Letter Re: Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities in Retreat Planning

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I am a recent reader of the blog (nice job by the way). However I have read “Patriots” and I frequent several boards that you frequent. One issue I have, and a lot of survival minded people need to make sure is covered is medical requirements for chronic illnesses. The human body being fragile can develop an illness that must be treated on an ongoing basis. Anyone who is preparing for any disaster must take into account a supply of medications/supplies. I am not talking about the typical Tylenol and bandages, but prescriptions. Some prescriptions will be difficult to stock up on because of federal laws, or the medication is not in pill form and must be injected. And getting a ‘script’ filled just prior to a sudden catastrophic event may be impractical. A catastrophic event where you have time to make some preparations, such as a hurricane, is a bit easier to address. However keep in mind that insurance companies have time limits on filling medications. If you are near a refill date you will be okay. But if you have only used a small amount of a recent prescription, and want to have an additional supply for 30 or 60 days your insurance will not necessarily pay for it, so all of that will be out of pocket. A chronically ill person may find themselves laying out a lot of money on that supply; money that could be used for other supplies. Some medications used for an acute illness can be saved for later use. One medication I have done this with was a pain medication that I had when I had an unpleasant encounter with kidney stones. My doc told me that if I didn’t use all the pain medication to retain any unused portion. The doc said that the only thing that will happen over time is a diminished effect of the medication and I may have to take one and one half or two to gain the same pain relieving level. So, when I travel, always take it with me just in case I had another attack, because getting to a hospital to get treatment may would take a longer time than I would like to experience pain. So one needs to plan accordingly. If a person can take the time and try a week or longer taking say half of their medications (without placing your life or general health in undue danger) you will get a good idea of how to ration your medication to maintain a reasonable level of health and functionality over any given period of time. But one must know their medications. Some medications you can’t just stop taking, but must be diminished gradually over time. So be careful with what you do when testing. At this moment I am undergoing such a test. I am not doing this of choice, but because of economic reasons. I have found that I can remain fairly functional with my more expensive medications cut in half. And so far this ‘time of test’ has been a bit over two weeks. I hope to return to my normal dosage level soon. But if I watch what I do and pace myself I can manage pain levels and still get some of my basic work accomplished. Anyone who has a chronic condition can be a contributor any survival group, but one must know one’s limitations as well as capabilities. It would be foolish for me to try plowing a field with a mule, but I can do ‘lighter’ work. And if push comes to shove, I can lay down a lot of covering fire for a tactical retreat. Every survivalist needs to take into account the fragility of their own health, and make adjustments according to health, age, and physical abilities. And for you young survival minded people, you will get older so don’t overlook your own fragility and mortality; its an inevitability of life. Just a penny for a thought, -The Rabid One