Wake up call
There was a time a few decades back when I was in my teens and twenties when I was the ultimate prepper girl ready to face anything with just the contents of my BOB and a tube of the perfect shade of pink lipstick. In other words I was a fool. OK, lets be nice I was young and naïve. It happens a lot. Then life gave me a wake up call. The body I had taken for granted fell apart on me.
At first it was gradual. I thought I was tired from overwork and stress. I had just taken a desk job following my divorce and it made sense but I felt like I was trying to jog in quicksand. I remarried and tried to move on with my life. No matter how hard I tried things just kept getting worse and worse. The sicker I got the more the rest of my life fell apart. I went from one doctor to another fixing each individual problem without seeing the bigger pattern until one day I awoke to the sad realization that I was dying.
Needless to say that was a serious disappointment for a woman who had planned to go out facing off the zombie hoards or at least doing a credible impression of Ma Ingalls on the great plains. Worse it was a horrifying discovery for a widowed mother of a young child who didn’t want to leave her baby behind. I had to do something so using my prepper skills I sat down and reevaluated my life.
A disease of civilization
At my worst I was on 60mg of Prednisone along with 3 antihistamines, blood pressure medications, Xanax and nausea medications for 6 months. I was unable to stand well enough to get to the bathroom on my own. My heart would race with resting heart rates in the 140s. My blood pressure would suddenly shoot up to 215/110 and just as suddenly drop so low I fainted. I could not eat and had lived for months on nothing but apple juice yet my weight skyrocketed over 300lbs due to the effects of the Prednisone. I seemed to live in the ER often going there 3 or more times in a week. I had horrible migraines. Blood vessels in my eyes popped and I started seeing bright lights that were not there. I was constantly having horrible chest pains along with pains in my neck, arm and jaw. My face would go numb suddenly and I would have problems talking due to numbness in my tongue. I would lose the ability to use my fingers and would start dropping things. I would fall constantly. Worst of all I had brain fog so bad that I was helpless as a small child and easily could be taken to suffer from Alzheimer’s syndrome.
The list of diagnosis was so long I am afraid to even try to remember it all. PCOS, metabolic syndrome, fibromyalgia, prediabetic, gestational diabetes, diabetes, GERD, IBS, mega colon, nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, possible MS, possible Cushing’s syndrome, possible lupus, rosacea, brain damage from all my falls. Plus so many others I have forgotten along the way. In the end none of them were the truth.
All of this stemmed from something I consider to be my own personal SHTF.
Thankfully with a lot of research and effort both on my part and through the support of my fiancé I was able to regain my health. Today a year after hitting my lowest point I have lost 80lbs. I am on no medications yet my blood pressures are in the 95/70 range with a nice normal heart rate. The dizzy spells and fainting are explained and controlled. My digestive system is functioning properly. After two decades of erratic or nonexistent periods my menstrual cycle has returned to normal at the age of 50. My supposed diabetes is gone and I am told I was never diabetic. As a matter of fact all of the assorted diseases I supposedly had now have been explained and I am for all intents and purposes cured… as long as I stay away from civilization and all of its byproducts.
A toxic world
When we preppers speak of SHTF we think of some huge event that will wipe out civilization leaving us to struggle on with just our preps and our family for support. In my case it turns out that SHTF is going on as we speak and I am not alone. Even today people are getting sick and dying in huge numbers from assorted forms of what took me so low.
I have had issues with chemicals and pollutants since I was young but did not know there was an issue. Then circumstances made it much worse. When we were first married my late husband bought me a beautiful brick house on a couple of acres of land in a nice neighborhood. It was bluntly a bit much for me and could easily be the poster child for what a huge carbon foot print looks like. No rational woman wants 5 1/2 bathrooms and all the rest. It is just too much work to keep clean but it came with the man I loved so I accepted his gift with a grateful heart.
What we did not know when we moved in was that the house was a death trap. The county landfill was uphill of it and our water supply was contaminated. The water for the house was a spring and the spring box was made with pressure treated lumber. The house itself had black mold issues hidden behind its pretty wall paper. The basement closets and attic were left full of chemicals, pesticides (many of them so dangerous they were no longer sold in this country) and paints. These chemicals had permeated every corner of the house and were thick in the heating ducts. Due to poor layout the windows were never able to keep the house cool so we had to run the air conditioning / heat with the windows closed allowing the chemicals and other pollutants to build up in the air.
The previous owner’s husband suffered from repeated bouts of brain cancer and she had horrible problems with mini strokes. A neighbor who shared our water supply also died of brain cancer and then I lost my husband to the exact same thing. Then I almost died.
If I were the only one this had happened to I would not be writing this blog but these hidden dangers are everywhere all around us. They are robbing each and every one of us of our health, our happiness and our productivity
Bugging out to the woods
My friends we speak of SHTF in terms of some distant event involving bombs or some other nasty occurrence yet we ignore the obvious hazards that are slowly destroying us as we go about our daily lives. In other words folks the feces has already passed through the fan and is currently decorating the wall, windows and carpets and more is on the way. You live, eat, drink and breath in a mass of toxic chemicals that collectively are stealing your health and happiness. Worse yet we are exposing our children and grandchildren to this mess and leaving it as a burden to future generations.
I have cured myself by bugging out to the woods where the air and water are clean. I found that I am highly reactive to chemicals, VOCs and some foods like corn that are used in the manufacturing of just about everything we use in modern society. Sadly, I cannot change the world so I am more or less trapped here in my woodland bubble but I am healthy and alive. Something that would not be possible if I had stayed where I had lived or if I had moved into some other house in a populated area.
I am not a doctor and have no desire to tell anyone what to do to fix their own bodies. That is the height of foolishness but I have a strong urge to share my story so that others can open their eyes to what we are doing to ourselves and those we love with the toxins we churn out in an incessant tidal wave. It is my deepest hope that others will join me in stepping back in time to a point where we lived a healthier chemical free life.