Editors Note: A guest submission from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!
An Additional Editor’s Note: I need to point out that this is good information and that it should be read and considered from your own point of view and that is why I have decided to publish this guests post. As it pertains to methods of stocking up on prescription medications there are some legitimate issues you must consider. As presented your interactions with your medical professionals are between you and them. Most insurance companies will not authorize prescriptions for more than 30-days. Shopping alternative pharmacies is a practice oft used in the illicit drug trade and EXTREME caution is recommended here as this may indeed get you on a list you never, ever want to be on. Some meds HAVE TO BE REPORTED at the time of sale and this is built into the software that runs a pharmacy. They will ask for a valid ID and submit it to their systems. This is a touchy subject as human weakness and human greed and government control all come together to possibly produce the worst of all outcomes. TPJ
Like many middle-aged Americans, I have a number of health conditions and rely on the medical system to manage my health concerns. So I am very concerned about making medical preps. I expect that many people’s health will get worse in an extended grid-down situation. Stress on everyone will be extremely high. A nutritious diet and sufficient sleep may not be consistently available. Such living conditions will make people more susceptible to common ailments such as cold, flu; https://theprepperjournal.com/2017/01/25/preparing-illness-shtf/ offers help for colds, flu, and a broken ankle.
Others will be more vulnerable and possibly life-threatening. Imagine a COPD patient without her oxygen pump or a diabetic patient without his diabetic medicine, or someone with chronic pain who no longer has access to pain medicines. Untreated high blood pressure will damage a person’s arteries, leading to buildup of plague, reducing blood flow and eventually heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
Does anyone in your family or prepping group take medicine for arthritis, thyroid, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, heartburn or acid reflux, asthma, diabetes, depression and/or anxiety? These are some of the most common American health issues.
This article will help you and your household or group make medical preps.
Stock up on OTC Products for Your Specific Conditions
I’m not going to recommend first aid items to stock because they can be found in https://theprepperjournal.com/2013/10/28/prepper-first-aid-finding-perfect-ifak-kit/ and https://theprepperjournal.com/2016/12/09/importance-medical-kit-preps/
These are somethings to stock for muscular pain or fibromyalgia – handheld massager, capzasin gel, salonpas patches, lidocaine patches, Stopain, Biofreeze. Potassium tablets can also reduce muscular soreness. A hot bath with Epsom Salt can also reduce muscular pain. My pharmacist told me that Vitamin B-12 that’s dissolved under the tongue, can reduce nerve pain; it must be the kind dissolved under the tongue (sublinqual) and not swallowed. An electric handheld massager can also help reduce muscle soreness; see below on how to prepare to use it after a grid-down disaster.
If you have diabetes, do you have an extra blood sugar monitor, spare battery, test strips, and alcohol swabs?
Will anyone in your family or group need a cane, crutches, walker, or wheelchair in the future?
How to Stock Extra Prescription Medicines
One way to stock up on your prescription medicines is to call in refills 4-5 days early. Do this every month for 6-7 months, and you will have one extra month’s supply of your medicine. I’ve been told that one can also do this with mail order prescriptions. Exaggerating your symptoms may also get your doctor to prescribe a larger dose (or a battery of new and expensive tests). This ma result in allowing you to store the difference in doses.
Another way is to consider reducing your dose 1-3 days per week, and storing the difference.
Another way to stock up is to ask your doctor or PA (Physician’s Assistant). Explain to him/her why you believe things will get very bad. Depending on his/her response, ask if s/he would consider prescribing a larger dose. Wait to do this until you have been seeing your doctor regularly for at least a year, to establish a trusting relationship. Do not ask for extra opioids because of widespread concern about opioid abuse and addiction, and U.S. states are passing new laws making it harder for doctors to prescribe opioids. As a patient, recognize that when you ask your doctor for extra medicine, you may actually be asking him/her to accept additional risk to his/her ability to continue practicing medicine. So be discerning in what you request. There is a possibility he or she may have some pharmaceutical samples that they can dispense.
When I first considered asking my doctor for extra med, I was skeptical about ever finding a doctor who would agree to that. So I didn’t ask for several years. Then one day, I remembered that a doctor or PA is bound by doctor-patient confidentiality; so asking would not blow my OPSEC (operational security). I thought the worst my PA could do was say no; what did I have to lose? So I explained my reasons for believing things will get bad. My PA responded in an understanding manner and then asked me what I wanted, to my surprise. Now I didn’t want to take advantage of his willingness to do so (and by that time, I had a good supply of most of my prescriptions); so I asked only for an extra dose of my diabetic medicine.
If your doctor agrees to this, I recommend going to a different pharmacy, one that does not have your insurance info in their system, and I would not give them your insurance info, as your insurance company will not approve a second dose and likely identify you as a possible unethical user (since those who abuse or sell their prescriptions often use more than one pharmacy.)
As you stock up on your prescription medications, keep them in a secure, discreet place in your home. Do not tell friends that you have them or where they are. If word gets out that you have a supply of prescription meds in your home, drug thieves may target your home. A US military study showed that medications in pill form will last 15 years. (This is very general – as a lot of meds may require refrigeration or do have short potency life spans.) A medicine in capsule form will last 1-2 years, and liquid meds a year or less. You will want to keep some in your bugout bag and get home bag, rotating them periodically.
How to Power Electric Medical Equipment in a Grid-down Situation
Do you use a CPAP for sleep apnea? Does someone in your group use a heating pad for arthritis or sore mucles? Does anyone use a TENS unit or muscle stimulation unit for chronic pain? Does a family member use an oxygen pump for a breathing ailment? Does a disabled person use an electric scooter?
If electric medical equipment are to be used in an extended grid-down situation, plans must be made for an alternative power supply. Options include wind power and water power, although most preppers choose a solar system. https://theprepperjournal.com/2017/01/26/affordable-off-grid-solar-electric/ describes a solar power system that can be used to power electric medical equipment.
https://theprepperjournal.com/2017/01/26/affordable-off-grid-solar-electric/ describes a solar power system that can be used to power electric medical equipment. https://theprepperjournal.com/2017/08/31/prepare-power-grid-outage/ offers guidance on setting up a solar system, a backup generator, and a supply of batteries. You can also find portable solar battery rechargers on amazon.
https://theprepperjournal.com/2015/12/14/p3solar-dynamo-plus-review-backup-power/ is a review of a small portable solar system. Look at your current and future needs for electrical power, and consider options before choosing one.
Physical Things You Can Do
When my PA recommended exercise a couple years ago, I chose to join a local gym and go 3 times a week. I needed cardio exercise for my heart, exercises to strengthen my low back and core muscles, and weights to add some upper body strength. Regular exercise has increased my energy, endurance, and strength. It has also improved my memory and quality of sleep. I feel years younger. My low back and hip problems meant I could not jog outdoors, but using an elliptical, step machine or stationary bike are low-impact cardio workouts. Once I got past some initial muscle soreness (my PA recommended bananas and/or a potassium supplement), exercise makes me feel years younger. To limit possible soreness when you begin exercising, ease into it; stop before you feel worn out. Regular exercise can help you improve your health and prepare physically for the stresses of a disaster.
Exercise can reduce your chronic pain because exercise releases endorphins in your body that act as natural pain relievers. If you suffer from low back pain, do some exercises to strengthen your low back and front core muscles; this will reduce your back pain by letting your muscles take some pressure off your spine. I have found this to be true for my low back pain.
It is possible learn to do spinal adjustments on your own back, which will be important for those of us with spinal issues. Here are some resources that show you how.
As you make your medical preparations, consider the medical needs of your household or group. What do you need now and in the next 3-5 years? Customize your medical preps for you and those closest to you. Hard times are coming. Will you and your family or group be medically ready?
If you reply with a question, I will try to help, and maybe others can help too.
Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!