A little bit of clarification and pontification after my last post. I thought I was completely open that I wasn’t disparaging allopathic medicine. To the point of its study is just as important for achieving self-sufficiency as studying herbal, traditional Chinese, or Ayurvedic medicine. The skill set to be able to self diagnose problems or assist those in your immediate family may become a necessity.
Practicing medicine in most countries without a license is illegal. Educating yourself, providing primary care (first aid, CPR, immediate trauma care), and having a thorough understanding of your personal needs is not. Should local environmental, political, or situational conditions arise that restrict your access to the commercial medical systems, this knowledge may become vital to survival and valuable to your community.
The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Joseph Alton and Nurse Amy Alton is the de facto gold standard for those preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. Today I’ve committed to spending a minimum amount of time perusing this volume. I look forward to sharing my learning journey on this topic as the days roll on.
A checklist of sorts for the skills I want to develop over the coming weeks follows. The list is by no measure exhaustive, nor is it one I’ll advocate as the minimum level or you aren’t useful as a lay medical provider. The list is just that, a working list of some useful skills.
Take vital signs and understand the significance of their values. e.g. pulse, respiration rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc…
Perform a history and physical assessment
Treat different degrees of burns
Splint or wrap sprains, dislocations, or fractures. Understand traction rigs
Close a wound and understand when not to do so: butterfly closures, glues, staples, and sutures
Clean a wound and provide daily care
Identify and treat bacterial infectious diseases. e.g. strep throat, e.coli, etc…
Identify and treat viral infectious diseases. e.g. COVID 19, Norovirus, influenza, etc…
Identify and treat parasitic and protozoal infectious diseases. e.g. Giardia, toxoplasmosis, tape worms, etc…
Identify and treat head, body, and pubic lice as well as outer louse infestations
Identify and treat venomous and non-venomous snake bites
Identify and treat generic animal bites
Identify and treat common abdominal and pelvic pain
Identify and treat common chest pains
Recognize and treat allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock
Identify and treat skin reactions, diseases, and rashes
Perform a normal delivery of a baby and placenta
Evaluate and treat dental problems. replace fillings, treat an abscess, perform an extraction. etc…
Perform proper disinfection of water, foods and their preparation, nutrition
Supervise, implement, and train community members on hygiene and sanitation protocols
Council and comfort the depressed and anxious
Organize, assemble, and manage sick rooms for wound healing, isolation, treatment
Proper care of the bed ridden
Identify the indications and counter indications for the appropriate application of herbal, pharmacological, and other alternative therapies
I feel that this is a great starting point and will handle 80% of me and my immediate families medical needs. It will make me a better advocate for myself and my family when commercial medical care is available and will certainly make us better off than most people if commercial care isn’t available.
There have been a lot of lessons learned since March of 2020. One of the big ones for me is solidifying my distrust of the supply chain, just in time manufacturing, and other fragile systems responsible for getting us the stuff we crave (like electrolytes from Brondo). The medical supply cain is one I’ve recently been worried about. Also the rice supply chain (pronounced ‘pet food‘) after recent world news, but I digress.
I’m not one to sit around and hand wring over a concern. I quickly deem it a non-concern or start doing something about it. So I’m doing something about it. I’ve always been interested in Herbalism, but I’m doubling down on it. I thought I might share some of the steps I’m taking to anti-fragile my personal and family medical and pharmaceutical supply chain.
Please note: I’m in no way advocating that me, my family, or anyone should abandon allopathic medicine. I’ve had surgeries and am grateful for every part of the process. I’m only learning traditional medicine to ease the burden allopathic medicine places upon myself (financial, time, and even physiological) and have a predetermined plan to execute should the fragile supply chain fail.
I’m going to write my own Materia Medica. I’ve read that it’s something all herbalists do, even if they don’t DO it. Technically, a meter medica is a collection of monographs of herbs and their impact on physiology. Literally, it’s a collection describing medical materials. For me, it’s a collection of notes on herbs. An herbipedia if you will. Wait…is that a thing yet? I need to go check. (It’s weird. I checked. It might be. 🙁 )
So…My Materia will be comprised of herbs I’m studying. I decided to start with 6. Nice round even number. The herbs I intend to handle first are: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Calendula, Peppermint, and Garlic.
I’ve had this blog for a long time and its focus has drifted with what I was interested in at the moment. I lost a lot of my musings when I changed platforms and probably could have gotten them back, but didn’t deem it worth the effort. Why? Because it wasn’t who I was at the moment, but I was wrong.
…but I was wrong…
There I said it. I was wrong. Just because I don’t teach scuba diving any more and rarely dive, doesn’t mean that being a diver isn’t part of my psyche today. It molded me. The same way that serving in the USAF molded me. The same way that working with nuclear weapon systems molded me. The same way that training to run a half-marathon (and running one) molded me. The same way that performing on the stage molded me…and so on. In retrospect I probably regret not trying to save those posts, but it is what it is.
Moving forward I’m going to embrace more of being me and less of being what others want me to be. To find myself and grow for myself. I suspect that focusing on that will help me have a better impact on those around me and that sounds like the proverbial ‘win-win’.
So now before I ‘…get too deep’, here’s to yet another new beginning. One I am calling: Being Me.
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Hit Points: 20 Armor Class: 4 (Chain Mail and Shield) Weapon of Choice: Staff
Alignment: Neutral Good (True Neutral Tendencies) Personality: ??
Hit: – Dam: +1
React:– AC Adj: –
HP: +2 SSS: 95%
Spells by Level
Cure Light Wounds
The is my January 9th entry for the 2023 Character Creation Challenge. A personal challenge to create a new character everyday in the month of January. The participants can elect game system and methods. I’m of course using 1/2e AD&D and focusing on NPCs for my home-brew campaign. This year I’m going to focus on a small nation at the southern end of the Leitan Peninsula, Kunari. I’ll improve the stat block and add some links to my wiki in the days to come.