The latest posts from The Survival Doctor
Cornea rust ring. If a speck of metal is left in the eye, a rust ring forms around it. Usually this will go away on its own several days after the metal speck has been removed.
You’re working around your home doing some cleanup, and something hits your eye.
Or you’re hammering a nail or two and start having eye pain out of the blue—a scratching feeling. Something must have gotten in your eye, you figure.
What do you do?
Hopefully in either scenario you’ll get to a doctor ASAP, but what can you do until you can? Or what if that’s impossible?
Eye injuries run the gamut from just being a nuisance to causing devastating vision loss. In this post I’ll share the most common injuries I see. In the next post, I’ll write about others that are not quite so common but potentially even more dangerousWhat to Do If You Think Something’s in Your Eye
You’re working outside, and the wind’s blowing. Something—dust?—gets in your eye.
What not to do: Remember what your mother said: Don’t rub it. Your tears will probably wash the foreign body out. If you [... continue reading]
Sometimes you just have to live with thick toenails—and get some strong clippers.*
Several of my Facebook fans have asked what to do for their thick toenails. And to tell the truth, it’s not a trivial question. Thick toenails can be the starting point for bad bruises, infections, even gangrene.
In a disaster situation, these problems could become more likely if you have to do a lot of walking or even just standing. If your shoes press on the toenail, the toe can become quite bruised. Then, if your toes swell from the bruising, the shoes will be tighter on them, causing a dangerous cycle, even to the point of killing some of the tissue under the nail.
So it’s best to treat thick toenails before a disaster rather than during.
5 Causes of Thick Toenails
1. Fungi. A fungus is a common cause and hard to get rid of.
Treatment: You can try daily application of:
- Tea-tree oil, an antifungal
- Topical antifungals bought at the drugstore; the label will say they’re for toenail fungus
Some diseases that aren’t a big problem in the most industrialized nations now could become a problem during a long-term disaster. This is the second in a series of posts I’m writing about such diseases. See part one, on typhus, here.
We don’t hear much about typhoid fever in the United States. To most of us, it’s a mysterious disease that we know is serious, but we’re not sure what it looks like. Is it even really a fever?
We need to be able to recognize it, though, because in certain conditions during a long-term disaster, it could spread rapidly. And proper early treatment dramatically lowers your risk of dying from it.
Where Is Typhoid Fever Most Common?
Make no mistake, typhoid fever is still a problem worldwide. In fact, over 20 million people get it each year, mostly in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. India has a particularly high incidence.
The only things that keep typhoid fever from becoming a problem in countries like the U.S. are our good sanitation and relatively uncrowded conditions. Even then, around 400 people come down with it here every year, mostly [... continue reading]
One of my Facebook followers recently asked me what I’d suggest keeping in the car for winter weather. I started to tell her to go to my website, but then I realized, surprise, I don’t have it listed. Well I’m sorry for that, but here’s my list.
Previously the top-7 medical uses!
Thursday, the U.S. government banned liquids, including gels, in carry-ons to Russia. That means hand sanitizers. That means hand sanitizers that reporters and visitors on their way to Sochi for the Olympics probably packed because of tales of contaminated water.
What to do? Even if you didn’t put sanitizer in your checked bag and Russia’s all sold out when you get there, remember, this country just so happens to be famous for … its vodka. Vodka is about 40 percent alcohol. Alcohol kills germs. So in a pinch, vodka = medical supply.
Unfortunately vodka kills brain cells and the liver too, so let’s not take it too far. But in The Survival Doctor world, I’m always looking for alternatives to regular medical supplies, and this is just too good. In fact, vodka—and other strong alcohols—have a lot of medical uses.
What Kind of Vodka?
The seven tips in this post don’t involve drinking the stuff, so I wouldn’t buy the most expensive brand. I wouldn’t get the flavored type either since you’d just be [... continue reading]
Part 1 in the “Long-Term-Disaster Diseases” series.
A doctor goes into this tent full of people who look deathly ill, some coughing. He comes out in about a minute and proclaims they all have typhus.
Good diagnostician. But is it realistic? Could you tell that quickly whether people have this disease? And how dangerous is it?
This scene is from the NBC television series Revolution, which is about how a bunch of people cope with life after the grid goes down—permanently. No electricity of any sort. It got me to thinking about typhus since an outbreak is a real possibility in a prolonged disaster situation. In fact, a couple of forms of it are not that uncommon in the United States right now. And in some other countries it’s much more widespread, especially Africa.
So, let’s start at the beginning. What is typhus?
Typhus Is Typhoid Fever, Right?
Wrong. Though they sound alike typhus, or typhus fever, is a different disease—similar symptoms but different in how you get it and what antibiotic you treat it with. I’ll go into typhoid in another post.What Causes [... continue reading]
In this picture, tendons are running on top of the fingers except for the little finger, which shows the bone and the ligaments (much smaller and on the sides of the joints).
My mother used to love to tell the story about when I was an infant and I kept complaining that my heel was hurting. She looked and looked but couldn’t find anything wrong. Finally she figured out I was talking about my hip, not my heel.
It’s important to know your anatomy when you’re dealing with an injury. I’m guessing you know the difference between your hip and your heel, but what about a ligament versus a tendon?
If you understand what lies beneath the skin, not only will you have a better idea of what’s going on—and be able to communicate that to others—but you’ll also have a better idea of how to treat it. Also, if a computer or book—Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid :-)—is handy, you’ll be able to go right to the information needed.
Here are some definitions from my Living Ready book:
Ligament: A strong strip of [... continue reading]
Please know that hundreds of sites, Coke, CNN, this one, have been cloned, duplicated, whatever you want to call it, with “buzzmyfx” written between the site name and the .com. Don’t click on these sites. I’m not sure what the crooks are up to (maybe hoping searches will pick them up?), but if you have received any dubious email from me, or anything where I ask for personal info (credit card, etc.), please don’t provide it, and let me know so I can pursue it further. Another thing they might be trolling for is signing up for my newsletter at their site, instead of mine, to get addresses. My newsletter provider, Aweber, says they’ve seen no evidence but, again, be careful the address at the top of your page you’re looking at has no extra letters in it, buzzmyfx, or otherwise.
Note: This post has a correction. Scroll to the bottom to view.
Regarding the recent chemical spill preventing over 300,000 people in West Virginia from using their water, I wrote on Facebook about water purification, “unfortunately, I know of no improvisational method that removes chemicals.”
Some commenters suggested distilling could in fact do just that. Others wondered about activated charcoal.
Excellent suggestions, especially in a situation where there’s no expert alternative. What I should have written was, “I know of no method that reliably moves all chemicals.”
Of course, by far the best option for the people affected by this West Virginia spill is to use already stored water or water brought in by trucks, but what if their only option were to drink the contaminated water or die of thirst? Does either of these methods work to remove chemicals from drinking water? Just as important: Do they work to remove the specific chemical spilled, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM)?
Note: Check with local water or city authorities after any chemical spill before trusting any purification or filtration method. As always, this post is for general information and not [... continue reading]
Bonus post for the week, published now due to timeliness.
The flu is in full swing, and this year, H1N1 is back. The virus previously known as swine flu, which caused the 2009 pandemic, is causing most of the infections in 2014 too.
H1N1 is a particularly bad strain, and people are hearing all sorts of things about it—and have all sorts of questions. So I asked via Facebook and Twitter what you want to know. You responded with a lot of great questions. In this video, I answer many of the ones specifically about H1N1. For even more answers about the flu, scroll down. (If the answer to your question isn’t here, I apologize. I addressed as many as I could.)
The Big Flu Q&A List
Here’s a pretty representative list of some of the questions you asked, with where to find my answers. (Some questions have have been lightly edited.)H1N1 Vs. Other Flu Strains
Answered in the video: What’s the difference between H1N1 and other flu strains? Why is H1N1 [... continue reading]
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