Sunday, 26 March 2017

09:44 – It was 51.9F (11C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning. We’re supposed to get rain pretty much all day today, and well above average temperatures for the next several days.

I’m about ready to bag Firefox. It’s slow, bloated, and has a lot of other issues. I’ve had Vivaldi installed for several months and have been using it from time to time. Barbara has also been having minor nagging issues with Firefox on her notebook, so yesterday I installed Vivaldi for her and imported all her Firefox data. We’ll see how she likes it.

I’ve been thinking about our medical preps and looking at various prepping sites for ideas. What strikes me immediately is that many preppers are going about things the wrong way. I try to apply systematized decision making, using a simplified type of n-dimensional multivariate analysis to decision making.

For prepping decisions, the n-dimensional part is 3-dimensional:

  1. How likely is an event?
  2. How easy or difficult is it to take measures against that event?
  3. How much will it cost in time/money to take those measures?

When you finish your analysis, you end up with each event ranked as likely/unlikely, easy/difficult, and cheap/expensive. Deal with the likely/easy/cheap ones first and the unlikely/difficult/expensive ones last, if at all.

With regard to medical preps, a lot of people have built what amount to trauma kits, which fall into the unlikely/difficult/expensive class, but have ignored the likely/easy/cheap ones. It’s all well and good to have what you need to deal with gunshot wounds, assuming you have the skills to do so, but gunshot wounds are definitely in the unlikely group. Sure, it might happen, but it’s not the first thing you should be preparing for medically. Unless you’re a physician or a trauma nurse, you’re as likely to kill the patient as help him.

GI problems on the other hand, are not just likely but almost certain. Between greatly elevated stress levels and less than ideal sanitation, you’re going to be dealing with diarrhea and constipation, not just occasionally but regularly. The former can kill the patient; the latter will just make them wish they were dead.

Fortunately, both problems are probably going to be pretty easy to deal with. Stock up on loperamide for minor diarrhea and oral rehydration salts for more severe cases. Both are cheap and effective. (By the way, unless you really know what you’re doing and have the resources to culture and identify STEC versus non-STEC bacteria, NEVER EVER treat even the most severe diarrhea with antibiotics; doing so may kill the patient.)

As to constipation, stock up on laxatives. The cheapest and one of the most reliable is the saline laxative Epson salts. One tablespoon in a glass of water normally works within a few hours. You can buy a large retort bag of the stuff at Costco or Sam’s for a few bucks. PEG laxatives are also safe and effective. Costco sells a 3-pack with 90 daily doses for about $20 in stores and on-line.

In med school, one of the first things they teach is that when you hear hoofbeats, don’t think about zebras. In other words, consider the most likely cause, horses, first and only after you’ve eliminated the likely causes should you consider the unlikely ones. The same is true for prepping, medical or otherwise.

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