Ignoring other services such as food, water, and electricity in this post, we all understand that if the grid goes down for any extended period of time then it’s basically “every man for himself” with respect to your healthcare since the doctors, hospitals, and drug providers are NOT anticipated to provide their normal services whatsoever in a grid-down scenario. This is a major problem for many people, especially for those with chronic health conditions and that’s not even taking into account problems that could occur after the grid goes down.
So, what’s a concerned prepper to do?
Most people would suggest that you first work to stockpile any necessary prescription medications now but the obvious problem is that they’re going to run out eventually so that’s not a long-term solution, just a stop-gap. With regards to medical services, it might be possible to find a local doctor that lives nearby but they’re certainly not going to have access to the vast array of diagnostic tests and equipment that they’re accustomed to relying upon. Likewise, the wide assortment of prescription drugs they often prescribe would be hard to procure or more likely nonexistent. Perhaps eventually you could get some prescription medications on a black market, but would you trust that? Maybe… if I had to. But I’m not betting on that or even suggest it’s a good idea.
So, not only are you “up a creek” when it comes to useful healthcare advice and services but even if you can find a nearby doctor then they’re seriously hand-tied with what they can diagnose and prescribe. In fact, I would suspect that most doctors would need to seriously re-consider how they diagnose and treat their patients and probably learn to make plenty of “educated guesses” as opposed to pinpoint diagnoses. It will be a new learning curve for them for sure.
Of course, there’s are a wide assortment of alternative healthcare providers who are accustomed to diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ailments without all the fancy diagnostic equipment, blood tests, and prescription drugs. Now, I’m sure there are some of you who would never, ever, ever in a million years go to anyone without an M.D. next to their name but there is certainly a growing movement of people who do. Could they all be wrong?
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that alternative healthcare provides are THE way to go for you and your situation, but I’m willing to bet that in a grid-down life such alternative healthcare provides WILL take on a much more prominent role in our everyday healthcare… like it or not. That said, our modern healthcare system does many things right, including and specifically emergency care. For example, I would be the first one to say that if I had my arm half cut off then by all means get me to the emergency room ASAP and sew it back on!
So, what good are alternative healthcare providers if they can’t sew my arm back on? Well, I would suggest that they’re a great option for many non-life-threatening ailments, perhaps some chronic conditions, and who knows what else. No doubt there are many choices, from chiropractic (are they considered alternative any more?) to acupunture, homeopathy, and even disciplines with funny names like ayurveda, reflexology, and reiki. There are certainly many others. Some focus on the use of herbs or homeopathic remedies, others attempt to manipulate nerve and energy pathways, still others work with the body’s energy systems and all sorts of things I don’t understand.
No doubt one could be skeptical of such disciplines, after all, if you don’t believe in or even understand what’s going on, how can you expect it to work? I know I’ve had a hard time in my personal life with regards to many alternative therapies as they have always been another “crazy” thing my wife wanted to try and usually I go into it begrudgingly either for my own benefit or perhaps that of my children. And, of course, there’s the money issue… yes, we’ve spent a small fortune (or so it seems) out-of-pocket over the years on a variety of alternative therapies. Sometimes they were successful and sometimes not.
Like I said, it’s not like these alternative therapies are a panacea that some people like some people indicate they are. Not at all. I will, however, share one example from our life that changed my general disbelief in alternative therapies for good. I won’t go into details, but when my youngest child was a baby (he’s now almost 8) he suffered from pretty serious eczema. So much so that my wife was literally desperate and looking for a cure. After multiple doctor visits (with a real M.D.) who simply wanted to put my child on lifelong medication my wife began to seek other options. She tried a variety of possibilities including an elimination diet and various topical treatments I can no longer remember.
Then, one day she stumbled upon something called N.A.E.T. which is basically an alternative therapy that “re-trains” the body’s energy pathways to no longer react to whatever the allergen is. My child actually turned out to be allergic to many, many things, from airborne pathogens to food, and most especially animals. For quite a while I was skeptical, after all, I figured maybe he was just getting better because he was getting older? I didn’t know. But, I can say that the one event that changed my mind was what I saw with my own eyes within a mere week…
Longer story short, we had gone to visit my in-laws one weekend where my child broke out in ridiculous bumps and eczema that weekend because he was very allergic to the individual animals (mostly cats) that were in the house. It was so bad that my wife ended up taking him to sleep at a place that had no animals and we came home early the next day. Before leaving, however, we took “samples” of fur from each and every animal in that house, had my son treated with N.A.E.T. during the week, and wound up returning to my in-laws the very next week. Guess what happened? He didn’t break out at all.
I thought to myself, is that possible? Could it be THAT simple? I didn’t know but I surely couldn’t suggest a better explanation. And, so, my mind was changed from that day forward. My child subsequently received many more treatments and eventually got over his eczema. Other family members have been treated for other problems using N.A.E.T. with varied success since then. Again, I’m not suggesting it’s a cure-all, not at all, but this experience did change my mind about the potential for alternative therapies to treat some ailments.
So, the question is: who is your alternative care provider? Who can you turn to if/when the grid goes down and our traditional healthcare system is nonexistent? Do you take the chance and trust diagnoses from an ill-equipped traditional medical doctor or not? Or, do you trust an alternative healthcare provider that may or may not have a clue? In my opinion, that’s why it’s vitally important that you begin to find someone now who might be able to help you rather than to turn to just anyone who suggests they can help… at least this way you KNOW that who you’re turning to has some skills and knowledge.