Are you healthy enough to survive the next national emergency? If all of the hospitals were wiped out right now, would you have the medical expertise to survive? If it takes you time to think about the answers to these questions, then there is a good chance that you need to make some important health choices before it is too late.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help you cover your preventive health bases so you can live out the emergency until resources again become available. All it takes is the necessary willpower, a little knowledge, and dedication to staying in shape for when it counts the most. Read on for some of the cornerstones of preventive health.
Practice Preventive Medicine
If doomsday arrives, you’ll need to be in great physical shape so you can protect yourself and those that you love, so don’t put off taking care of yourself until it is too late. Caring for yourself as if you knew an incident was inevitable can do wonders for your overall health. This involves holistic care to improve your general well-being. In the world of healthcare, holistic nurses help patients carry out this process with preventative medicine, but in a disaster scenario, you’ll need to skills to do so.
Staying in proper shape includes eating right, sleeping properly, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and dangerous narcotics. When you make a concentrated effort to live right, the benefits can be far reaching, including a longer life span, smaller chance of developing a chronic illness, and the added bonus of lower medical bills. Preventive medicine can be as simple as researching the negative side effects of smoking or drinking and stopping before it becomes a dangerous addiction.
Of course, there are also physical procedures and tests that you can undertake now so you don’t have to have major medical procedures later, especially if there comes a time when hospitals are no longer accessible. Adults should get regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, along with vaccinations for influenza and tetanus. They should also undergo diet counseling if they are at a higher risk of chronic disease. Children should get all proper vaccinations as well as undergo other individualized screenings for potential developmental issues.
STIs & Pregnancy
In the worst-case scenario, wherein a catastrophic event ends a great deal of human life on the planet, it would be crucial for our species to have the opportunity to repopulate. However, doing so would be counterproductive if our children were not healthy at birth. If an adult has a sexually transmitted infection, it is only fair to the potential children that they are screened before they become pregnant and transfer the disease to their baby.
It is crucial that women are tested for STDs or STIs before giving birth because, in many cases, these diseases do not have noticeable signs. There are several diseases that can be spread from mother to baby during pregnancy, and they can all lead to terrible effects. Diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to a higher chance of miscarriage; having syphilis and trichomoniasis can result in premature birth; and HIV can be spread during pregnancy as well as through breast milk after the baby is born.
Although doctors may test for STIs at the first prenatal appointment, it is unlikely that future screenings will take place, so it is important that mothers request these exams. The good thing is that once observed, many of these infections can be treated with antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy. Of course, it is essential for partners to be responsible, use protection, and be safe when engaging in sexual activity with those who have STIs.
Lessen Dependence on Prescription Painkillers
During a major catastrophe, where many of our resources and public services are wiped out, it may become difficult to obtain any necessary medications, including painkillers. These pain medications include everything from over-the-counter pills such as Tylenol and ibuprofen to more extreme, prescription opioid medications including codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and morphine, among others. Pain pills are used for a variety of issues, including everything from headaches to sore muscles, and they can be very beneficial if used correctly.
However, there is an ugly underbelly to prescription pill use, and that is how they are often misused, with patients often forming addictions to such medications, on top of many other addictive substances. People don’t want to feel pain, so many take these pills on a regular basis, and when your body gets something every day, you can become addicted. This is the root of the opioid crisis that began back in the 1990s, and currently, more than 130 people die from pain pill addiction every day. So, those with opioid fixations should lessen their dependence, whether or not the end of the world looms near.
It is not easy, but with a lot of willpower and dedication to sobriety, ending your addiction is possible. The most direct route to quitting is by admitting yourself to a medical detox program where doctors will help you through the withdrawal period, allowing your brain to re-stabilize. There are also some medications available to help with recovery, but these too must be prescribed by a professional. Because of the terrible withdrawal symptoms, it is not recommended that you quit “cold turkey,” so attending such a program must be done sooner than later.
As human beings, it is essential that we stay in good shape, regardless of when the next major national emergency may take place. Visit your physician regularly, avoid unnecessary pregnancy risks, and use medication responsibly to increase your odds of making it through whatever comes your way.
About the Author:
Brooke Faulkner writes and raises her sons in the Pacific Northwest. She is always looking for ways to make healthy living an accessible part of every day life. Find more of her writing on twitter, @faulknercreek