This weeks news letter/blog update is not so much on new herbal, survival or alternative tips and tech. It’s how I almost lost my wife. We all love being independent. Taking care of our own and not needing the outside world or medicine. But one thing I want to drive home. A Medic is NOT a doctor. Yes Doctors, they sometimes make mistakes,they are arrogant and have no respect for alternative health care. But unless you spend the money and time in medical school it is damn near impossible to treat some illnesses without a hospital and or western medicine. Or a Doctor. Diagnosing is easier. 90% of the time it’s process of elimination and what we call differential diagnosis. But FIXING. That is the hard part.
I have been managing my wife’s IBS with diet. We had what was called a Hydrogen Test. It determined that she is sensitive to fructose. Yup Fruit sugar. The symptoms are the same as lactose intolerance.
AND I thought it was total bullshit. Allergic to fruit?? WTF? So we blew it off. And as time went on the stomach issues continued. So finally I did the process of elimination and DD and we determined she has IBS and her trigger is. Fructose. DUH. So we removed it and after about 2 weeks she was feeling better. She hadn’t had cramps or diarrhea. WIN.
You all know how it is when something is new, like a diet you forget. My love went to a friends house and had some girly cocktails. Chock full of Alcohol and High Fructose Corn Syrup. She then calls my son to pick her up (House rules you drink you stay unless you have a ride) and she decided to go to the local Sonic for a double cheeseburger (With mayo) and a Ocean Water. 40 grams of HFCS. And by the next morning she was not feeling good. We thought nothing of it other than “I forgot that f^&#*ing fructose!” By Sunday evening she was BAD so I gave her some stuff to help her and she went to sleep and we thought we were good. Monday comes and she woke up feeling decent. Until she stood up. And crashing stabbing pain. At this time I said we are going to the doctor. We went to urgent care and they looked at her and sent us to the ER. We got to the ER and after some tests and a CT she was found to have ruptured diverticulitis. The an ambulance ride to the main hospital.(Who’d a thunk that a big hospital with an ER CT Scanner all the bells and whistles did NOT have inpatient services) She ruptured 10 cm of her Sigmoid colon and was septic. She was admitted to the hospital on Monday and it’s been an ordeal. If we are lucky she may be released this Sunday. (2-26-17)
Each day she goes with out surgery is a day when the surgery chances drop. If we had waited one more day she would have probably died. I thank my gods and my ancestors that I won that argument and we went in.
So what does my wife’s illness have to do with SHTF Medicine?
As medics and healers we can treat a lot of minor to moderate illnesses and injuries, But without modern medicine and tech there are somethings we can not do. Or do as well. There is NO herbal alternative for Ppiperacillin/tazobactam for peritonitis. There very few herbal or alternatives for most antibiotics….To a point. We can buy, for a while longer animal antibiotics. And I ENCOURAGE people to buy them and store them. But use them ONLY with the complete knowledge in HOW to use them. LEARN how to diagnose and what you can do and can not do. Can ruptured diverticulitis be treated in an SHTF event? Yes and No. IF you can catch it early you can treat with diet and antibiotics. If you end up like my wife, the chances are slim to treat. BUT it is possible. IF your have the drugs on hand. If you have the knowledge on hand. It is not SHTF sort of. We still have access to our doctors and hospitals. The excuse of I do not have a job does not hold water. We are unique in the world. Even with the disaster our medical system has gone though it is still the LAW to treat and stabilize patients. Saving money is no excuse to allow someone to die.
That being said am I giving up my teaching training and practice of alternative medicine? Uh Hell NO! This experience just reinforced my knowledge of my LIMITATIONS. And what I need to work on to learn more. And what now to buy and store for the relapse. And to study and research to prove my earlier statements as Incomplete. I truly feel that somewhere in nature there is a combination of plants or minerals that will help in these life threatening illnesses.
People ask me a lot during classes on when do you know you are a healer? I tell them. When you truly realize and embrace your limitations. There is nothing more dangerous than a doctor nurse medic or healer that feels they are infallible.
Learn. Train. Practice. Study. Learn more. The day a healer stops learning is the day they put that first shovel of dirt on your box.
This adventure also taught me I need to add more to my SHTF Laboratory. Diagnosing what my wife has without a lab is 1 step away from impossible. I spent some years as a medical lab tech. But that form of training is not mandatory. Extremely helpful but if you can count you can do the basic test to determine infection. The Complete Blood Count. Now don’t get me wrong not everyone can do every part of the CBC. It takes training and experiance. And a good eye. But the bare basics of counting how many white blood cells how many red blood cells and how many platelets are in a measured field. The tables for male and female normals are well published. That little bit of information is VITAL to determining if a person is septic anemic or at risk for bleeding. Do you use this SHTF tech now when you have access to modern emergency medicine?
I am not going to answer that. That is your choice. But I will say,I have 36 years of experience this coming May. Somethings I will take care of on my own. Somethings, especially major emergencies I will defer to the professionals. If they are available. If gods forbid Presbyterian Hospital is not there then I will use my training and equipment to do what I can to treat my family and community.
Oh and my wife is doing better and with diet and care she will make a full recovery. I will tell you that I was more scared this week than I ever was in any tour of combat I have been in. Everyone’s spouse is special. Christine and I are two parts of one person and she is my life.