By: Island Girl
26 December 2011
I used to think I could prep for anything that life threw at me, and did so to the best of my ability, as my budget and time allowed. Prepping wasn't just a hobby or a lifestyle; it was a huge source of satisfaction, enjoyment, and fun for me. Let's face it, getting cool new toys and playing with them, and seeing your progress build, is exciting, and makes you feel proud! As it should! I guess that I sort of figured that any limitations were a matter of how much money and knowledge I was willing to invest, and that any problem had a solution. Then life threw at me something that knocked the wind out of me, leaving me lying there gasping like a fish out of water, because it turned my entire prepping paradigm upside down. Three months ago, my teenager contracted an illness that requires him to give himself injections of medication daily, or die. It's that simple. Suddenly my entire world depends entirely on the pharmaceutical companies and getting that medication and those medical supplies. That realization nearly drove me out of the prepping community. I had to come to grips with the realization that there are things I cannot do.
When we came home from the hospital with big boxes and bags of medical supplies, the direct pager to the pediatrician, and a lot of education that needed to be absorbed, and I realized this was our new life, I was overwhelmed. The supplies alone took an entire shelf in my cabinet. The medication took the entire top shelf of the door of the refrigerator. That would take an entire bug out bag, just for his medications, and those medications would only remain viable if refrigerated. Without refrigeration, they would last only 30 days. With refrigeration, the expiration date is one year away. We learned how fragile our situation was, literally, when our only vial of medication fell on the kitchen floor and shattered at 3am, leaving us rushing to find an all night pharmacy.
Even with the medication, my son now faces complications that not only impact his quality of life, but his lifespan. He walked out of the hospital with the statistic of having a dozen fewer years to live than someone without his disease.
I had a lot to come to grips with and, for the first couple of months, I couldn't even think about prepping. Rather, I couldn't stop thinking about prepping, but was frozen with fear. I looked at that expiration date on that medication and, to me, it equated to a date on a tombstone if TSHTF. There is no way I could replicate the medication at home. I read every book I could get my hands on, and became more and more terrified. If I thought of prepping, it brought so much anxiety that I found it easier to not think about it at all. I nearly gave up my hard-won place in the Rubicon. My reasoning was something like this: I prep for my children, I live for my children, and if certain death awaits one of my children, then I would rather not prep at all, because I'd rather not survive him. If TSHTF, I hoped that I would at least be spared the suffering. For the first time, I actually understood those people who say they don't prep because they hope to be the first to die in a SHTF world. I became the anti-survivalist, if there is such a thing.
Of course that passed, because prepping is at the heart of who I am. It's not something you can just give up, if it is a part of your core being. And, slowly, I have come to realize that prepping does not have to be all or nothing. There is a middle ground.
The fact is, the disasters I am most likely to face are small scale, localized ones. Hurricanes, earthquakes, riots, blizzards, terrorism, fires, and the like. I can do something about that. I don't have to be a sitting duck. There are things I CAN do to ensure my son's survival for the short and medium term, and pray that the disaster is a short lived one. If we lose power for a week, or a month, or even six months, I can keep his medicine cool, and I can make sure we have a good stockpile of all of his supplies. If a disaster goes on past that expiration date, there simply isn't much I can do about that. But that possibility of failure in the face of a long term disaster doesn't give me permission to just give up and not even try. I can't prep beyond that expiration date, but I can keep him alive and healthy and comfortable during small and medium scale disasters. So, I owe it to him to do my best to the very limits of my ability. I cannot let the fact that I can't do everything, keep me from doing anything.
So, I've realized that, for my family, the Serenity Prayer fits nicely. God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.
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