Monday, November 26, 2012

Preparing for the Future {Taking care of our health}

One of the things that I think is important to think about when planning and preparing for the future (whatever it may hold) is knowing how to take care of you and your family's health. This wasn't the topic I planned to write about today but after being sick for the weekend with an ear infection/fever, etc and having successfully treated it at home I decided that I was already thinking about this topic- I might as well write on it too.

 I personally think it is quite wise to know as much as you are able concerning taking care of your health whether it be preventive care, dealing with sickness or accidents. Though I do feel exceedingly blessed to live in a day in age where doctors and surgeons have learned a whole lot about many things and know how to do all sorts of surgeries and such if needed - I would prefer to use them rarely, when they are truly needed and not just run to them with every runny nose or sore throat.
 Here are some of the reasons why I would like to be as informed as possible and not just rely on professional medical personnel and the drugs they can provide:
  • Clinics and hospitals are full of germs. With that I am not saying that the places are dirty or the people that work there are- I think they are generally just as careful as they can be but still any place that takes care of sick people is going to have germs- there is no way around that. Many people get staff infections from being in the hospital.
  • Generally natural treatments have far less side affects that antibiotics and other drugs. It is still wise to use caution though as some herbs are pretty powerful.
  • In an emergency situation (hiking in a remote place, a huge storm that makes medical help unavailable, etc...) I may need to handle the situation on my own- I would like to know how if at all possible - and not be completely freaked out by that idea.
  • Going to the doctor, hospital and especially the emergency room is very expensive. It is worth it if the going will save your life but if I can handle it on my own (and probably come out healthier/without drugs) instead- I would much prefer to save a bit of money. With our family we do have health insurance but we have a high deductible and a health savings account- it actually works out quite nicely and we are provided for in case anything happens but sense we will have to replace any money we use out of the health savings account I really pay attention to not using it needlessly.
So what are ways that we strive to take care of our health?

#1- Live a healthy lifestyle.
As most of us should know- we need to think of our health when we are healthy- not just when we get sick. We try to:
  •  Eat healthy homegrown foods as much as possible
  • Eat whole grains
  • Avoid buying processed foods
  • Use hormone free meat (and milk as much as possible)
  • Eat low sugar- our own raw honey instead and more)
  • Live an active lifestyle (working hard, biking, skiing, daily stretches and other exercise)
  • Get plenty of rest (generally 8 or more hours a night for everybody and a power nap (for me) in the afternoon)
  • I try to steer away from stressful situations when possible
  • And I do feel strongly that having a close relationship with God and a good prayer life is vital too. 

#2- Educate Ourselves.

No matter what the situation that we are faced with we will be able to handle it better if we have studied on that matter before hand and have an idea of what we should do. We aren't ever going to know everything - but if we know something that should help and if we have books or some other source of knowledge available that will help as well.

A book that I bought this year and have found to be extremely useful in handling illness and other various health issues has been "Be Your Own Doctor" by Rachel Weaver. She shares a ton of natural remedies in a very fun and readable way. This past weekend I tried all sorts of remedies from teas, to topical applications, to drops in ears, etc. Most of the remedies recommended use very simple ingredients that if you don't have at home you could probably find easily at a store in your town.

I also have tried to read up on herbs from a variety of other herb books as well as online (though I am pretty careful to double check things I find online if I think it could be at all dangerous - it does only make sense to be careful!).

Another way we did some educating was by Mara, Jonathan and I taking a CPR and First Aid class (through the Red Cross) this year. A bunch of information I hope to never need but I am glad to have it just in case. We have tried to get supplies to go along with all the things we learned as well so that we are ready for any emergency.

Mara practicing CPR

 We have also read a few survival books as I thought the skills taught in them would be good for us to know as we enjoy spending time camping and doing other remote area activities (and as the kids get older we will probably only do more of that sort of thing and we do enjoy it).

Lately something we have been talking about is for Mara to possibly try to become a Master Herbalist as she loves learning about plants and has a great memory and it could be very useful in whatever she does later in life (and I would have fun learning along with her).

#3- Stock up on supplies

If you have an emergency it is best to have what you need on hand if at all possible and not have to go to the store or anywhere else to try to find stuff. This is something I am still working at but we have made quite a lot of progress this year in getting to be more prepared.

I keep most of our supplies in a tote in the bathroom, some more remedy stuff in the kitchen and medicine cabinets (which at our house don't really have much in the way of medicine) and some stuff in the van.

Here is a list of what Mayo Clinic recommends for a family first aid kit.
In "Be your own Doctor" Rachel Weaver has a list in the back of what she thinks everybody should keep on hand.
As you study and learn how to deal with certain situations make sure you have what is needed to go along with your studies.

 Some of our supplies we have bought (well quite a lot of them) but we also have been working to grow and gather (and gather from the wild) many herbs as well that are useful for treating medical problems.

This is an area that we have been trying to learn a lot about and prepare for but it is also an area where I realize there is an immense amount of information still to be learned. I see that as a challenge! I am looking forward to learning more- meanwhile I am very aware that I don't know everything, I will do my best to care for my family naturally but will appreciate counsel from others and am not willing to take unnecessary chances.

What do you do to prepare for taking care of the health of your family?

I am linking up with
Disclaimer - I am not a doctor or in any way medically trained - any advice you follow from my blog is at your own risk.


The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary said...

I feel the same, thank you for the book suggestion. I do some things with Young Living Essential oils, and that has helped. Tara.

International Health Insurance Quotes said...

Two thumbs up for making a great point about developing health. Do share more of your wise ideas.


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