Preventive Medicine-Personal

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by phishi, Sep 10, 2005.


  1. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Preventive medicine is going to be a 4 part series. After reading about NO and what is happening down there, I started to look at some things that could be done to decrease health risks. My original idea was that these would be items falling under the responsibility of a person with medical training. I soon discovered that most of this stuff was something that should be monitored by everyone. In otherwords, this affects you. Make it your job to take care of yourself.

    Healthy Lifestyle: Start by getting some exercise. Getting in shape now will help your adjustment to a post disaster lifestyle that much easier. Running, swimming, biking, or walking are all good choices for cardiovascular workouts. Do what your body is capable of, and what you enjoy. Start small and work up to a goal you have set. Weights are not only for strength, but also for endurance. You don't have to lift a lot, but enough that you feel some resistance. Stretching will improve flexibility and reduce the chance of injury.

    Annual physical/dental/eye exam: You only get one body, so take care of it. Look at it this way, if you skip exams, and find something that could have been cured after the SHTF, you are going to feel real stupid. Get your immunizations up to date, and make sure that the rest of your family is doing the same.

    Insurance: I'm sure that some of you are grumbling at me that you would do all of the above, but lack of insurance is keeping you from doing so. We all have choices to make, and please do not feel that I am judging you for the ones that you have made. I too have gone without insurance when I could not afford it, and was lucky that I had it when I really needed it. I look at it this way, it is expensive to pay for insurance upfront, but it can be more expensive to try and get it when you really need it. If you can't afford it at this time, please take advantage of free health fairs that are in your area.

    Diet: Eat some fuit and veggies with everymeal. They contain vitamins that your body needs and are good sources of fiber. Stay away from fast food, it is expensive anyways. Try and strive for a balanced diet with good portion control. Nothing worse than eating very healthy and still gaining weight because you are eating too much. Moderation is a good thing, including alcohol. No more than 2 drinks a night should be your goal. And stop smoking, it is only going to kill you.

    While all of the above is pre disaster, what follows are steps that must be implemented after the SHTF.

    Personal Hygiene: Shower as often as possible, minimum of once a week. If unable to do so, then hit the majors (face, armpits, groin, and feet). Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, even if you have no toothpaste. Make sure you wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before handling or eating food. Take care of your feet as well. Trim your nails, keep your feet clean and dry, and always wear shoes when outdoors. Change your sox when they are wet. Make sure that both your sox and shoes fit and are in good repair.

    Individual Protective Measures: Clothing needs to be worn properly. To combat bugs, long sleeves should be down and pants should be fit into the tops of boots. I know it can be hot, but loose clothing with long sleeves and pants, not shorts, can also protect against over exposure to the sun. Make sure that it is the right gear for the right time of year. Hats with a 360 degree brim should be worn in the sun, gloves worn to protect the hands, boots to protect the feet, rain gear when its wet...you get the idea. Insect repellant should be used when available. Sunscreen should also be used. This will cut down on sunburns which can lead to dehydration, and protects against skin cancer.

    Finally, laundry. I do not have a method of dealing with this. I've never used a wash board, nor any other manual method. I've seen some on line, but I do not know how well some of these may work. Something should be added to your supplies to deal with this problem. Dirty clothing does not protect as well as it could. Dirty bed linen is a haven for bugs. Dirty towels are not healthy for use in a kitchen and are disgusting to try and dry off with. You get the picture. If some one has a method for solving this problem, please post it below.

    I'll post the next one as soon as I can.
    phishi
     
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I've made lye soap (lye and potash) and it does work but not very well. It's very hard on the skin and on fibers. I know Melbo is going to laugh but a baking soda and vinagar added to plain water will cut through the oils left on clothing and linen. Rinse well to remove vinagar residue to avoid skin irritation. A little plain baking soda in the rinse water is good. If you are using any kind of soap, a little vinagar in the final rinse will help rid the fibers of the soap residue. The key word is a "little". I use baking soda and vinagar for just about everything around the house.

    I still have a washboard and have used it, just not recently, but it's there if I need it. In my earlier life I had an enormous desire to live simply and without a lot of material possessions. As I've gotten older, I'm not so adverse to enjoying the material fruits of my labor. A washing machine is a definite plus in life but not an absolute necessity.

    You can still get a manual 2 roller wringer which is very useful. Most of you are probably too young to remember wringer washers but you'll get the hang of the wringer in no time. Just watch out for your hands and getting your sleeves, shirts, or hair caught between the rollers.

    I encourage people to try some of these 'ancient' ways just so you are prepared in the event you need them someday. It can be a lot of fun when you're not trying to survive.
     
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You can still get wash board and wringer washers as well as other alternative washing machines, IIRC I had even seen a while back that they still make a current production version of the old 'kick start washers', wringer washers that run on a gas motor that generaly has a kick start. If it comes down to it you can get the cloths clean with just a bar of soap and plenty of water, a wash board or even a rock with no sharp edges helps but not escential. Rub the soap on the wetted cloths then scrub them against themselves or the rock or wash board then rinse them well. As to the soap, there are articles on the back to basics page here on how to make your own soap includeing the ingredients, like makeing the lye from wood ash.

    ....and Righthand, as far as the Wringer washers, I watched my uncle use on when I was growing up and bought one when we moved out here and have used it a lot since they use so much less water and we haul water. It gets used a lot less now because my girlfriend finaly got me to hook up the modern one so now it only get used in winter or if stuff is super grungy.
     
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We actually have a washboard someone. My wife got it for decorational purposes years ago, but we have actually pressed it into service a couple of times. Works good too.
     
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ouch....seems they're a bit proud of them at $500.
     
  7. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    That's why I don't own one.It's on my wish list.
     
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I paid $75 dollars for my wringer washer from an amish owned store not far from us...actualy that was the price on it, I had an old horse drawn manuer spreader that came with the land and I had no use for it so traded that for the washer and $100 in bulk dry goods from the store.
     
  9. AndyMedic

    AndyMedic Monkey+++ Founding Member

    First let me say Hi. As to the intial post of this thread i agree please get some exercise before the SHTF. but prior to starting any exercise plan get a check up.

    Case 1: 32 year old guy decided to "get into shape" his history basically sedentary lifestyle, smoker 1 pack per day, and BIG family history of heart disease. End result i get to practice IV start, 12 lead ECG and he gets a $24000+ visit to a Cardiac cath lab with bypass resulting. His end health is very poor and hard exercise for him is now a walk down the 30 ft drive way.

    Washing clothes i read in Foxfire about boiling your clothes clean and air drying the article described using a large kettle over an open fire but you could do smaller batches in a large pot? The other thought i had was what about those cement mixing barrels the black ones with the green lid, they have arms inside like agitators and could be filled with hot or warm water and rolled around the yard, then empty and rinse hang to dry, not sure if it would work or not but... of course you have to have a new one or make damn sure there is no cement in the thing else you may never need to starch your shirts. :D

    One other thing you should do for prevention is to quit smoking or (don't start even better) you can't help others is you cant catch you breath.

    Getting a first aid course under your belt is a good idea but also look for higher training. Remember to stock your kits with what you need for your family plus ten or even twenty percent more in long term storage in the house or an outbuilding.

    Also remember most medicines and fluids have an expiration date, the fluids dont get to be poison but the bags beging to leech chemicals into the IV so get a rotation going with your old stuff going to practice and the new stuff for use.

    Please remember to practice regularly with your gear and make sure you can doo the skills well, the worst case senario is not the place to be trying to remember if you cut vertically or horizontally to place an emergency treach tube.

    Take care all.
     
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Welcome AndyMedic. All excellent advise and a good first post. We'll be looking for more from you.
     
  11. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Andymedic, good point on the exercise, I thought I had covered that, but obviously missed it. :oops: Go for your annual check up, tell your doc that you want to start an exercise program, and get some ideas on what is appropriate for you to get started with.

    Laundry: Nice recommendations on manual machines everyone. Maybe when I have a place in the sticks I'll pick one up. I like AMs idea concerning a cement mixer. In a pinch it might work.

    phishi
     
  12. Figured I'd start out just reading the old stickies in the medical section since here is where I'm liable to post a bit - but thought I'd share this; as Marines we did laundry in the field by lining MRE boxes (similar sturdy cardboard boxes work fine) with heavy duty trash bags - one got filled with soapy wash water and uniforms got scrubbed against each other and wrung out, then a second box as a rinde, again twist to wring and hang up - usually on the guy lines of a GP Medium tent.

    This system had the advantage of being both portable and scalable for a fire team up to a company. This was on Okinawa, too - so with the amount of daily sweat laundry quickly beame a priority. In fact, when the daily (!) rains came it was not unusual to see a company's worth of Marines runnin out of the tent, carrying shampoo bottles and shedding clothes, for the opportunity to get clean for a little while!!!

    Hope someone finds this helpful - or at least worth a chuckle!
     
  13. Cathail

    Cathail Monkey+

    Regarding personal hygiene and trying to keep clean, here’s a trick I learned while deer hunting. I bought a $10 garden sprayer, and use it to take a shower. Using one that’s only half full, you can boil a pot of water to add to it make it lukewarm (which is important if it’s cold outside), then take a “sailor’s shower” (hose down, lather up, then rinse off). It works well, requires very little water, and getting clean every day or every other day will do wonders for your morale.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />

    In a post SHTF scenario, a bath will require lots of water; a conventional shower may be impossible without water pressure. This method is cheap, portable, and effective. I’ve even bought a couple spare garden sprayers and stored them at my BOL.
     
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  14. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    I thought you might mention the one preventative measure that every grunt has pounded into his head, but most other folks don't think about.

    Take special care of your feet and check them daily for sores, cracking, etc...they work harder than any other part of our bodies except maybe the heart and, especially in a SHTF situation, you just can't live without them.
     
  15. alaskachick

    alaskachick A normally quiet snow monkey

    regarding washing clothes

    The wonderful woman who lives up the Inlet from me had a great idea. She attached a lawn mower handle to the agitator from a tossed out washer. She has a barrel it fits in...just right.... she says. Then she works out her arms while doing her wash. When I first moved to Alaska I didn't know which end was up on the wringer washers they had here, now I miss having them around. All it takes to clean clothes is water (salt water if necessary) soap, agitation, a rinse and dry. I have considered using a plunger or even my feet in the bathtub if we ever lose our washer.
    (y)
     
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  16. thizadoome

    thizadoome Monkey

    I use to go to an old primitive campsite a few years back that a couple had set up on their property. They had a little shed you could use to get access to a hose and a sink. Also they had a small hand cranked composter that they let people use like a washing machine. You just used a minimal amount of soap, cranked it a few time and then rinse the clothes in the sink. It was adequate and a luxury at a primitive camp site.
     
  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    An improvised hand washing machine

    Perhaps a hand cranked portable cement mixer might do double duty??? No need for starching either!!! ; )
     
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