When Illness Strikes

Continuing on with my series of Prepping tips and essays, here is my newest one for you all. I am going to say what happened during the storm. I am also going to say what happened afterward.

Today we will all find out what happens when a family is stuck for a week with no medical attention. Yup! We got sick.

It happens to all of us, you know. We catch something or exhaustion hits hard to our already overworked bodies.

Our family caught the infamous influenza that is going around. When we were able to contract it is a mystery since this winter has been very isolating. It had to have happened during one of our many doctor, specialist, or therapy appointments I was able to get everyone to.

But first, the storm sucked. We kept our power, but our vehicle did end up getting stuck. In fact, my friend’s vehicle was also stuck when we ended up needing to be rescued during an attempt to get to the ER. Ricky, my nine year old, fell down the stairs at the end of the storm. As they were opening up highways, we were trying to get the van to move with the hope that he hadn’t broken anything on his tumble down. It took us two and half hours to get to the hospital after the fall. On the way back, though, my friend’s vehicle slipped into the high banks of snow in one of the many farm ditches along our dirt road. We had to wait for another rescue. Her car was pulled out with a tow truck the next day. Three days later we were able to also get a tow truck out to get my van out finally. By that point, though, we were battling our illness.

So, the flu sucks. Not the gastro-intestinal issues that are most commonly called the “flu”, either. I am talking about the high fever, trouble breathing, coughing, and the aches so bad you feel like a god is pulling you apart one joint at a time. That is the “real” flu. Influenza.

The worry with Influenza is the fever and breathing. I have one child who gets pneumonia and another that has asthma. The flu becomes dangerous for children like this. Then add in that I was the only adult for at least a mile around for these days we were stuck out here, you have an even more dangerous situation. I knew once I caught it, then it would be time to beg for help. I made sure to not catch it.

Here is how you make sure to keep your family safe during most medical issues. I am going to cover sickness that doesn’t need medical intervention right away. With these things we can keep the flu and other such illnesses from spreading. Always try to for help if you feel you can’t handle it, though. I am, as stated before, not against the ER being visited.

Our few things needed will be for a two week illness. Any longer and you’ll probably need help anyway.

Remember that with all illnesses the body needs to have nutrients and liquids. My children had a sore throat from the coughing. I made them warm water and had them take a spoonful of honey to sooth their throats. If this was an infection of the throat, then we would have had homemade lemonade with the honey. Just what I do, but get medications if you feel the need.

I don’t mind the body fighting the illness like it should. I prefer not to lower any temperatures with medicines. I use cool clothes, warm baths, and honey spoons.

In your medicine cabinet, I say gather together two bottles of cold/flu medicine for all ages in your house, then get a large bottle of honey (so many uses for this and make sure the ingredients is pure honey), pain relievers and fever reducers (if you get the fever too high, then push one of these onto the patient to see if it helps before medical attention), decongestant for everyone, anti-dhiarriah, heart burn medicine, allergy medicine, laxative, and alcohol wipes.

My medicine cabinet is actually a large two shelved – two doors cabinet in my kitchen. All of my medical supplies for everyday use is in there.

The person who is sick needs to be isolated from the rest of the family. As people get symptoms, they are put into the sick room. The person caring for the sick people should have hand sanitizer outside the door of the sick room. Use it going in and out. It would suck to get strep or a bad cold alongside the flu. Remember they do this in hospitals. It does work. I also have a robe that goes on outside of the door and I take it back off before sanitizing when I leave. If it is a known air born, then grab some masks from the medical section to also wear. It really is for the caring person to not get it, too.

Now that we have our medicines set up, let’s move on to other things. If you can’t leave the house for two weeks while caring for a sick person, then you will need food. I suggest easy to make food for the rest of the family. This is the time that we pull out our homemade microwave meals from our freezer or our all-in-one canned goods. Buy them if you need to. Rotate every six months to a year depending on their expiration date if bought. I make our meals every six months. We usually go through them within that time anyway due to someone getting sick.

We now have meals for the non-sick and the care person. You will need easy meals for the sick person/people as well. Canned soups are great for this. Go for the more broth type to replenish liquids, fill the stomach, and be easy on the body. Chicken noodle soup is also a great thing to have if you can make it or buy it. We always keep at least seven jars of chicken soup on hand from our storage room. I make it from scratch and can it myself. If the sick person is holding down liquid, then try at least one of the meals to have chunks of goodness in it. Do not force anyone throwing up to eat anything solid.

I also keep some extra snack like foods for the person who is caring for the sick people. There are times, I know, where I couldn’t stop from soaking rags in cold water to actually make a full meal and sit to eat. Trail mixes, chips, and such are fine for a meal or two during the few times you can’t walk away. Once all four of my kids had it, I knew I wasn’t going to be eating full meals anymore. I drank milk for the protein and added it to my snack grabs.

Getting ready for having the flu or a serious cold is easier than it sounds. Just try to remember what it was like to be sick the last time you were. For gastro-intestinal diseases and viruses, then be prepared for those as well. I am glad we didn’t have that this time, but we have fought those as well. With those it is usually the holding down liquid that is the toughest. Keep mint on hand to settle a stomach to hold down water. My kids know as soon as they say they are going to throw up that the mint leaves are out for tea.

If you are looking for alternative medicinal help, here is a small part of what I have in my cabinent besides the Nyquil and such:

-Eucalyptus oil to add to a humidifier or on the bottom of socks. (DO NOT PUT IN MOUTH!)
-Lemon oil to add to a spoonful of honey for a sore throat.
-Peppermint oil for fever reducing water on rags and also to kill athletes foot/foot smells.
-Melaleuca oil for acne and rashes.
-Frankincense oil for bug bites and to use with honey for scratches.
-Honey is used as an antibiotic on wounds and sore throats during illness. Local honey a day can ease allergies.
-Homemade ear oil for ear aches and ear infections.
-Three corn bags and four rice bags

We are all better now. Cleaned up and washed down everything. Make sure, always, after having such an illness to disinfect the house again. Keep everyone from places if possible and use hand sanitizer like it is lotion until all coughs and sneezing is done.

Adversity Prepping Tip: Medicine and supplies can be expensive. It is alright to check the clearance section for things about to “expire”. The date on the medicine can be used up to a year after it “expires” and still have it do the job it is required. If something goes on sale again, then grab it if you are able to.

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