As a Senior Citizen, I have found that I now have various additional needs that I did not have when I was younger.
One of those needs is the addition of life sustaining prescription medications that I now require just to survive. These prescriptions MUST be included in your bug out preparations. What good is it if you amass a years worth of food and supplies from a survival food list, but only have a month or two of your prescription medications that you need to keep you alive?
Just one of my heart prescription medications cost $525.00 for a thirty (30) day supply. Yes, my medical insurance covers the cost of it each month, minus my deductible, $25.00. But if I want extra medication to stockpile, I have to pay full price for those medications. This is just one of several life sustaining prescription medications that I take on a daily basis.
I came to the realization that in any of the TEOTWAWKI situations that I prepare for, I will only live as long as I have my life sustaining prescription medications to take. So, if I just have my current monthly supply of prescription medications, upon finishing that bottle of medication, I will probably not be around too much longer. If I am, I will be a great burden on my family because I will probably be bed ridden or have a stroke. I will not be there to help and support my wife, my daughter and my grandsons with their day to day survival needs.
I now have purchased a three (3) month supply of ALL of my prescription medication that I take on a regular basis. This means that I will probably be useful and or alive for three (3) to three and a half (3 ½) months in a TEOTWAWKI situation unless somehow I can find additional prescription medications. The problem with finding additional prescription medications in a TEOTWAWKI situation is:
The factories that make your prescription medications will probably NOT be producing them for a long time, if ever again. Everyone in your area will be trying to get additional supplies of the same medication for themselves or to barter with. I keep my extra prescriptions medications on a shelf above the kitchen sink in a small shoe box.
Every month when I get my new supply of prescription medications, I place the new ones in the back of the shoe box and rotate the older ones to the front and use them first. This way, none of the medications are more than three (3) months old. Prescription medications have the expiration date on the prescription label that is affixed to the bottle.
Always use the older meds first.
I do not keep my prescription medication in my Bug Out Bag because I rotate them every month. This way I am assured all of them are in date and do not come close to their expiration dates. Never, take ANY prescription medication that is past its expiration date. Some prescription medications become toxic once they pass their expiration dates.
I placed a reminder note on the outside of Bug Out Bag about grabbing the shoe box before evacuating.
Remember that in a pinch you may be able to use fish antibiotics like Fish Mox as a substitute for prescription antibiotics. There may also be herbal remedies or other alternatives that you can use instead of prescription medications but I do not know anything about those.
Such a “dreary” picture Coach, but one every person will face…”how long will I live based on my medicial needs” and how much food/water preps do I want to invest in…or leave behind for somebody else?
Coach, I have very mixed feelings about what you have written. Of course, I have no understanding about your medical condition or your medications so what I’m going to say is not directed at you, though it may raise some questions.
Firstly, there are very few drugs that are life and death issues – perhaps anti-rejection drugs for those with transplants. Most of the research I have done into drugs, including those my sister’s doctors insist are essential to her continued life, have somewhere between 0 and 5% efficacy. That is, one of the drugs has absolutely no medical or scientific evidence that it works for women over 60 years, though the doctors will swear black and blue and get very, very angry if challenged about it. Other drugs reduce mortality by 0.4% to around 5% over a five year time frame. A 20% efficacy rate is considered very high, 1% is normal. That is somewhere between one in five (20%) people and one in one hundred (1%) having their life saved by the drugs is considered OK by the medical profession. However because they don’t know which one in five or which one person out of 100 will live because of the drug they tell all the patients it is essential to their on-going lives. Many who have the money are likely to be happy to pay for such medication as most people will want even that 1% chance of continued life. This is despite doctors actually lying that its more like a 90% chance of ongoing life. There is a lot of difference between a doctor’s implied 90% and an actual 1% which is much more likely to be the case.
Secondly, doctors have no other suggestions for health other than drugs, so they get rose tinted glasses in regards to their perception about the usefulness of the drugs they prescribe and blue tinted ones about any alternatives. After working in the medical field for a couple of decades as a health researcher I’m all to well aware of its short comings and limitations.
I would also disagree about never taking expired medications. Sorry the use by date is not when it loses safety – its a marketing activity to get you to buy more. Very few become unsafe, though many may slowly reduce their efficacy over time. Many drugs can be used for decades after their expiry dates if kept under ideal conditions. However it would be advisable to do your due diligence and some decent research into your particular drugs as part of your prepping. Under normal circumstances, of course I am concerned about expiry dates. However this is a prepping site and we are preparing for those times when replacement drugs are either unavailable or unaffordable. Dr Bones and the Patriot Nurse both have talked about drug expiry issues, I believe. Check them out.
I would also look at improving health by exploring a paleo or primal diet (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/). I know of a great many people who have had their health improved by avoiding grains, legumes and sugar and processed foods. Personally my blood pressure has returned to normal, my almost diabetes has gone, I’m no longer almost morbidly obese, no longer have thyroid problems, no longer have depression, no longer have the hundred and one other symptoms that I used to have. Its down to about 5! I am not unusual. Its worth exploring – you have nothing to lose but some time and your need for medications.
My area of research is about patient self management – what the ordinary person can do over and above what medicine can offer. I am no longer a believer in modern medicine. I am a believer in the scientific method and the scientific method does not support much of the pharmaceutical marketing claims nor the medical catastrophising claims of many of its doctors. So I think we can be a little more sanguine than Coach is in the article.
Yes, stock up on your drugs. That is only sensible. Yes, there will be many deaths in the event of a total grid down, but becoming healthier before that happens is a possibility. So go exploring.
@ Harriett…wondering about the drug Synthroid (low thyroid). Are there natural substances that can support low thyroid so one doesn’t need to take the prescription…in your opinion?
A very brave and somber post. Working in the medical field the crises that will arise for many is real. When we have done all we can do to be prepared I believe we have to leave room for hope of unexpected supply. You never know what someone else might have to abandon or Unexpected connections. I expect to see the horrible dire situations and miracles at work at the same time. You will be here till your purpose is fulfilled and you have much to offer at this time.
I used to take Eco-thyroid – a natural form of thyroid i could buy without a script – and it was great. I had thyroid problems from a young age but the doctors all told me my tests were normal. But thyroid supplementation improved my energy and helped me feel much more normal. After 3 years on the paleo diet + supplements my thyroid function improved enormously – to the stage where I no longer need the drugs and I feel better than I ever have in my life.
I went down the functional medicine track – supplementing with selenium, molydemon (sp?), zinc, vitamin A & D plus sorting out my gut. So there is no one or few herbs which will improve thyroid function. Basically you have to improve gut function, reduce gut permeability, eat paleo/primal (meat, veges, herbs), exercise, reduce stress and get your adrenal hormones right. When the adrenals and other hormones come right the thyroid improves. I found that the books The Diet Cure and “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross were wonderful.
Am I perfectly healthy? No. Just much, much better than ever before.