. How is your hot water and soap supply? How are your backups?
Preventive medicine also includes preventing disease. Are your shots up to date? Do you practice proper hand washing on a daily basis? Do you practice avoidance strategies when dealing with sick people not loved ones or others in your care? Do you have proper pest control measures and back ups? Many people have been killed by mosquito and flea borne diseases over the years. What are your plans to prevent this from happening to you and yours? Supplies such as extra screening, insect repellant, mouse and rat traps and poison and so on all come to mind.
The key here is to get any ailments treated and then prevent yourself from becoming sick. It’s not as sexy as thinking and talking about guns. It’s not even as cool as laying in another case of baked beans. But it could be more important in the end. Please give this some thought, make some plans, and take action.
See ya out there.
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Prepared Americans for a Strong America