Tag Archive: medication


shelter in placeOkay, so you have come to the conclusion that it would be a very smart idea to get some supplies together. But where to start? Below is just a jump start to get you going. Your personal circumstances will dictate what you can and cannot do.

Just think this way: if you knew a hurricane or blizzard was coming what would you get from the store? And then make sure you get enough for at LEAST one month if not three months (which is where I would personally be most comfortable starting from nothing). Tess Pennington has a great resource for what to buy if you can do so. But there are a lot of options including 30 day buckets made by various emergency preparedness companies that range from $60 to over $200 per person. Keep in mind these bucket NEED WATER and some way of cooking/heating.

Short term food supply

Long term food supply

Both of the links above will take you to Ready Nutrition

For those on a tight budget facing potential mandatory lockdown (or voluntary if you are smart in live in a high risk area) you can subsist on peanut butter, crackers, tuna, and other canned foods that can be bought cheaply. This is something only you can decide on since YOU know your circumstances. But lay in your food storage now before real fear sets in. Remember your pet too. Do what you can with what you can when purchasing your food items. And buy only what you WILL EAT.

Do you have a way of cooking outside of the microwave or your stove? Do you have enough ‘fuel’ to last and sit out in isolation for a few weeks to possibly months? And the biggest question, is do you know how to use that alternative cooking method. If you answer no to any of these questions then now is the time to either get one you can work (NO CAMPING STOVES INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!) and make sure you know how to use it now and have enough fuel on hand for daily use for at least a month. Personally if I lived in a city or other highly populated area I would go for minimal cooking. Less noticeable.

Do you have water? We use so much water in our daily lives to do so many things…cooking, cleaning, washing. The school of thought is 1 gallon minimum per day per person/animal. Frankly, I like to get 3 gallons going per person just to have extra. I learned this after going through Irene with no power for a week. Water is KING. Yes, right now you have electricity and the water is flowing…but the idea is not to wait for it to stop flowing before being ready for it not be flowing.

First Aid items. What is in YOUR house? The last place you want to be going in case of an outbreak or potential one is the doctors office, ER or Urgent Care especially if you can take care of it at home yourself. Most coughs, sniffles, bumps and bruises and other things can safely be handled at home. If you are sure, get a good home first aid book to walk you through things. But remember, have the little things ON HAND. There is no going out remember? Not unless you absolutely have to do so. Isolation is the only sure fire method of prevention. Again, Tess Pennington has a great ‘get you started list’.

First Layer of First Aid

More First Aid

Medications that you take regularly. Is that prescription filled? Keep it filled and don’t wait until the last moment to do so. I know and understand that many medications are only dispensed one month at a time, but see if that is due to pharmacy regulations/FDA/DEA regulations or if its an insurance thing. If its an insurance thing then you may want to go ahead and pay out of pocket for that extra refill before its due. Don’t hesitate to ask the pharmacy if they have some sort of discount card available as many do. If things start to look ugly, don’t hesitate to contact your private doctor and discuss options with them. It does not hurt to ask!

Sanitation is how you plan on keeping things clean and the garbage taken care of. This is a tough one for those who live in cities. We can all think back to when the garbage workers went on strike in New York. YUCK! So it would be best to minimize garbage, but on the otherhand, if water becomes an issue then you will need to go to using disposable items (or better yet, eat out of the can, yeah, I know gross, but we are talking drop dead situation here, no pun intended). If you have power and sewage still going on then you don’t need to worry about mother nature, but what about Toilet Paper? Got enough for a while? And what if that good ole toilet stops working for some reason? Need to plan for that too and there are many ways of dealing with this issue. Don’t forget cleaning supplies too. I always keep waterless ways of cleaning on hand such as surface spray and those moist floor cloths (found at dollar store). And use paper towels.

Again, I will refer to Tess Pennington’s 52 Weeks to Preparedness:

Sanitation 1
Sanitation 2

This is just a start up to get you thinking about what you would need in an isolation/mandatory quarantine situation so that you do not have to go out. While we have not come to that point where it is happening, the potential is there and I hope you understand the potential threat and take action now. Hey, look at it this way, you get something together now and if you don’t need it great! Then when the next storm comes around you can sit back and relax…you got it covered!

Don’t forget to visit Tess’s website for even more information on how to prepare for any situation. She is an awesome lady with tons of great, reliable information.

God bless and stay safe!
survivingshtfmom

mental health

Over the past 2 years I have dealt with a lot of personal life changing events. From dealing with a loved one who was bipolar and off meds which set off a set of events culminating in his suicide, to having to make life and death decisions within days of traumatic events (SWAT team at my home), to suddenly finding myself a single mom of 4 children and dealing with PTSD to a million of other little things including PCS (post concussion syndrome) to in this moment trying to cope with someone in the end stages of cancer. I am now ready to calmly and openly talk about my own experiences in the hopes that it will help you to mentally prepare for what you may have to deal with.

In this article I will address the issue of bipolar disorder and the consequences of someone with bipolar being off meds. While bipolar disorder is my own personal experience, please keep in mind that thousands of men, women and children in this country deal with mental illness of some sort from panic disorder, to depression to major ones such as bipolar and schizophrenia with medications. Not having medications WILL happen when SHFT happens and is most likely happening to thousands of people who have lost their healthcare due to ObamaCare (and keep in mind that the ‘affordable’ healthcare that was promised is NOT affordable and there are huge deductibles that have to be paid BEFORE the healthcare kicks in so if you think you are safe there, think again and think ahead, but this is another topic).

In this blog I will only speak to my own personal experience with dealing with bipolar disorder in my own home…It made ME feel crazy, anxious and out of control. The other person (in this case it was my youngest daughters father) had grandiose plays, was always scheming, would deliberately sabotage things that I did and then sit there and basically say ‘not me’ and then turn it around on me. I dealt with OCD habits of constantly cleaning, bullying (myself and others), hypersexuality (which wasn’t with me but many other women), drug use/abuse (which at the time I didn’t know about for sure but suspected as money disappeared in large/small amounts). This person would stay up all night and then sleep a few hours (of course it was done just when everyone else in the house was getting up and moving around and then I had to deal with anger because ‘he couldn’t sleep with all the noise). A lot of quazi and veiled threats were made, and some of them on such places as Facebook. Letters were mailed in the same manner to various people in high places because of paranoia and the grandiose manifestation of ego. He would put himself into high risk situations where the probability of death or serious injury was more than likely…I absolutely refused to ride in a car with him after a certain point because of reckless behavior. His bipolar also turned into doing things such as parking places he wasn’t supposed to and then getting angry when the parking ticket showed up. Another time I got a letter from another state when he ran the toll booth without paying. He would disappear for hours, sometimes days with no explanation or flat out lies. All this was when he was manic which is more often than not. Then we had the ‘down’ side to bipolar. He would stay in bed for DAYS at a time not moving, passing up work (with whatever plausible excuse he could come up with), not eating, not taking a shower. Talk was dark and this is when the paranoia really kicked in about how everyone was out to get him, take his stuff or outright trying to hurt him physically or financially.
When it got really out of control, veiled death threats were made to certain public officials in his line of work, physical fights almost occurred whenever he had interaction with other people. He would stand pumping his fist up and down trying to intimidate me or anyone else he felt he needed to control. And when threats and intimidation didn’t work, it could quickly escalate into what I referred to ‘meltdowns’…hysterical crying, passing out, and pulling the ‘I am having a heart attack’ to get out consequences of his behavior. It was pretty bad. Complete lack of responsibility one minute to absolute need to control and drama/chaos at every waking moment. He was unmedicated. In the end, his behavior caused me to ask him to leave which sent off another round of bipolar behavior that included stalking, threats of violence to myself, my dogs and hurting himself. His behavior included melt downs, coming and going as he pleased because he knew what the law was regarding residency in the state we lived in. His behavior became even more bizarre including stalking state officials, going off on rants online (Facebook) and lying beyond all belief in the face of facts. Eventually government officials decided enough was enough and I wound up with the State police at my home one cold day asking questions and trying to get him (on the phone since he would answer it for me and not them) to talk to them. When he led them on a merry dance they (the State police) proceeded to get court orders for his arrest and to search MY HOME even though he hadn’t lived at my home for several weeks. The SWAT team showed up at 8 am and then all hell broke loose. His sister who was also bipolar blamed me. I found out about a lot of things that he had been doing unbeknownst to me, protective orders were issued, computers seized, cell phones taken, tablets taken, bomb sniffing dogs brought in my home…the end of the world as I knew it happened…then the fun part…it is still amazing to me how someone so out of control can turn the tables to their advantage and STILL in the face of big problems, manage to manipulate and continue with grandiose behavior…and the sad part was, that under current mental health laws (as seen recently in the state of Virginia where a state Senator’s son almost killed his father and did in fact kill himself…link) UNLESS someone is an immediate threat to themselves or others, they cannot be detained, NOR under law can someone be forced to take medication unless under court order, which rarely happens unless they display absolute disregard for life of law enforcement. There is virtually no mental health services in this country unless you have insurance and even then, the person in question has to seek it out themselves and WAIT for weeks just to see someone who will then determine if they need meds and well, you know the system…takes forever and meanwhile bad things happen which have a ripple effect.

While in jail he was able to convince the shrink there he was ‘normal’ even though to even one else it was obvious he wasn’t. The courts did nothing, gave him time served and let him go.
I won’t bother with the details from there, but he then swung into the depressive side of bipolar disorder…he realized somewhere that everything had changed and he truly believed that he could never bounce back, make changes and continue to move on. Within four months of the onset of this otherside of bipolar disorder, he committed suicide. He could NOT handle the ‘new reality’ of his life. And this past May his sister also committed suicide (she was another one who refused to get help/meds).

There are many people out there, living and working and leading ‘normal’ lives who have bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. And there are those who are not medicated with pharmaceuticals who self medicate one way or another who may be functional but have problems or are drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. Or just live in their own private hell bouncing along dysfunctionally but getting by somehow.
While I made the painful decisions that I had to make in order keep myself and my family safe in a vacuum of not knowing (at the time), even after his death, I still deal with the fallout of knowing someone who was unmedicated IN NORMAL TIMES. But I move forward.

I guess I am telling my tale so that you, the reader, may get an idea of what it is like to deal with someone with bipolar disorder. There is no getting around it. It is in our society and medications keep the lid on it so that you may not even know that your neighbor, co-worker or the stranger on the street is mentally ill. You may live with someone now who is on medications for mania or depression and you have never seen them off of them.

Reality is this, you, dear reader, need to know the facts. We have seen the headlines in the news with mass shooting where bipolar was a factor in what happened. We who have lived with the unmedicated right here and now WITHOUT a SHTF situation at large know the ugly truth about this disorder. I know for sure that 10’s of thousands of people who are on psychotropic medications live amongst us and as long as the fabric of society holds together, or they still have the money or a way to get their meds (which by the way is only doled out every 30 days and no refills allowed until the last few days) we and they are safe. But as more people loose their health insurance, as more people find out about ObamaCare and when the economic conditions become even worse in time, I truly believe that in our individual lives, we will have to face someone we know, live with or pass by who is no longer medicated. It is a reality shock. Without their medication thousands will behave strangely, destructively, violently, desperately. Then add in a massive change in how we live or survive, it makes my blood cold to think about this. We will go back to the ‘old days’, the jails, as long as they operate, will fill up. Or family’s will go back to keeping family members locked up in their homes. We will face and see a greater up tick in suicides, murders, assaults and even greater emotional stress which will on compound your ability to survive.

I believe we are experiencing this now and have since the economy crashed several years ago. It is not talked about and politicians use the behavior to further their agendas instead of addressing the real issue of mental health in this country. I believe that there are many out there right now who go unnoticed that are dealing with the fallout of mental health issues because they can’t get help, even when its wanted, even when the behavior is harmful to themselves or others. And this is NORMAL society, a society that is still ‘together’ for the moment.

I ask this question now, facing the thought that I know certain mental illnesses are genetic, what if? I have young children who have bipolar disorder on their father’s side of the family. What will I do if I face this issue again within my own children. What will I do if I see it in my next door neighbor? What am I going to do when it really begins to fall apart and more and more people go off meds, or can’t get them, can’t afford them? For we WILL see them in society, in our homes, living next to us. What then?

I ask this question now because many people over look this factor and have NO PLAN AT ALL. Having a plan to deal with friends, family members, co-workers or plain strangers who have mental illness is just as much a part of being prepared as is having beans, bullets and band aids. For many this skeleton doesn’t even cross their mind because ‘they don’t know anyone’ or ‘live with someone’ who has a mental illness. Or they do know or live with someone who is on mood altering medications and overlook it.

Just as having a plan to survive without power, we all need to have a plan on how to deal with those who will be forced off meds or perhaps pushed beyond their coping limits. It will not be a pretty plan, but it needs some thought and thinking about it ahead of time, planning for the possibility of what may or may not need doing to keep you and yours safe (including them) is something to think about NOW…not when you are in the middle of it.

Or perhaps you are in the middle of it right now, just coping as best as you can while it is ‘normal’. Think about what you will do when it gets WORSE after something happens that upsets the status quo of right now.

Mental illness is a serious safety and survival issue….and a tipping point will come when you will somehow be touched by mental illness in this world. What will you do when faced in dealing with it without the benefit of outside help?

Give some thought based on your own situation and circumstances. This is no different than planning for dealing with medical issues or medical emergencies. You just won’t ‘see’ it or know about it like heart conditions, diabetes or a gun shot wound.

With the world changing quickly and not getting better we all need to think about this safety issue and that is what it truly is, a matter of safety for all concerned. You might not like the answers you come up with but it is better to have unhappy answers than none at all. Trust me, been there, done that.

Stay safe and be prepared.