I wonder, as I read blogs and forums, about those "survivalist" types that have tons of dried foods, thousands of rounds of ammo and water filters and tools stored away for any upcoming apocalyptic event, what have they forgotten?
Recent events in my own life brought this to the forefront...
I had a dental abscess two years ago that traveled to my heart and almost killed me.
Major antibiotics for an extended period of time finally brought me back from the edge, but the doctors told me I HAD to have my teeth removed to forestall a recurrence of the situation.
Being rather poverty stricken at that time, I could not get the dental surgery done. Last month, I had my last twenty teeth removed and got dentures. While recovering, I watched an account on an educational show about an ancient Egyptian tomb that was excavated. The mummy was of some female royal personage. They decided to examine the mummy to determine cause of death.
Turned out, it was an abscessed tooth.
This mummy was once a member of the ruling royal family. She had storehouses of grain and flocks and orchards at her disposal. Slaves fanned her brow, washed her clothing, cleaned her home and waited on her hand and foot. Soldiers protected her at the risk of their own lives and priests prayed and sacrificed for her.
All for naught, because of one infected tooth.
The doctors and archaeologists examining the mummy talked long about how painful her death must have been.
I felt for the long dead lady.
But I also felt a wondering about how many of the *preppers* out there have overlooked significant details in their preparations.
I no longer have to concern myself with an abscess tooth killing me. I knew I had bad teeth and was, thankfully, able to get something done about it.
But if TSHTF (The Shit Hits The Fan in survivalist acronym language), how many survivalists, huddled in their bunkers are prepared for such a thing?
Current antibiotics have limited shelf lives. Some may even turn deadly during extended storage.
Look, if you have bad teeth and you are hanging on to them due to vanity, lose the fantasy and take some of your money to a dentist and get them pulled out. Get an inexpensive set of dentures, wait until your mouth has healed well (about 6 months to one year) and get better dentures or even implant-type permanent dentures. Save your cheap dentures for spares.
In fact, two or three spare sets may be advisable. (TSHTF, I doubt you will be able to scoot down to a local dental lab for replacements)
Remember spare eyeglasses, too, if you wear them. You can buy spare pairs of eyeglasses very cheaply (20 bucks a pair!) online.
Let's address your appendix while we are at it. Still have yours? What would happen if you had appendicitis? No doctor, no hospital. Going to have a a fellow survivalist read instructions from a medical textbook so they can figure it out?
Yeah, scary thought.
I have recently read where some folks are having their appendix removed as an elective procedure. Smart folks.
As soon as you can afford it, go to a doctor and request a full physical. Pay close attention to what the doctor tells you to do, be it losing weight, gaining weight, lowering your cholesterol, lowering your blood sugar, whatever. Write it down and work on it.
And ASK your doctor about your appendix, your tonsils, bad teeth and any other conditions or situations that may imperil your life in a no doctor available situation.
You can tell him you are thinking of joining the Peace Corps and will probably far from a competent medical facility for two years and you just want to make sure there is nothing that may cause you distress in said situation.
Get everything done that you can as soon as you reasonably can.
Put off getting that new Mossberg SPX and pay for the dental work.
Forget the Unimog for right now and get your appendix out during your vacation.
Skimp on your next wheat order and get a few spare pairs of glasses.
A full larder and scads of ammo will do you little good if you die of a simple problem that could have been treated NOW.
Remember the mummy, entombed with her riches...