The Change: A possible scenario
It’s been almost three weeks since a calamitous earthquake destroyed all the bridges in the area. Most of the businesses are still closed and the few shops in the area were already cleared out two weeks ago vandalized. Anna has been doing fine so far, the stockpile of food and water she has been doing in the last few months are now serving their purpose. There is plenty of wood in the forest behind her house to keep the house warm and the solar lanterns she puts on her porch during the day come in handy during the night. She even still have two month’s worth of her blood pressure meds and her biggest concern are his daughters and her sister that she can’t reach since the phone lines are down. Rationing her cigarettes and coffee so she won’t run out wasn’t very easy but she is doing fine for now spending most of the day clearing out the debris and rebuilding.
In the past two days she has been feeling strange though and she almost blackout while climbing the stairs of her porch with an armload of wood for the stove the other day. Can she go to the hospital with such a minor complain when they are overwhelmed by patients with serious injuries? She can’t call anyone since the phones and internet are down…now what?
The good news: All the exercises she made clearing and rebuilding plus the reduction of nicotine and caffeine in the last few weeks have caused the blood pressure to go down. The bad news? She had no idea about all that so she continued to get her daily dose of medication for the blood pressure to lower it down.
In normal conditions, when we feel that something is not quite right or we need a medication adjustment we go visit a doctor, and that is by far the best recommendation under normal circumstances. But what’s to be done when we get out of the normalcy bias that we are comfortingly been used with and there won’t be any professional to reach out for help? There is no guarantee that tomorrow is going to be the same as today, yesterday and every day that we used to take everything for granted, not with all that is going on in the world at the moment.
Before we continue I would like to note a disclaimer. I am not a professional doctor and the only purpose of this article is to give my readers an idea about what they need to know to be prepared to safely cover this aspect of their life before is too late.
Why should you consider this?
Some of the medications that are prescripted have the same dosage for nearly everyone and very rarely they need any adjustment whatsoever, so if you have such prescription this article is not for you. All there is to say in this case is stock up so you won’t get caught without. This article is about prescriptions that can be altered based on your physical condition and/or mental situation. Conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, blood pressure and most important psychologic conditions are well-known for needing an appropriate dose adjustment based on the patient evolution.
The main problem, in this case, is not an overdose as many would think like in the usual sense of ”too much of this is toxic” but rather ”some of this actions is good but when is too much is not better”. So when ”how much you need” changes, your dosage should change as well.
The first step to prepare for this would be: Get some expert advice while you still can
Since you have already paid for the visit, you might as well ask a few questions, right? Like what determines the right dosage for your condition? What symptoms you might have if you skip a dose, or there are many reasons you stop taking it? How can you tell if it is enough or it is too much? Those are essential questions to ask even if you are not a prepper.
As an example, a few years back when my sister has prescribed some blood pressure medications, I had these questions. Like most of the medications for blood pressure you start with, it was a diuretic. Since I know that both, me and my sister love to ride the bike for hours, especially during the summer afternoons, I asked the doc if it is ok to continue doing so. The answer was NO because it is very easy to lose water especially in warm days so it’s better to skip those rides to prevent dehydration. Now I am pretty sure that if I had not have asked, the doc wouldn’t have thought to mention anything about it.
If you still have unanswered questions…
Chances are that your doc doesn’t have the time needed to walk you through all your questions and you don’t get a straight answer or you might forget to ask something in that particular moment. There are some other ways to have your questions answered. One of them would be the pharmacist. When you get your medications, have a fast chat with the pharmacist regarding your problem. A second opinion is always welcomed in these situations or might fill up the blanks.
Another option is to check it out yourself. These days you can find plenty of information on the internet for almost everything. When I wanted to know about my sister’s dose for her blood pressure condition compared to normal I did some research on my own. You can find reliable information on both governmental websites and private sector. Websites such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo are very popular and over the years they have been proved to be very good for me.
Searching by the drug name’s you can find information for a range of dosages that are prescribed in general for different uses of that particular drug. Also, you should look for notes regarding the safe usage, relevant cautions and what other treatment to avoid in combination with and what other treatment has been proven to work well.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t reach a professional help, at least you know a range of dosages that are considered reasonable and helpful giving your state, or maybe a substitute treatment that even if is not the best choice will still help you get through the problem until you can get proper help.
If anything changes, be prepared to notice the problems
You should pretty much know the symptoms that lead in the first place to have a particular drug prescribed. As soon as you have any of those symptoms again it means that your dosage is no longer enough.
You should also be aware of what actions can interfere with your dosage on the flip side. If you are having problems with low thyroid and you are on medication, then you should know what too much thyroid actions feel like so you can recognize something is not right as soon as it happens. The same for every condition you might have. You really need to pay attention to all this and get information now, while the information is available. After all, this is a preparation that doesn’t cost anything, is free!
If it is possible and feasible, make sure you always have a stock of materials that you need to measure the variable that you want to control. I think a good supply of test-strips, an electronic blood glucose meter, a good stethoscope, and a blood pressure cuff should be in every prepper’s first aid kit. At least one person in the family should be trained to know how to get the target values what is considered to be alarmingly a low or high value. This requires some time and testes but is a skill set that can potentially save lives can very easily be done at home with little to no costs.
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. (Malcolm Little)