Being sick away from help


I have been going through one of the things that is greatly feared by the off-grid and rural community, getting very sick, I’m not talking about a little cough or feeling bad, I’m talking putting you in bed, wavering between feeling horrible and feeling like I died an hour ago…. it’s the worst sick I have been in MANY MANY years.  This started a week ago Saturday, with a slight sore throat and a little tickle in my throat, from there it degraded to putting me in bed with a fever, coughing fits so bad I feared I would stop breathing, this really tested me and my resolve to take care of myself. There is a point where one gets bad enough to go ahead and see a doctor, I came as close to that point this time as I ever have since we moved off-grid.

I will say that for the most part, I’m healthy, I could lose some weight and I could eat better, but I feel like I’m at the lower end of risk for those two thing, even though I’m overweight, I am in pretty good shape because of the life I live, I give credit to the fact that I have to hike up and down my mountain side to get from my vehicle to my home and back, even on a day when I’m not very active, I am still doing some walking no matter what.  I also have to hand carry anything I bring home, groceries and such, and that’s an uphill carry. And living at a higher elevation forces my breathing to work a little harder so I feel like my lungs are stronger. I do take supplements to improve my health.

So all week I have spent my time working on getting over this attack on my health, last Friday I had to go into town to turn in my time sheet for my job, if I didn’t do that it would be nearly a month before receiving my next check, so while in town I took advantage of being close to stores to buy some Delsym 12 hour cough medicine, at this point I didn’t care what it took to stop my cough, or at least slow it down, I was so sore from coughing. I will say that it doesn’t work nearly as well as horehound syrup, unfortunately I didn’t have any made up, that will change asap.

By Saturday, I knew I had turned the corner on this, but was still very sick, I decided to reach out to a fellow prepper and neighbor, we bartered a couple of haircuts (I was a hairdresser for 10+ years, it’s a valuable skill to have) for some more heavy duty medicine, some fishmox and Mucinex DM, I wasn’t sure if I would take the antibiotic, so far I haven’t and probably will not take it at this point, but my cough had changed from unproductive to productive, I no longer needed to stop my cough, but needed something to thin the mucus to help it come up.

Bottom line here, if you have made the decision like I have to forgo going to the doctor at the drop of a hat, if you are relatively healthy to begin with and choose to take care of as many of your own illnesses as possible yourself, you need to be able to diagnose your own symptoms, you need to be able to tell when and what meds to take, that means having to educate yourself on health issues, knowing what symptoms mean, not only knowing when to take certain meds but HAVING THEM AVAILABLE.

Typically I’m the one who gets the phone calls from other people asking for meds and advise, this time I was caught short, but still knew how to and managed to get what I needed.  You also need to know how far to go with your own care, you need to know when to throw in the towel and reach out for help, there’s no trophy for dying out of stubbornness and refusing to go see a doctor. It also makes a difference whether you are on your own or have a partner with you, fortunately for me I have PB here, if I hadn’t had him, I would have reached out to a neighbor or friend for help, this was not the kind of thing I would have wanted to face by myself.

I will spend the next few weeks and months reevaluating my stock of meds and health goodies, we typically keep a good supply of ibuprofen, aspirin, benedryl (antihistamine), Tums (antacid), DMSO for aches and pains, we have both OTC and alternative meds, I now have a supply of fishmox (I have an old bottle from many years ago, I suspected it was not any good), I need to get more Mucinex DM, I also need to research alternative ways to thin mucus. I have my work cut out for me, but it’s well worth it to continue living like we do.

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3 Responses

  1. From the sounds of it(this post and the update), you ended up with laryngitis…

    Some really awesome tricks I’ve learned for dealing with coughs, mucus, congestions, etc…

    Teas. Teas are amazing. Especially if you can throw some honey and lemon in there. It will also increase your antioxidants(which, if done regularly, will boost your immune system). And in the event of a lack of water? Suck on a tea bag. It sounds ridiculous, but it does help soothe your throat.

    Any type of mint extract or leaf. It helps clear sinus cavities, loosens up congestion( facial and throat), things mucus a bit, soothes your throat, calms a cough, and relaxes you. It’s also fairly effective as a minor pain relief in general and can help reduce swelling to a mild degree.

    Steam. Helps to loosen up mucus/break up congestion. Clears sinus cavities. May help you to breathe easier, depending on the ailment. Typically, if congestion in the chest is present, it will loosen this up to help create a more productive cough. ((I HIGHLY recommend also beating yourself. Not too hard, about the same way one would burp an infant after feeding, but all along the left and right sides of the back where your lungs are. It helps to REALLY loosen up the gunk so you can clear your lungs out sooner, which also helps you to begin recovery sooner))

    I’m brand new, so I’m not sure what commodities and such you have.. But, starlight mints(or any type of peppermint) and mountain dew work AMAZINGLY as a cough suppressant. Throat soothing included.

    I definitely recommend soda on an as needed basis(Coke tends to help settle an upset stomach, for example. And most sodas actually cut right through congestion of the throat. They can also be used to treat headaches, depending on the variety you’re working with.)

    There are plenty of other tricks I’ve found over the years, but this should definitely be enough of a starting point to help you out. :)

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  2. This sounds near enough to what I went through last year. When I improved enough to stand the long drive to a clinic, turns out I had come down with a type of pneumonia. Dr. said I was lucky. After a couple more months to strengthen my systems, I went ahead and had a pneumonia shot. Never had know there even was one. It isn’t a guarantee, but after what happened to me, and how terrible the illness was, decided it was worth a chance.

    1. Yeah, pneumonia was what I worried about, as far as taking inoculations, I personally don’t want them, but each person has to make up their own mind about that. Glad you got over your illness…

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