Tonight I visited my father-in-law, Paul, who is struggling with cancer. We were called over because he was acting loopy, tired, and out-of-sorts. He had just been put on home oxygen yesterday. In my efforts to help, I was asked to run over to a neighbor’s home to borrow a fingertip pulse oximeter to evaluate the oxygen level in his blood. These symptoms could be caused by too much oxygen, too little oxygen, medication dosages, blood pressure, blood sugar, or any number of other things. We were grateful to already have a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope and a physician assistant family member handy to assist in ruling out some of the possibilities.
As a prepper, this event made me consider what “holes” I might have in my medical preps. Knowledge is important, but so are diagnostic tools. I made a note to pick up a pulse oximeter as soon as possible. Simple tools are available to assist us in making accurate diagnosis, or at least to rule out some possibilities.
I had planned to listen to a webinar tonight. I was very pleased at the timely information presented by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD, author of Armageddon Medicine, on Summer of Survival. I have great respect for the quality work that she does providing readers with accurate information on how to treat medical conditions when you are on your own. Her book, Armageddon Medicine: How to Be Your Own Doctor… in 2012 and Beyond – An Instruction Manual, is an important part of my prepping library. You can purchase it at Amazon.com or on her site.
In her presentation tonight, she touched on the importance of accurately diagnosing a condition before beginning treatment. She suggested adding the following medical reference books (or similar ones), along with her book to your prepping library:
Antibiotics have saved millions of lives. When medical care and supplies are limited, it may be a good idea to have your own stock of antibiotics. In a previous post, Stockpiling Antibiotics, I review some of Doc Cindy’s recommendations on which antibiotics you should store and what the actual shelf life is. I strongly recommend visiting her site for more information.
In the webinar, she discusses possible ways to acquire antibiotics for your stockpile. The preferred method is through your personal family physician. This insures knowledgeable prescribing and quality medications through a licensed pharmacy. If that route fails, you may need to resort to veterinary supplies or possibly even gather supplies from Mexico. It is important to make sure the antibiotics are safe for human consumption. She recommends actually physically seeing the pill to check the color and number imprinted on the pill. Check the pill with an online pill identifier.
Medical equipment is critical for accurate diagnosis and treatment. These are some of the tools that you might want to consider purchasing.
Life is full of surprises and challenges. We need to take care of our health by eating healthy foods, exercising, reducing stress and enjoying a little sunshine every day. Doc Cindy recommends keeping up-to-date on critical immunizations in order to avoid diseases when possible. No matter how hard we try to maintain our health, someone is bound to get injured or fall ill. Wisdom dictates that we prepare to take care of our loved ones in the event we find ourselves on our own. Knowledge, skill, great reference books, tools and supplies just might mean the difference between life and death.