The Survival Mom » Staying Healthy http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:54:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Medical basics: Wound infections http://thesurvivalmom.com/medical-basics-wound-infections/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medical-basics-wound-infections http://thesurvivalmom.com/medical-basics-wound-infections/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 18:12:54 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13455 Guest post by by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones of www.doomandbloom.net As a physician, I have on occasion dealt with infected wounds, sometimes from injury and also after surgical procedures. In a survival setting, most wounds will be contaminated Read More

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Guest post by by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones of www.doomandbloom.net

image by TimmyGUNZ

image by TimmyGUNZ

As a physician, I have on occasion dealt with infected wounds, sometimes from injury and also after surgical procedures. In a survival setting, most wounds will be contaminated with debris, dirt, and bacteria.  Therefore, anyone who will be medically responsible after a disaster occurs may expect to deal with wound infections.  The ability to recognize and treat infected injuries will be an important one to have in times of trouble.

 

Recognizing a wound infection

 

The human body is a miracle of engineering.  Our immune system probably nips many contaminations in the bud, but a body under stress sometimes can’t effectively fight germs. This explains why certain people, such as diabetics, are so prone to wound infections.  The elderly are especially susceptible.
Your skin is its own ecosystem, with bacteria that naturally live there, such as Staph. Epidermidis. When the immune system fails to recognize and fight an infection, even “normal” skin bacteria can invade deep wounds and cause serious damage.  Delays in healing and even invasion of the circulation can lead to life-threatening conditions.

 

To identify an infected wound, look for these signs:

 

  •         Redness around the edges which spreads over time
  •         Swelling around the wound, sometimes appearing shiny
  •         Warmth in the area of the wound compared to other parts of the body
  •         Pain out of proportion to the size of the wound
  •         Drainage of fluid or pus from the wound, which can have a foul odor
  •         Lack of healing over time

 

Red, swollen, warm skin around the wound is referred to as “Cellulitis”.  If the wound is deep enough, the bone and its marrow can become infected, which is known as “Osteomyelitis”.  Once the bacteria invades the circulation, the entire body is affected. We called this “Septocemia” or “Sepsis”. Septic patients or those with osteomyelitis commonly have fevers to go along with the above-listed signs and symptoms.

Preventing Wound Infections

 

Proper wound care and frequent dressing changes are the cornerstones to preventing wound infections. In the healing process, new cells fill in an open wound by a process known as “Granulation”.  These new cells need a moist environment for rapid growth, and so any deep wound should have a sterile moist (not soaking wet) bandage.
Although  iodine or saline solutions are often used to moisten the bandage, recent evidence suggests that sterilized drinkable water is probably as good or better. The moist bandage is then covered with a dry dressing. Oftentimes, triple antibiotic cream is applied to the skin (only) before taping the dressing into place.  Mark the bandage with the time and date it was placed.
Wound dressings should be changed at least once or twice daily. Sanitary precautions such as hand-washing, sterilized instruments, and glove usage will significantly decrease the risks of infection.

 

Treating Wound Infections

 

The most common cause of serious wound infections is the bacteria Staph. Aureus, although Group A Strep, Pseudomonas, and various intestinal bacteria are other micro-organisms commonly seen. An especially troublesome form of Staph. Aureus has shown resistant to the usual antibiotics used.  This is called Methicillin Resistant Staph. Aureus, better known to the public as MRSA.  Once only seen in hospital-based infections, this resistant micro-organism is now seen in the general population.

 

It’s important to not let a wound infection become severe because these are difficult to cure without IV antibiotics. For mild to moderate infections, consider some of the following antibiotics:

 

  •         Bactrim (Bird-Sulfa)
  •         Clindamycin (Fish-Cin)
  •         Doxycycline (Bird-Biotic)
  •         Cephalexin (Fish-Flox)

 

To find out more about these antibiotics and othersas well as dosages, and indications, check out our series of articles on the subject at doomandbloom.net or check out a print or digital copy of the Second Edition of our book “The Survival Medicine Handbook”.

 

There is more to prevention and treatment of wound infections than was covered in this article.  What tips do YOU have for dealing with this important issue?

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13 Creative & Healthy Uses for Thieves Oil http://thesurvivalmom.com/33-ways-use-thieves-oil/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=33-ways-use-thieves-oil http://thesurvivalmom.com/33-ways-use-thieves-oil/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:41:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13399 Surely there aren’t very many essential oil blends that have more impressive bragging rights than Thieves Oil. After all, how many oils claim to have been concocted during the years of the Black Plague, protecting their users from the deadly Read More

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Thieves OilSurely there aren’t very many essential oil blends that have more impressive bragging rights than Thieves Oil. After all, how many oils claim to have been concocted during the years of the Black Plague, protecting their users from the deadly pandemic that killed at least 75 million people?

The legend behind Thieves Oil is that a group of actual thieves covered themselves with a mixture of cinnamon, clove, and rosemary oils, which protected them as they stole valuables from the dead bodies of plague victims. Fast forward several hundred years, and Thieves Oil is now a proprietary blend from Young Living that has been shown in laboratory tests to effectively kill bacteria.

Here are just  few of the ways Thieves Oil can be used:

1.  Rub diluted* on the bottoms of feet for extra protection, especially during winter.  Why the soles of the feet?

  • The skin on the soles is the least sensitive location on the body, which means that most people will be able to apply oils there without any adverse reactions.
  • Some of the largest pores on the body are found on the soles of feet. Applying essential oils here means they will be absorbed more quickly.

2.  Put 2–3 drops on a dryer sheet to freshen laundry.

3.  If your family tends to share sicknesses, diffuse Thieves oil each day and apply it, diluted, to the soles of everyone’s feet before they go to bed at night.

4.  Drop on stubborn adhesives, such as glue and chewing gum, to remove from surfaces.

5.  Drop 4–5 drops on a tissue and attach to an air vent to freshen a hotel room. If you travel a lot, consider packing a small diffuser. I did this when we were staying in a hotel when we first arrived in Texas on our cross-country move.

6.  Diffuse for 24–48 hours straight to eliminate household mold.

7.  Thieves oil can also be ingested directly by adding a drop or two to a glass of water or almond milk, or sprinkling on a slice of bread or serving of rice.

8.  Add a few drops of Thieves oil to your homemade household cleaners for an extra boost against bacteria and mold.

9.  After someone has been sick, spray their bedding, pillows, and sickroom with either Thieves Spray or make your own spray by adding a few drops of the oil to a cup of distilled water.

10.  Mix a drop with a tablespoon of water, gargle, and swallow for a sore throat.

11. Apply to bee and wasp stings to neutralize the toxin and relieve pain.

12. Make a hot toddy with warm water, honey to taste, and a drop or two of Thieves oil for anyone in the family who is ill or is starting to come down with something.

13. Mix a few drops with a quarter cup of baking soda to use as a bathtub scrub.

There are many, many other uses for Thieves oil, and if you’re just starting to explore the world of essential oils, this oil is a good one for any starter kit because of its versatility and antibacterial properties. You can order Young Living Thieves oil by visiting my Young Living website.

 

* Thieves Oil blend is a strong blend and should be diluted with a carrier oil if applying anywhere on the body other than the soles of the feet. Add 2-3 drops of the oil to a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Use refined coconut oil if you want to avoid the coconut scent.

Disclaimer: After using essential oils for the past 3 years, I decided to take the plunge and become a distributor with Young Living, since all of the oils I had been using are Young Living oils. Visit my Young Living page here, and if you would like to buy your own oils at a discount, you can become a wholesale member yourself by clicking on “Sign Up Here.”

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Two Medical Kit Must-Haves From the Battlefront http://thesurvivalmom.com/two-medical-kit-must-haves/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=two-medical-kit-must-haves http://thesurvivalmom.com/two-medical-kit-must-haves/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:32:36 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13276 “Every major conflict throughout history produces a medical miracle.  This conflict’s miracle is QuikClot.”  -Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN (embedded with the U.S. Marines 2003)   Positive elements can be discovered in any situation, military action included. Two such examples from recent Read More

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quikclot-combat-gauze1-228x300
“Every major conflict throughout history produces a medical miracle.  This conflict’s miracle is QuikClot.”
 -Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN (embedded with the U.S. Marines 2003)

 

Positive elements can be discovered in any situation, military action included. Two such examples from recent activity are Quikclot (especially Quikclot Combat Gauze) and Water-Jel Burn Jel.

 

Quikclot Combat Gauze is packaged as a 4-yard roll and impregnated with a hemostatic agent for the control of bleeding.  The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care recommends Combat Gauze as a first-line hemostatic agent. In an emergency, Combat Gauze can be immediately applied and secured to a wound, stopping arterial and veinous bleeding in seconds. A novice user can simply pack an open wound with the gauze and apply pressure.

 

Quikclot Combat Gauze can be purchased on Amazon, and is understandably more expensive than conventional gauze.  I recommend adding a few packages to a normal gauze collection in home, car, and backpack kits.

 

Water-Jel-Burn-Dressing-AA750-212-ba

 

Another great product used by the military is Water-Jel Burn Jel.  This fabulous burn treatment is water-based and rapidly transfers heat away from the affected area. It is offered with a lidocaine additive for pain relief.

 

Also offered at Amazon and other places, Water-Jel products are less expensive that Quikclot, and as many in the military might say, are “no-brainer” additions to a first-aid kit.

 

By John A. Heatherly, Author of The Survival Template and The Cave and The Sea, A Novel

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3 Key medical concepts to teach to any child http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-key-concepts-teach-medical-preparedness-child/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-key-concepts-teach-medical-preparedness-child http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-key-concepts-teach-medical-preparedness-child/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 19:48:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12964 “The kids are playing doctor!” More than one horrified mom has made that statement over the many, many decades that curious kids have been re-enacting their exams at the pediatrician’s office. “I’ll be the doctor and you can be the Read More

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“The kids are playing doctor!”

image by theritters

image by theritters

More than one horrified mom has made that statement over the many, many decades that curious kids have been re-enacting their exams at the pediatrician’s office.

“I’ll be the doctor and you can be the patient!”

Kids instinctively understand that the well-being of their bodies is important.  Visits to the pediatrician are one of their earliest memories.  With a natural interest already in place, it makes sense to include them in family health training.  After all, the more people in the family who know what to do in an emergency, the better.

Key Concept: What is an emergency?

As a new mom, I came running every time one of the kids yelled, “It’s an emergency!”  It didn’t take long, though, for me to wise up.  A four year-old has a lot to learn about the definition of an emergency!  According to Patrice Blank, a medical professional and owner of 123CPR, a medical training company based in Phoenix, the definition of an emergency is the most important concept for children to learn.

“Kids must learn how to recognize when they need to get help.  Very young children, say ages three and four, usually have adults present with them, and they need to know when an adult might need help,” she says.  It’s also a vital concept for older kids who are more capable of not only recognizing the danger signs but then following through with a 911 call and even administering basic first aid themselves.

There are five danger signals kids should recognize in order to define an emergency.

  1. Is there a lot of blood?
  2. Can the person not wake up?
  3. Can the person not get up to walk or stand?
  4. Are they breathing funny?
  5. Are they acting strangely?

Each of these is a signal of a possible medical crisis, but just knowing them isn’t enough.  Parents should teach their kids what each signal means and provide simple, real-life examples and hands-on practice.

My own son has used half a dozen bandages because he was “bleeding” from scraping a knee on the sidewalk.  To him, any blood is, “a lot”.   Just about every kid has experienced a scraped elbow or knee, so this is an ideal example to use for teaching Signal #1, Is there a lot of blood?  Remind your child of those sidewalk scrapes and ask, “Were you bleeding?  Did we need to call 911?”  Chances are, they’ll recognize that the scraped knee, however painful, didn’t require medical attention.

On the other hand, do they know what, “a lot” of blood is?  Patrice uses a balloon partially filled with water to illustrate this point.  She pokes a tiny hole in the balloon and a few drops emerge.  “This isn’t a lot of blood,” she tells them.  However, once she pokes a larger hole and kids immediately see a steady stream of water, they get it.  “Now this,” she explains, “is a lot of blood.  If you see an injury like this, it’s time to call 911.”

Signal #2 asks kids to be aware if a person can’t wake up, but a deep sleep could be the result of exhaustion or medication.  On the other hand, it could be something worse.  How can a youngster determine if Grandma is just taking a nap or is in need of immediate medical attention?  Teach children to first call the person’s name loudly several times.  If there is no response, they should gently shake them.  If the person remains asleep, it’s officially an emergency.  This is a situation that is easily role-played

image by i Bjorn

image by i Bjorn

between parent and child or even using a doll as the sleeping person.

If someone is unable to get up or stand, it’s possible that a bone has been broken.  Signal #3 can be a bit easier to diagnose when the injured person can still talk and direct the child to get help.  Recently I slipped on a Frisbee that had been left on the living room floor.  Although I didn’t require help from paramedics, I was perfectly capable of yelling, “Whoever left this thing on the floor is grounded for a week!”  If a bone had been broken, I would have been just as verbal if not more so!  However, an important part of training kids to distinguish between an emergency and non-emergency is learning to ask an injured person, “Can you move?  Can you get up?”  If the answer is negative or if the person is unable to answer, a 911 call should be made immediately.

The fourth danger signal is, “funny breathing.”  If a family member or friend is asthmatic, this will be easy to identify.  If not, the parent can imitate gasping for breath, struggling for a breath, wheezing, or choking.  Breathing problems are a significant warning sign and help should be called for immediately.  Around age seven or eight, kids should know where to locate life-saving medication for an asthmatic in the family and how to assist in its administration.

Finally, Signal #5 asks, “Are they acting strangely?”  Head injuries, seizures, a stroke, reactions to medication, and low blood sugar are just a few issues that can cause symptoms such as disorientation, trembling, dizziness, or slurred speech.  Teach kids to trust their instincts, and if they think someone is acting strangely, to go ahead and make that 911 call.

Key Concept #2:  Dial 911

Once a child of any age realizes that help is needed, they need to feel comfortable about dialing 911 for help.  In a scary situation, most kids will be tempted to first call a parent or run over to a neighbor’s house, but valuable time is lost every minute that a life-saving call is delayed.

Beginning at age four or so, parents and kids can begin role-playing 911 phone calls.  My daughter can be quite shy and hated talking on the phone when she was younger.  We started rehearsing 911 phone calls together and her confidence grew.  A stranger

image by gintheemt

image by gintheemt

on the other end of the phone can be intimidating, which makes rehearsal extremely important, even with older children.

Here are a few suggestions for helping your kids learn to make 911 calls and provide vital information to the operator.

  1. Rehearse dialing 911 on both a cell phone and the family landline phone.  If using a cell phone, make sure the child knows to hit the ‘Send’ button in order to complete the call.
  2. Teach the youngster their home address and the first and last name of every person living in the household.
  3. Post the five danger signs somewhere in the house.  Make sure everyone knows where they are so a diagnosis can be made swiftly.
  4. As part of the role-play, ask the child, “What is your emergency?” and coach them how to answer that question.  It will likely be the first question posed by the 911 operator.
  5. Teach your children to listen very carefully to the 911 operator and follow their instructions exactly.
  6. Once the 911 call has been completed, then a second call can be placed to a parent, relative, or family friend.
  7. If the emergency occurs at night, the child should turn on all indoor lights, unlock the front door, secure pets in another room, and, if they are old enough, go outside to signal the emergency vehicles.  This is especially important if your home is difficult to locate.

Key Concept #3:  Family-specific medical issues

Many families deal with critical health issues every day and are more likely to experience health and medical related emergencies.  From an early age, children need to know about these issues, who is affected, and what they should do if help is needed.  It might be a severe allergy, Grandma’s pacemaker, or a sibling with Down syndrome.  Whatever the situation, explain it in age-appropriate terms, specific danger signals to watch for, and then, how to help.

Advanced training for kids

Surprisingly, medical training, including CPR, is something kids can master beginning around age eight or nine.  “Kids are amazing,” Patrice Blank states.  “They catch on to everything I teach in first aid classes and CPR.”  Often, parents think children are too young for important information, but in the case of medical-related training, they can get started at an early age.

Many city governments, Red Cross offices, and even the YMCA offer classes in babysitting safety and first aid.  “Kids can easily learn how to clean and wrap a wound.  They can learn how to clear out airways and use the Heimlich maneuver,” Patrice says.

Your home likely contains at least one first aid kit, and kids need to know where it’s located and how to use the supplies. The very best way to learn this is by taking classes as a family.  ‘What if’ discussions and rehearsals will deepen the understanding of important concepts and reinforce vital skills.

We parents tend to think that we’ll be the ones handling emergencies, but it’s very possible that we may be out of commission ourselves or the kids may be home alone when a crisis occurs.  Begin medical training early on.  Rehearse frequently emergency situations, calls to 911, and first aid procedures.  Post emergency phone numbers and the five Danger Signals, and continue adding to their medical education as they mature.  Someday, the life your kid saves may be your own!

 

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Book review: Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid by James Hubbard M.D. http://thesurvivalmom.com/12878/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12878 http://thesurvivalmom.com/12878/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 16:23:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12878 I never thought I would enjoy reading a book about treating burns to human flesh, but I actually did when I read Dr. James Hubbard’s book Burns. When he asked if I would read and review his newest book, I Read More

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I never thought I would enjoy reading a book about treating burns to human flesh, but I actually did when I read Dr. James Hubbard’s book Burns. When he asked if I would read and review his newest book, I was only too glad to do so.

If anyone can make First Aid interesting and understandable, it’s James Hubbard. LR-First-Aid-Cover-2001I’ve enjoyed reading his blog, The Survival Doctor, and watch for his tips on Facebook. His advice is always practical, always easy to understand and apply.

His new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid is a handy 7×5 inches, ready to be popped into a backpack or in the glove compartment of your vehicle. The author’s intention is to make this information handy both in its physical form as well as it’s very readable content.

That’s what I liked most about the Living Ready Pocket Manual. It’s well organized and explains in very simple terms each step in responding to a first aid emergency. In a panic, I don’t need complicated instructions. Just tell me what to do, how to do it, and when to get it done!

Before a first aid emergency hits, Dr. Hubbard provides a comprehensive list of the supplies and medications to have on hand. However, just in case something isn’t available or your kids have used it up playing medic, he also provides suggested alternatives. For example, he recommends SAM splints but then suggests using sticks, paint stirrers, or newspaper as makeshift splints. It’s always a good idea to have alternatives in the back of your mind and listed here in this book, it’s even better.

His list of medical supplies are easily attainable at most any drug store and on Amazon. When I saw his recommendation for including a box of 100 tongue depressors, I knew I wouldn’t be finding those at Walgreens, so headed over to Amazon, and there they were for about 5 bucks. The remaining 145 pages of this book guide the reader through steps in dealing with:

  • What to do when a person collapses
  • How to handle choking
  • How to make water drinkable
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure to extreme heat and cold
  • How to treat both hyperthermia (overheating) and hypothermia
  • Makeshift sound-treatment tools
  • Sterilizing medical instruments
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Animal bites
  • First, second, and third degree burns
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Treating bone, muscle, and joint injuries
  • Pneumonia
  • …and much, much more

You’ll also find “Prevention Tips”, illustrations, pop-out boxes with extra details, and a thorough index. The Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid is just as handy for the busy mom with children as it is to the hunter or backpacker who heads out into the wilderness. Survival minded people will appreciate the practical and realistic advice.

Dr. Hubbard readily admits that calling 911 or seeking medical help is going to be necessary in many situations, but until that ambulance arrives, this book will provide guidance and peace of mind. I highly recommend it.

To read more reviews of the Living Ready Pocket Manual by other bloggers, visit this page.

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9 Things every prepper should know about Obamacare http://thesurvivalmom.com/9-things-every-prepper-know-obamacare/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=9-things-every-prepper-know-obamacare http://thesurvivalmom.com/9-things-every-prepper-know-obamacare/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 17:32:19 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12616 You haven’t been living under a rock, so I’m certain you’ve been catching the news about the debacle of Obamacare, now in full swing. From millions of cancelled insurance policies to a $600 million website that is virtually non-functional, to Read More

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You haven’t been living under a rock, so I’m certain you’ve been catching the news about the debacle of Obamacare, now in full swing. From millions of cancelled insurance policies to a $600 million website that is virtually non-functional, to stories of doctors leaving the field, the future of our health care and health insurance looks pretty ugly.

image by artwitsyl

image by artwitsyl

Preppers like to be prepared for just about anything, so here are 9 things you should know about this brave new world of Obamacare:

1.  Your disposable income is going to decrease. This new (un)Affordable Care Act carries with it a price tag in the hundreds of billions of dollars and some expect it to quickly exceed a trillion. This will be paid for with new taxes by a government desperate to stay afloat.

If you’re one of the lucky few who is able to get a truly affordable policy, don’t get complacent. You’ll be paying additional money for that monthly premium with higher taxes yourself.

2.  It’s never been more important to carefully watch how every dollar is being spent and watch for discounts whenever you can. With increased taxes and increased costs of medical/health care, preparedness is still important, but the new challenge is to find money for those preps!

Millions of Americans have already cut back on expenses, are stunned at the price tag of their insurance policies, and are barely managing to pay for life’s necessities.

If you have a copy of my book handy, I wrote an entire chapter, Chapter 9 “Survival Finances”, about taking proactive steps to either spend less or make more. Preferably, you can find a way to do both and have the money that you need to prepare.

3.  Increase your medical/health care knowledge and skill base, ASAP! To get started, take a First Aid and CPR class. Extend that knowledge by signing up for EMT classes at a community college and taking advanced classes with American Red Cross. REI sometimes offers Wilderness First Aid. There are lots of resources out there, including tons of YouTube videos on topics related to first aid and medical education.

Additionally, beef up your medical supplies. Learn about using fish antibiotics for human ailments. (Hint: Fish antibiotics are exactly the same as those your doctor prescribes!) Grow a medicinal herb garden, learn about using essential oils for healthcare, buy a book of home remedies.

image by TimmyGUNZ

image by TimmyGUNZ

Just as important, though, is knowing when you MUST seek professional medical help. Even as I give this advice, I worry about well-meaning individuals who are afraid to go to the ER or Urgent Care because of the expense, and then end up with a life-threatening medical crisis.

4.  Personalize your medical knowledge according to the needs of you and your family. Don’t just stop with basic, generalized knowledge. If a loved one has allergies or any other special medical need, determine to become their medical first responder by researching their condition, medications, preventive steps, and signs that indicate when professional help is needed.

Stock up on medicines and supplies for those needs.

5.  Medical professionals are even more aware than you of the changes coming to their field. It’s been reported that tens of thousands of doctors are planning to get out of the profession entirely.

Within your circles of friends, family, and acquaintances, make a point to find out who is in the medical field and may be interested in a barter or all-cash arrangement for their services. There are doctors who now work on a cash basis only and do not accept insurance of any kind.

Be sure to look further than the traditional medical professions and seek out chiropractors, massage therapists, and others in alternative medicine. Sometimes where traditional medicine fails, an alternative approach succeeds.

6.  Preventive care!! If you’ve gotten lazy with the physical exercise, if you’re a regular at Chick-fil-A, now would be a good time to change those habits. Beef up your immune system, stock up on effective supplements.

Make optimal health your long-term goal and focus on it each day.

This is the one sure-fire way to limit the amount of money you’ll spend each year on health care and some insurance companies give discounts if you’re physically fit and are a non-smoker.

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7.  Find doctors you respect and trust and establish a long-term professional relationship with them. They may be able to provide you with free pharmaceutical samples and discounts for their services if you do not have insurance and can pay with cash during your office visit.

8.  Stock up on over-the-counter meds. It wasn’t all that long ago that asthma patients were forced to buy more expensive inhalers because of a change mandated by the FDA.

At this point, nothing would surprise me when it comes to arbitrary regulations, so it sure wouldn’t hurt to have a supply of any OTC medications you regularly use.

9.  You lose valuable privacy as soon as you enter the new health insurance/health care system. Take that into very careful consideration before signing on.

Moving forward, make prep purchases with cash, in person if possible. Keep in mind that every time you fill out a form online, it’s recorded somewhere.

 

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VIDEO VIBE WEBINAR: Staying healthy this winter, the natural way http://thesurvivalmom.com/video-vibe-webinar-staying-healthy-winter-natural-way/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-vibe-webinar-staying-healthy-winter-natural-way http://thesurvivalmom.com/video-vibe-webinar-staying-healthy-winter-natural-way/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:32:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12623 You can watch a recording of this video webinar at this link. It’s that time of year again. Surely the people at Kleenex look forward to fall and winter as their busiest time of year when millions of Americans catch Read More

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You can watch a recording of this video webinar at this link.

It’s that time of year again. Surely the people at Kleenex look forward to fall and winter as their busiest time of year when millions of Americans catch the flu and colds.

Instead of first reaching for over-the-counter meds, why not learn about treating these bugs a more natural way?

We have an amazing panel of experts for you to learn from. They discussed how to avoid getting sick this winter – and what to do if you or your family come down with something!

Julie-head-shot-informal[1]Julie Behling Hovdal hosts Essential Survival TV and the Essential Survival Radio Show on The Survival Mom Radio Network. She’s the author of an outstanding book that has become a very useful reference tool in my home. Julie discusses ways to use essential oils to stay healthy.

Gordon-Laura[1]Husband and wife team, Dr. Gordon Tessler and his wife Laura, are well known across the country as experts in holistic medicine. They have authored numerous books and have a lot to share on the topic of boosting your immune system.

With all the changes coming to our health care and health insurance systems, this information is vital.

Link to recorded webinar: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/view_meeting/83fba1fc/21771895/259907c311

 

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Herbal First Aid for the Family: Every day and Post-Disaster, Part 1 http://thesurvivalmom.com/herbal-first-aid-family-every-day-post-disaster-part-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=herbal-first-aid-family-every-day-post-disaster-part-1 http://thesurvivalmom.com/herbal-first-aid-family-every-day-post-disaster-part-1/#comments Mon, 02 Sep 2013 10:00:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12412 I’m delighted to introduce you to The Human Path, an online resource that offers an herbology course, among many other programs. This article was written by Sam Coffman, who has developed the programs, along with his wife, Suchil. He is Read More

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I’m delighted to introduce you to The Human Path, an online resource that offers an herbology course, among many other programs. This article was written by Sam Coffman, who has developed the programs, along with his wife, Suchil. He is a former Green Beret and has been an herbalist for more than 20 years. Check out their website at this link or by clicking on their ad in the sidebar.

As the founder and director of a survival and herbalism school, I combine the two worlds very often into practical plant medicine for households in the case of disaster. Much like my own entry into the world of medicine as a U.S. Special Forces (aka Green Beret) medic, I have always felt that if you can learn to take care of the worst-case scenarios first, the rest is a piece of cake.

image by Living in Monrovia

image by Living in Monrovia

For this reason, my “niche” in herbalism has been largely focused on dealing with medical situations that would be largely encountered after a disaster or social breakdown.  This is herbalism that is highly practical and works very well at home in everyday situations as well – for the home or even neighborhood clinic.

This attitude applies for the family that is serious about being prepared for disaster, in the sense that medicine (much like food and water) is one of the first luxuries of the 1st world society we live in, that will likely vanish as a resource following a major disaster of local (e.g. Hurricane Katrina) or certainly any disaster event of regional, national or global proportions.  Looking at the history both in the USA and around the world, during any extended disaster, we see that hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and even veterinarian clinics become open-season supply sources for people to loot and raid.  Hospitals often become killing zones in fact, in more ways than one.

No matter how much you store orthodox, pharmaceutical medicine (antibiotics, steroids, etc.) you will still be in “ration mode” any time you want to use these types of medicine.  Should you break open a vial of antibiotics or not?  Is this someone you planned on having to help medically when you were storing these medications?  Are they expired?  If so, do you know how much to use or are you going to potentiate a super-infection? Were they stored in the correct temperature?

Do you have the proper medical training to use these pharmaceuticals and more importantly recognize if an illness or infection is not responding the way it should to the use of this kind of medicine? Do you know how to deal with a severe allergic reaction and how to differentiate between that and the severity of the illness or infection you are trying to treat? These are just a few of the issues and questions you have to face with pharmaceutical medicine in a post-disaster situation.

image by we-make-money-not-art

image by we-make-money-not-art

So in a nutshell, not only are you forced to ration and affect every medical decision you make (assuming you have the training and experience to use it), but you also are using tools that you don’t have the training and experience to use competently, unless you are a doctor, PA, nurse practitioner, nurse, etc.  Medical professionals in our current orthodox, pharmaceutical medical world spend 1000’s of hours working, studying, interning and learning about the conditions they are faced with and the proper use of the pharmaceuticals they are using.

Add to this the massive increase of infection and illness from lack of sanitation, open sewage, corpses, water borne diseases, vector-borne diseases, etc. and you have an environment that even trained medical professionals are going to have difficulty coping with, using the tools and drugs they are used to – assuming they have enough of either, and they never will.  There are rarely enough pharmaceuticals available for everyone in a post-disaster situation.

So what are the reasons to turn toward plant medicine for yourself, your family and even your neighborhood or community?  There are many.  Here are a few:

  • Plant medicine works, and works quite well when used correctly.  While more difficult to work with severe bacterial infections than the correct dosage of the correct antibiotic (assuming it is on hand and you are aware of what that is), herbal medicine is still highly (and completely) effective in most cases of chronic and acute illness, to include parasitic infections (e.g. flatworm, roundworm), protozoal infections (e.g. giardia, cryptosporidium), many bacterial infections – especially of the gut, viral infections (e.g. dengue fever, influenza) and other acute conditions that could be common in a post-disaster situation.
  • Plant medicine is something that you can begin learning and working with immediately in your own home.  You do not have to be a medical professional.  You have to only be willing to learn, study and understand your
    image by suzettesuzette

    image by suzettesuzette

    limitations as you slowly expand beyond them.

  • Plant medicine is generally speaking more gentle in its effect, yet is every bit as effective because it assists your body at doing what it does best:  Healing and finding balance.  Every plant contains thousands of constituent as opposed to a single constituent in a pharmaceutical.  These constituents have combined effects and work in a different manner than we are accustomed to with the single-constituent or single-chemical model of modern pharmaceuticals.
  • Plant medicine is a sustainable resource – potentially never-ending.  There is no need to ration – at least not to the same extent as you must ration pharmaceuticals post-disaster.  You can grow very effective medicinal herbs (and should grow it) in your garden, your greenhouse, your kitchen and more.  You can wildcraft medicinal herbs from your local ecosystem.  For now (although not in a post-disaster) you can buy medicinal herbs online and then prepare and store them.
  • Plant medicine can store for longer than most pharmaceutical medicines if prepared correctly.
  • Learning plant medicine is a skill.  Unlike a resources, once you have started learning herbalism, you can’t lose it, and the resources for it are all around you.  There is no limitation to how much you can learn (believe me, you will never even come close to learning all there is to know even if you did nothing else for an entire lifetime), and your skill lives and grows everywhere you live and breathe as well.

In part two of this article, I will discuss some of the most useful and potent plants that grow all around us and are easily identifiable.  I will focus on several plants that grow throughout North America and explain how to identify as well as use them.  Bear in mind that this is a skill you must continue to learn and practice.  This isn’t something you can read one time and think you have all that you need.  You must learn to identify, prepare and use a specific plant, and along with that, you must change (slightly) how you think about medicine.  You can’t just substitute a plant for a pharmaceutical.  It is necessary to change the way in which you understand how our physiology responds to disease and health – as represented by the bio-medicine that a plant offers.

Learn more about Sam Coffman’s herbology course at The Human Path.

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12 Days of Back-to-School Giveaways: Day 4, Mamma Chia Squeeze snacks! http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-4-mamma-chia-squeeze-snacks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-4-mamma-chia-squeeze-snacks http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-4-mamma-chia-squeeze-snacks/#comments Sun, 04 Aug 2013 15:57:53 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12273 This giveaway has ended, and reader Grilled Asparagus is the winner! If you would still like to try Mamma Chia Squeeze snacks, visit their website! Here’s something completely different! Chia seeds have wonderful health benefits. I occasionally add them to Read More

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This giveaway has ended, and reader Grilled Asparagus is the winner! If you would still like to try Mamma Chia Squeeze snacks, visit their website!

Here’s something completely different!

chia squeezeChia seeds have wonderful health benefits. I occasionally add them to homemade salad dressings and smoothies and probably should be using them more often. When I received a sample package of Mamma Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks (whew!, long name!), I discovered a new way to include these super-seeds in our diet.

Mamma Chia Squeeze is a good source of fiber, it’s gluten-free and vegan, it contains 1200 mg of Omega-3 and only has 70 calories. That calorie count really surprised me because it’s a sweet treat and I expected it to contain a lot of sugar.

One lucky reader will receive a sample pack of Mamma Chia Squeeze to either hoard for herself/himself or to share with the kids! Since they come in a squeeze-type container, they’re kind of fun to eat/drink. We refrigerated ours but you can drink them at room temperature, too. Very handy for packed lunches.

If you want to try these even if you don’t win, you can buy them online directly from Mamma Chia.

They come in four flavors:

  • Blackberry Bliss
  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Green Magic

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me which flavor would be your favorite.

And, to learn more about chia seeds…

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Dandelions: The weed you need http://thesurvivalmom.com/dandelions-the-weed-you-need/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dandelions-the-weed-you-need http://thesurvivalmom.com/dandelions-the-weed-you-need/#comments Sun, 04 Aug 2013 10:08:48 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12267 Guest post by Donna Miller, host of Surviving on Shoestrings and co-owner of Miller’s Grainhouse The dandelion is usually thought of as a pesky and annoying, yet remarkably resilient weed. It is the arch nemesis of the landscape artist and Read More

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Guest post by Donna Miller, host of Surviving on Shoestrings and co-owner of Miller’s Grainhouse

The dandelion is usually thought of as a pesky and annoying, yet remarkably resilient weed. It is the arch nemesis of the landscape artist and gardener alike.  The battle rages on from spring to fall with this resilient weed.  But, instead of attempting to eradicate them, let’s take DandelionGreens2note of their benefits.

Apart from being a beautiful yellow and fun for kids to blow the seeds once the bloom dies, this misunderstood plant is actually beneficial in practically every way in which a plant could be. The dandelion:

  • replenishes top soil
  • is entirely edible
  • has a long history of being a medicinal herb.

Dandelions are actually little yellow flags that pop up to tell you there is some type of imbalance to your top soil.  Not a weed that is bent on taking over your tomatoes, but actually an attempt to help aid in their growth by replenishing the soil of what it is missing.

They are actually the initial step in the improving and restoring of a stripped or ruined area of soil back to its balanced and hospitable growing environment.   Their wide-spreading roots loosen hard-packed soil, aerate the earth and help reduce erosion.

image by nathansnostalgia

image by nathansnostalgia

The tap root of the dandelion, which is what makes them so hard to kill, reaches deep down into the depths of your dirt to bring vital nutrients to the top soil. The sun, rain, other elements to which the soil is over exposed due to tilling or over growing has removed these nutrients such as calcium. The tap root of the dandelion brings calcium from deep in the soil and makes them available to other plants.  Wherever you see dandelions peering out over green turf and turning it gold, the earth is being rejuvenated!

Go ahead! Eat a dandelion!

Dandelions are actually much more nutritious compared to many of the veggies in your garden. They contain even more Vitamin A than spinach, even more Vitamin C than tomatoes, and are a powerhouse of additional nutrients including Vitamins B and D. They additionally include the vital minerals of iron, calcium and also potassium.

Every component of the dandelion is edible. The yellow flowers make a delicious treat, while the leaves possess even more nutritional content (including Omega 3 as well as 6 fatty-acids) compared to any kind of leaf lettuce you’ll locate in a produce section of your grocer. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used as caffeine-free coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines and jellies.

Nature’s medicine

Dandelions are a green and growing first aid kit. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

The main use has been as a diuretic and liver/bloodstream purifier. It stimulates production of bile, which can help break down gall stones. Choline, one of the dandelion’s main constituents, is essential to healthy liver function. The dandelion also contains hydrochloric acid, which helps the digestive system. The milk in the stem can be used as a skin softener, and it has an anti-fungal agent which can help control yeast infections. As a tea, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

The dandelion is your new BFF!

Like many things in life that keep showing up unexpectedly, we may need to take a second look at the benefits found in something so persistent. There are so many uses for the dandelion that was once thought as a weed that I have now taken to cultivating them right alongside my salad greens.  When I see one pop it’s little yellow head in the midst of kale or spinach, it becomes a welcome member of the family. It nourishes my other plants, often graces our table and is in the sustainable first aid kit.

Helpful links

Dandelion recipes

University of Maryland Medical Center, “Dandelion” (health benefits)

Health benefits of dandelions

Revenge of the dandelions

Learn more about Donna Miller and listen to her radio show, “Surviving on Shoestrings” here!

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