[Homestead] Surviving in a post EMP world
akkabhomestead at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 25 13:12:15 EDT 2008
I just made a post about survival, and there was something I did not
expound on, but should have. I still haven't seen the first post come
through though, and it has been a few hours- Same subject line as this.
Having plans and thinking things out is good, but for many of us,
without medicine there is no point.
Part of me says that in a disaster, I should just curl up and die-accept
my fate. I've raised my kids, and can't produce any more. But then
there is another part of me that says no way am I giving up. I know how
to do things. I have resources. I might be able to help my little
I have been preparing for disaster mentally for decades. I've always
had scary dreams and visions. I used to be worried about my addiction,
cigarettes, how I would acquire them, how it would make me vulnerable,
weak, and how it would 'illuminate' me to animals and anyone with a
decent nose. There would be no real hiding. But, I have broken those
chains now, 9 months smoke free, and my last remaining worry is
medicine. I thought I would share with you all what I am doing, what I
have been doing, my thoughts on my own future...
I take a drug, Enbrel, for severe rheumatoid arthritis. It is very
expensive without insurance. It's expensive because it is made by very
high tech protein synthesis and the process can take years. It should
be kept refrigerated, then warmed to body temp before injection. In a
post EMP world, this would not be made or distributed. It would never
be even a black market drug.
Of the 40 or so types of Rheumatoid Arthritis, according to my Rheumie,
I have one of the most aggressive types. I know it sure came on
suddenly. One month I was fine, hiking and backpacking with my
Venturers, and the next month I could not open a shampoo bottle. A
month after that, I could not move my arms above my head or step over
the dog. Three months after onset, I couldn't get out of bed or take
care of myself. I actually bought a dog to use as a service dog to help
me up and down. In 3 months, I went from active to nearly bedridden. I
would come to the computer, but that was about it. I took all kinds of
meds, and mostly they only helped minimally. Methotrexate, even though
I took smaller doses than chemo patients, made me just as sick and I
started losing my hair to boot. It damaged my liver, and that was
actually the blessing, because that is how I got on Enbrel so quickly.
I had gone through all the other drugs to no avail.
Enbrel is a miracle drug for me. Overnight, I saw improvement. Within
a week, I was 90% back to my active self. Within 3 weeks, I was almost
100%. If I get sick, I have to stop taking it, and I can tell you that
it only takes about 3 weeks with no Enbrel for me to start feeling like
the tin man and needing oil.
So, my weakness is RA, and needing Enbrel. I've taken it for almost 4
years now. Of course, I have stocked some backups...old fashioned
things like turpentine and DMSO and various herbs and such, but those
are for when I can no longer take Enbrel. They will help with the pain
and stiffness, but they don't stop the disease. RA has invaded my
internals organs and my eyes, and DMSO et. al. would do little for that.
And what I wanted to share with you is how I managed to stock up on
Enbrel. Insurance won't pay for an extra month's supply, and at my
pharmacy, it is $1900/month without insurance. One month is 4
injections, which are supposed to be taken once a week. What I have
done over the last several years is to stretch that 7 day window to 10
days. Through experimenting, I know that I cannot go 14 days, but I can
easily do 10. So I take a shot every 10 days. This saves one injection
per month, or one month's supply every 4 months or 3 months supply a
year. I've been doing this(and the doc knows it) for a few years now.
I have saved up more than a 6 month supply, but for argument sake, let's
just use that.
In a survival situation, I would not take it every 10 days. I would
stretch as much as time as I could between shots. I think I would be
able to last 12 to 18 months. For the sake of the argument, I'm going
to say that I run out of Enbrel in 2 years. Then, what do I do? By 2.5
years, I'm using a walker. By three years, I think I would be a vegetable.
Suddenly, I have become a burden to someone. By two and a half years
post disaster, if life has not returned to normal, I might as well put a
bullet in my head. I know there are plenty of folks who take meds to
live or function just like me. Are they saving them, too? For how
long? How crazy is it to do that? How long could you live without your
inhaler, your heart meds, your insulin, your anti-rejection drugs?
Am I the only one who thinks about these things?
Akka B, gearing up for Survivor tonight <guilty pleasure while I have TV>
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