Random musing not necessarily medical related.

The Medic Shack Blog.

20.52

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A question posted to me by a friend
Last week was talking to a friend of mine who is in his early 60s. Like most of us over the age of 50 we have some health issues. His are all maintence medicine based. Hypertension, type 2 diabetic. Some joint ills but over all a healthy man. And he lost his job. I’ve said it before losing your job is a SHTF event. He now has no health insurance and has to pay out of pocket for his medications. On insurance they were only about 30 bucks a month. This month they will be over 300 bucks. And to had to his problem of not having work, he has been sent a notice that he needs to obtain insurance or be fined by the IRS. Talk about insult to injury! I helped him with some alternative medicines. It took a few days for getting the doses right, and he is good to go.
He asked me why don’t I open a clinic for people like him. I told him he must not like me much. He asked why. I told him there is something called practicing medicine with out a license and it is jail time here in New Mexico. I told him that by the letter of the law I could be fined for even suggesting to him that certain herbs would MAYBE help his blood pressure and diabetes. He told me that it was a BS law and if both parties are in agreement then Eff the government. I told him that I agree to a point. But also see the need for the laws.
In Santa Fe NM in 2013 a dentist was practicing out of his car and doing house calls. He carried his tools in a tackle box and they were filthy. Last year in Clovis a person stole the identity of a PA and assumed his person and worked in a clinic until late he almost killed a patient. There are hundreds of such cases in the US every year.
But what if there was a way for herbal healers to fill the nitch that people are tossed in when they lose their insurance?

Here in New Mexico we have what is called Las Curanderas. Healers
It is a 4 step program that has no books no degrees. And is practiced in my home country of Mora NM. The stages of Curanderismo are yerbera (herbalist) and continuing with the partera (midwife), sobadora (folk chiropractor), and curandera espiritual (spiritual healer). Curanderas are both male and female. Females being the predominant Curanderas. They practice pretty much unmolested by the FDA and State of NM medical boards, mainly because if 1. They tried to arrest a Curandera or Curandero the arresting official probably would not make out alive. 2. Curanderas do not charge in the way that modern doctors charge. Sometimes it’s a little money but mostly it’s barter of one form or another. 3 Every Curandera that I know, knows their limits. They know there are some things that they can not fix. And they talk their patients into seeing a doctor.
Back to the question I got asked. My friend asked why couldn’t I fill the role of a Curandera in our town. And I told him because of the laws. He reported that they don’t eff with them up north. I told him Do YOU go to Mora County much? He said nope. I asked why. He said he is to damn white. I told him, now do you see why they don’t go up and mess with those people. I told him I have thought about it. But fear of going to jail and also that my version of curandera espiritua would not be accepted by most people because of my faith. If there ever was a time the we need more Las Curanderas is today.

A dear freind of mine and I were talking this same thing last night, She told me, “You can teach how to set one up a herbal clinical practice, perhaps ask for volunteers for teaching purposes. Charge students for the clinical experience, but make volunteers sign forms knowing that they are not receiving medical care, or something along those lines”
Damn good ideas, but I need to find a lawyer who, 1 understands medical law in NM and 2 won’t go ape crap crazy over someone using herbs to treat a person with.
As I said earlier this type of medical professional is one that we desperately need. Our ERs are over flowing with people seeking primary care for the sniffles or a sore throat. We have so many people that need just basic medical care to control hypertension, type 2 diabetes, strep throat minor things nd nd can’t afford a few hundred bucks to get in to see a doctor about. Many decades ago I was a young company Medic. We had a list of what we could treat and what we couldn’t. When I ran into something that was not on my list, I loaded that solider in my jeep and ran him to the TMC’S. There he saw a PA or a NP. They had a list of what they could treat. And if what was wrong fell outside their scope they brought in a full MD. Sounds like a bunch of time? Hell it was less than sitting in the waiting room of your family practice doc.
But we all know that something like that will not happen. Me making a salve to treat a rash and I get paid with a beef roast and a sack of potatoes. The system acts like that will cause the collapse of the medical industrial complex. And I will be tossed in jail and or fined faster than a meth dealer.
So I am regulated to slink around like a pusher on a dark corner while wearing a trench coat and say “Pssst. He you. Want to buy an herbal cough drop?” Yes medical practice laws have a good side. To keep dirt bags from hurting people. But at the same time the laws are hurting people who desperately need medicine and are forced to seek out a person who may help them, or may take their money and leave them to die. Maybe as a compromise some of us herbal medics should do an internship with the Curanderas and learn how they work and bring it to the Anglo side, and to keep the practice of from dying.
While we wait for something to happen one more person shuffles off down the hell road because they could not afford a bottle of Hydrochlorothiazide, the cheapest blood pressure medication and the law would not allow me to help them with a few capsules of Celery seed.
Think about that when your world changes and your health insurance is canceled.

20.38

A lot of things going on in the world. Crazy election in this country. Crazy attacks in Europe. Police being targeted and shot here. Seems like the everything and everyone is topsy turvy.
One area that doesnt make the 6pm news is Healthcare. Folks that have listened to the Medic Shack Podcast have heard Cat and I talk about the falures of modern medicine. On the plus side we can fix SO many things that 10 years ago was impossible. We save more lives today than ever before.
BUT, (There is always a but), we have now a nation that is almost totally dependent on maintence medication. Hell I hate to say it but I am also. It is so much easier to take a pill than it is to try to fix the problem.

Now a lot of illnesses are not fixable with modern technology. Is it our doctors fault? Partially. The majority of the blame falls on us. The patients. We are the ones the caused the pandemic of drug resistant bacteria. How you ask? Our parents. Little Johnny has a sniffle. Johnnys mom takes him to the pediatrician and he says, Its a cold or allergies, but Johnnys mom throws a fit and DEMANDS he give her little boy ANTIBIOTICS . The WONDER drugs. And sadly to just shut her up the doc writes a script for some pennicillan and mom leaves happy.
Back to maintence meds. Type 2 diabetes. There is NO cure for it. But you can arrest it. Simple diet changes. But it is easier to pop a pill. And now Big Pharma has 5 new Type 2 Disbetic drugs. With a list of side effects that is amazing. Where as our European friends have dicovered that a simple chemical from certain plants does much better than the standard rugs and les side effects than the new one.
Is that the major issue with our health care?
No. In MY opinion its not. The SYSTEM is to blame. I know a doc at a different practice. One of the kindest most gentle men you would ever meet. Holds himself to impossible standards of care. And meets them. He truly tries to do what is BEST for the patient. Not what the inusrance company wants. Not what his practice partners want. What will give that patient the best outcome overall on LIVING. Not surviving. Actually living. What is best for the patient. That is a term we bandy about a lot. Today we pay lip service. But I digress. This doc tried to streamline a part of the process. And got shot down. Not that it would be worse for the patient or even the practice. It would make the process better. But he was shot down. Because it was different. He tried to get a patient off of a bunch of meds that where making her feel worse than the disease. He tried to get approval to actualy FIX her problem. He got a tidal wave of opposition. From his partners to the staff to the pharmacutical vendors and even the insurance. The procedure was expensive. Expensive TODAY. But tomorrow and from now on it would be been Zero. Nada. Zilch. Her quality of life would have been SO IMPROVED. But no. She is sentenced to a lifetime of medication that does not fix her problem and forces her to take more meds to conteract the side effects. And now we are losing that doc. Gave his notice. That is one of the MAIN problems with healthcare. It is more profitable to stretch out the life of a patient than it is to fix em. We are slaves to big pharma. Slaves to the insurance companies. Slave to the system that is clearly broken. Slaves to the overbearing hand of the government trying to manage a broken system and in the mean time breaks it further.
How do we fix it? Get Educated. Take Charge of your health and healthcare needs. Find doctors that have broken away from the insurance teat and charge cash for their services. Sounds expensive? How about this. My monthly insurance payments are about 500 bucks. EVERY 2 WEEKS. Find a doctor that has a payment plan. Pay him 200 a month as a healthcare savings account. Buy the minimum insurance to cover medication and what is called catastrophic heath needs. We looked at it and find that once we fix some chronic issues with my wife and I it will saves us 500 a month. Can you imagine the amount of prepping you can do with an extra 500 a month???
This is the reason I do the Medic Shack. To educate people that there are alternatives. I am not a doctor. I can not tell someone how to manage their healthcare. But I can help people when their healthcare providers and insurance companies can’t or wont.

 

16.36

To stitch or not to stitch.
Everywhere you turn in prepper pages survival pages etc you see someone offering a class on how to suture. Hell I do also. But the majority of them leave out the biggest part of the descision making process.
SHOULD. I. EVEN. SUTURE. THIS. WOUND.
Sorry for the shouting but it is important. I am a HUGE proponet of proper wound care. Heck I have been stitchin stapling and glue people back together of over 30 years. During that time I have seen a LOT of wonds fixed, infected re treated and limbs lost due to infection.
Now dont get me wrong. Suturing is a skill that needs to be learned and learned well. Sutures and taping skills are all thats going to be left if a SHTF thing last a long time. The major issue with suturing is the pre suture wound care. IE the cleaning.

When I was an ER tech and we had someone in the ER post “Hey hold my beer and watch this!” event. We used on avrerage 250 cc of wound flush for each inch of length and quarter inch of depth of a wound. In my classes I tell people to flush until they are sick of it and flush again. This is to ensure that ALL contaminants are out of the wound. In the woods you may not have that luxury. Really it isnt a luxury its MANDATORY.

Next item is the enviroment. The air in suture room is controlled . Not so much filtered. The room has a higher air pressure than outside so air is pushed out and not allowed in. In SHTF that is NOT going to be an option.
Sutured parts need to be protected from moisture. And the right suture needs to be chosen. The most common you see is black silk. Next is monofillament. IF you need to suture skin try to choose monofiliament. It does not allow wicking.
If you can meet all three requirements on closing a wound, then go ahead and suture it closed.

But also remember that for every stitch you put in you make 2 more wounds in the skin.

For. Each. Stitch.
This is an infected sutured wound. Notice how the wound is red and puffy. The infection has no where to go but deeper in the tissue.

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My momma told me if I ever complain about something be prepared to offer a solution. So instead of making 2 holes for each stitch. Think of Steri Strips. We used to call em Butterfly bandages because we would trim them in a butterfly wing shape.

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Steri Strips properly applied will not hold as well as suture, normally. However you can tape a wound together and leave a portion open on the lower end to allow drainage.

 

 
When you get to an area where you have the time, place and materials then suture away. Steri’s with a little help can even replace suture on non moving or bending areas. After you clean the area and wound apply a thing called Trincture of Benzoin. Think sterile pine sap in alcohol.

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Apply this to the outside of the wound at least as wide as the steri strip you are going to use. NOT ON IT. And allow to dry. Then place the steri on one end pull tight over the wound and stick the other end down.
What you say? You have no Benzoin? Here in ther desert SW we have Pinon Pine. Almost every portion of the country has some sort of pine tree. Harvest it spread like the benzoin and your steri strips will not come off until you take em off.

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Staples. I consider them the same as suture except they do not wick in CONTAMINANTS. 2 new holes for each staple.

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I am not against suturing. Far from it. But please consider what we call the Risk vs Benefit. Will you suturing now benefit this person in the long run, or is the risk of infection is to high and lets put it off of a while til we can properly clean it.

Healthcare in modern Amerika 7-14-16

 

I get asked almost weekly at work, BTW I work for a large hospital system in a small hospital. I get asked Why do you insist on this “medicine”? (You can here the quotation marks) you work in a the most advanced lab in the southwest, you assist in procedures that are turned down by the Big Name Hospital because they are to risky and you save a lot of lives. But you teach people how to use weeds and diet to care for them selves.

And at times my belief in what I teach is somewhat shaken. Not because of doubt in my abilities. But in the limits I have. I can not do a Atrial Flutter Ablation with out my computers. Nor can I program a pacemaker with out a computer. It makes no never mind that I KNOW how to do it. I do not have the equipment nor would it be any good if I did. With out electricity you can do EP.

Then I turn on the news. Here in Albuquerque Presbyterian Health Services the largest heathcare system in the state is leaving the Affordable Heathcare market place.
http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/new-mexicos-largest-health-plan-drops-out-of-aca-for-2017/422481/
Obamacare. United Healthcare is leaving also. I see daily people cutting their meds in half to stretch them out. I see people refusing to go to the doctor because they CAN NOT AFFORD TO. A freind of mine works at one of the other hospitals in town. She tells me that they are charting for LAWYERS not for patients. They spend more time on making sure their charts are PERFECT than caring for sick people. My hosptial is not as bad. We have been told to tighten up on somethings. Most of us in medicine do it not to get rich. We do it to care for and to cure the sick and injured. if you do this job for the money you really need to find something else to do.

I also see the shortages in the medicines drugs and basic necessities we need. Normal Saline. Basic Antibiotics. ATROPINE A basic cardiac drug. Restricted and or on shortage.
http://www.ashp.org/menu/DrugShortages/CurrentShortages
I see this and I know why I do what I do and teach what I teach. Medicine today is maintence medicine. Some providers find the lure of Big Pharma to much and they prescribe what you NEED to maintain your health. Not top make you better. Some prefer their patients to be kept as much in the dark as possible and when a patient asks, they get the, “Because I am the doctor”
Our healthcare system in the US is a fragile egg with a cracked shell. One hard rap and it splits wide open. This is my opinion and no one elses. In addition to the other issues our fair country is going through we can ill afford to lose the ability to care for ourselves. That is why I teach about weeds, potions elxirs and diet. Because those things will always be avaiable. As long as we care for the earth that grows them.

Can we believe in the Justice System again? 7.6.16

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Can we ever believe in the justice system again?
This week I lost faith. No not in my religion, in fact that is what brought me comfort this week. I lost faith in the justice system of the United States. I watched the director of the FBI read off a list of charges and then say there was no criminal intent.
Scooter Libby went to jail
General Petraeus was fined and forced to resign.
Eric Snowden is living in exile.
No blood is on their hands. No US lives were lost.
But Mrs.Clinton is running for president. I am actually physically ill at that thought. And not because I am not a Republican.

Because of the gross negligence of the FBI that had MOUNTAINS of evidence. Had her LYING under oath.
I dislike Mr. Trump almost as much. But at least he hasnt killed anyone…..Yet.
And I am not a Democrat
I am a Libertarian, but I am worried about that since the Libertarian canidate has stated, she did nothing wrong.
I have not decided what party I am voting for. And for the first time since 1981 I am considering NOT voting. But that is neither here or there.
I am going to do one thing. I am going to become a better healer. I am going to strive to get as many people educated on how to care for themselves and their families. We need to do it ourselves. We cant depend on anyone else to do it. And sure as HELL not the govenment. We cant even depend on them to enforce the laws of this country equally, can we depend on them to care for our health?
United Healthcare has announced that it will leave the Affordable Care Plan in 2017. For people living in Oklahoma and Kansas, they would be left with only one insurer if UnitedHealthcare pulls out.What will that do to preimums. SHTF isnt only about Zombies, government take over, CME etc. SHTF is also about, I lost my job. I lost my health insurance. That is a common SHTF scene this year.
I fear for my country. I have seen this country take some blows. As a kid I remember the poop storm that Nixon caused. The borderline depression that was the Carter legacy. The Iran Contra affair of Ronald “Ray Gun” Reagan(I have an extra hole in me from that one) The recesion of the Obama administration. And we have bounced back. This one I fear we may not. Why? Because instead of behind closed doors and secret scheming. This was out in the open at 1116 am EDT on national TV and said,

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Mr. Comey said.
The laws were either re wrote or I feel ignored.
In Public.
On National TV.
And with a smile.
A federal grand jury has accused a petty officer of unlawfully taking pictures of restricted areas of nuclear-attack submarine USS Alexandria and trying to sabotage an investigation into his actions by destroying evidence. He is going to jail and loses everything he worked for.
And rightly so.
Sounds harsh, but he took pictures of a classified area of a US fast attack sub. And tried to destroy evidence.
Mrs Clinton stored top secrete information on a non secure computer, lost pieces of it and its all OK. Secret documents vital to the security if this nation and its “I’m sorry I really didnt mean any harm”
Bull $h!t
This week was like watching my sister die. But instead of my little sister it was the country that I and hundreds of thousands bled and died for. Its dying. Hell it may already be dead and the body doesnt know it yet. It is now up to us that we do not get caught in the undertow as she slips beneath the waves.

Is is time to get the government off our backs?

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One of the items for the Medic Shack is the addition of a blog of what is going on in the realm of Alternative, herbal and emergency medicine. Lets call it Ditch Medicine.
It seems odd to have 3 different medical disciplines all on one blog, but since I deal with all 3 it seems fair enough. This will be a combination of personal opinion and fact. I’ll keep the two as separated as possible.
Yeah Right.

This week. One of my FAVORITE groups to pound on is, The Government. Now this is not a direct slam at the current administration. Gods know they deserve it. And not only the federal government, but state county and local. But what does the government have to do with Ditch Medicine? Oh my dear readers EVERYTHING.
Lets talk first about Robin Speronis a resident of Cape Corral Florida. She disconected from the grid in mid 2013 and was living peaceably until a reporter did a story on her and in Novmber 2013 a code enforcement official showed up. With evection notice in hand he shows up and gives here the ultimation

Hook up or get out.

Next lets chat about soap. Specifically homemade soap. Senator Diane Feinstein pushed a bill hard in the last session ‘‘Personal Care Products Safety Act’’. S.1014. Thank goodness it died in committee. If it passed it would have over burdened the home soap maker with more regs than a FFL holder. This young lady DID feel the brunt of the FDA’s ponderous ass on her shoulders. Robin of River Country Soapworks found out that no matter HOW careful you are the FDA will send its cronies to make sure you are as inconvenienced as possible. From the article, ” Robin had not been reported to the FDA, but the inspector came across her website and noticed several problems with the way products were described. Specifically, Robin described a scent as “medicinal,” and stated that tea tree and lavender essential oils contained antibacterial properties.” A group of inspectors whose sole function in LIFE is to browse the net and find potential violations. Basically this lady was “Dinged” for violations from no cages over light bulbs to raw products INSEALED buckets being directly in contact with the floor. She is now in “compliance” but has to deal with surprise inspections paperwork and ledgers that rival my friends that have FFL’s (Federal Firearms Licenses)
Recently a dear friend of mine shared with me an email that she got from her herb supplier. Short version of the letter said that She would not be able to link The company to products on her site that where sold with a thearputic effect. This according to the FDA.
Ok Get your tinfoil hats duct tape AND Saran Wrap and wrap your head nice and tight.
I’ll wait.
Waiting
Waiting.
Waiting
Waiting.
Ok Ready?
The sudden flury of enforcement of either archaric laws and or new ones is diretly proportional to the amount of people moving off grid. Making a home business selling soap. Or making medicines for people to HELP them. Monopolies HATE competion.
How many electric, gas and water service providers are in your town? “Public Utilities” are there to exchang money for electricity, water, gas and or  sewer. I have NO issues with money changing hands for a service. Hell   I DO IT ALSO. However if you decide NOT to buy utilities then the local government goes bat poop crazy and DEMANDS UNDER THREAT OF JAIL if you do not buy from them.
How competivie is the personal hygene market? When you sell one bar of soap that say you even make the lye for, you effect 3-5 OTHER companies. The company the sells the fats, the one that sells the lye. The one that sells the colors, the one that sells the paper to make the box its in. And the company that puts it all together as a bar of soap.
How well does your family doctor react to you cutting back on say a T2 Diabetic drug,  and increasing Berberine? (Which the plants it grows in are wild. And free). And who does your taking berberine effect? Lets pick on Jannasson Medical that makes Invokana, a new Type 2 diabetic drug. For every capsule of Berberine you take, that’s one less tablet of Invokana. That means the company that makes the raw chemicals, the colors the packaging the vendor who spent 400 bucks on a lunch for a doctors office to get her to buy this drug so that they can get a new sold gold plated Similcrum. (OK reaching now.Technaclly the doc kick back is illegal) (Nod your heads please)

Now I do believe we need laws to protect the end consumer from the snake oil salesman. The unethical herbal faker who puts weeds together and calls it medicine. But limit the involvement of the government and allow the consumers to regulate with thier wallets or in the courtroom. Assesing a 5k fine because a light bulb does not have a “cage” around it is STUPID. Having corrupt inspectors pass shoddy work but failing quality work in home construction is STUPID. We are having a case of that here in Albuquerque.
For thousands of years we built our homes. And those that were built with quality materials skill and forethought are still standing centuries after thier builders passed on.
Maybe its time for us to do what Great Britain did. They did a Brexit and left the EU. Maybe its time of to do a WEXIT, We Exit the BS of the code of the City County and federal governments that inspect us to justify a position.

Current Training Schedule

These are the classes for The Medic Shack. For local central NM classes they will be held at Lovelace Medical Center. (LMC)

601 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87102

July 8th-10th Personal Defense Handgun II and III (TMS is just helping sponsor. I’m taking the class also!!) Sign up here!!! http://www.southwestshootingauthority.com/#!pdh-iii—nm/cqd2

Herbal First Aid Course July 23rd and 24th Albuquerque NM

Early Bird Special! Type in EARLYBIRD in the coupon code area for a 20% discount!
https://themedicshack.net/herbal-first-aid-course/

Wilderness/Disaster Medic Class.

August 12th to Monday August 15 At the Eagles Lodge in Bethany Missouri

https://themedicshack.net/wilderness-medic-bethany-mo/
2 more weeks and then the drawing for the Tactical Hot pack.
And get entered into the drawing!

Hotpack

Also remember If anyone one would like to get 5 of their friends together for a class then yours is free!

*********   DISCLAIMER  **********

Use of the information on this newletter is AT YOUR OWN RISK, intended solely for self-help, in times of emergency, when medical help is not available, or expected to BE available The information on this site is meant to be used only during times when improvisational, last-ditch efforts are all that is possible. The hosts of The Medic Shack assume that if you are using this information that TSHTF and no help other than what YOU have is forth coming.  DO NOT USE THIS INFORMATION WHEN YOU CAN GET MORE TRADITIONAL OR PROFESSIONAL CARE.

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I am currently an Electrophysiology Tech, I work on the electrical system of the heart. I am also past EMT- P, An old combat medic. An Emergency medicine instructor, Wilderness survival instructor, Firearm instructor, prepper, scoutmaster and dad.

I have been in the medical field since 1982. I’ve seen the ravages that bullets will do to a body, and what sickness will do with out the proper training and medications. Currently I am watching how our medical system has been brought to it’s knees by greed and stupidity. I am not a doctor, and cant give medical advice or diagnose.
But I can show you how you can take care of yourself, friends and family.

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