When the SHTF and you put your survival plan into action, you’re already going to be faced with extreme challenges that will test your mettle and survival skills. Generally, prepping for disaster is all about being aware of and prepared for as many situations as possible to increase your chances of survival. However, there are a few medical scenarios that might not immediately come to mind when getting your medical kit together and can pose a serious threat to the safety of you and your fellow survivors.
Managing Chronic Pain
Education might be the most important aspect of survival, as the more that you know about any given situation, the higher your odds of coming out the other side unscathed will be. Learning CPR, how to clean and sanitize wounds, properly dressing burns, and treating less visible injuries like shock are all incredibly important, but there is one thing that may reduce your ability to perform any or all of those life-saving measures: Chronic pain. It can be absolutely debilitating, robbing you of a full range of motion, hindering your ability to do important tasks, and — perhaps most dangerous — sap your good spirits.
Chronic pain can lead to fatigue, disturbance of your sleep cycle, decreased appetite, mood swings, and reduced strength and flexibility. All of these are incredibly important in a survival situation, and when you’ve lost access to prescription medication to treat your chronic pain, your ability to survive is threatened. Consider natural remedies like CBD oil in combination with over the counter painkillers that are easier to stockpile, regular physical therapy, and an optimized diet to stymy the negative effects of chronic pain in life-or-death scenarios.
Living with chronic pain is already taxing, and the stresses of a survival situation have the potential to intensify your chronic pain. Managing your chronic pain is a physical and a mental journey that you’ll need to be prepared for in the event that you don’t have access to any sort of drug, prescription, over the counter medication, or alternative to curb the pain. Practicing meditation and breathing exercises in combination with regular physical exercise can release endorphins that can help to combat the pain, and also work to distract you from the pain in the first place.
Emergency Dental Care
Your teeth should never be neglected in a survival situation, as you only have one set and they have to last you the rest of your life. Taking regular care of your teeth is the best way to avoid any serious issues that you may be incapable of taking care of on your own like doing a root canal or any similar procedure. While pulling your problem teeth is always an option, you’ll find that it is an incredibly unpleasant experience, and might have lasting negative health impacts later on.
Again, prevention is key when it comes to dental care when things have gone pear-shaped, but you can never know what might happen. If previous dental work like crowns or fillings come loose, there are temporary filling kits available that many people opt for instead of returning to the dentist for repairs. When there are no dentists available to fix your teeth, you might find that these temporary fixes are your best option, and you should stock up accordingly.
Staying on top of preventative medical care should be a top priority in long term survival situations, and your teeth are one of the things that should take precedence. A comprehensive view of your healthcare will serve you in the long run, as staying healthy is key to long term survival. Your survival medical kit should not only prepare for medical emergencies, but for long-term preventative care as well.
Dealing with a pregnancy during a survival situation can be difficult and downright dangerous. While you may find that you’re in the clear by the time the baby is due to arrive, if you’re forced to perform a birth while things are still less than stable, it can be potentially deadly for the baby or the mother. Even before the birth, a fetus in utero can be in harm’s way, and the mother is also at risk of dangerous prenatal issues like gestational diabetes, mismanaged pregnancy infections, or placenta complications.
While home births are relatively common, they are usually done under specific conditions in the presence of someone qualified to deal with home births like a midwife or other trained healthcare provider. Without access to qualified people to oversee the process, or the ability to transfer to a medical facility if things go poorly, delivering a baby outside of a hospital can go south quickly. If labor isn’t progressing, the baby shows signs of distress, the mother has high blood pressure or is experiencing bleeding, you’ll need to perform drastic life-saving measures.
Normal first aid techniques can come in handy, such as knowing how to stop heavy bleeding, but in some situations this may not be enough. In the most serious situations, you may be required to perform a cesarean section to prevent death. Though this is not unheard of and has been done successfully, it should be an absolute last resort as the complications that can arise from an improperly performed C section can be deadly. So if you can wait it out until you have access to appropriate medical facilities, that is the best course of action.
Taking care of your health and the health of those around you in a survival situation is paramount to your success. Whether it is preventative or you have to take action, maintaining a healthy body allows for you to do what needs to be done without being hindered by any physical ailments. Having access to licensed, trained medical professionals should not be taken for granted, but if push comes to shove, know that you can do what needs to be done to survive.
About the Author:
Adrian Johansen loves to write, teach, and create. She believes in that a combination self-sufficiency and teamwork can help anyone live an intentional, meaningful life. Check out more of her writing on twitter!