Hey folks. I have been out for a while for several reasons but am slowly getting back in the groove of creating blog posts and working on my business. In this post I want to share some personal information as far as what’s been going on with me over the past few months and how it has caused a change in my preparedness mindset.

What’s Been Going On

Moving

We moved from Kentucky to Virginia in 2019 and we were in an apartment while we were looking for a house. That certainly changes your perspective on preparedness. The house search was a lot tougher than we expected and took a lot of time. We wanted some land for gardening and raising small animals and did not want a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association. That eliminated many houses in the area and with it being a sellers’ market, several homes were just too expensive for what you got.

We finally found a house in the country with almost 6 acres and closed in November. It is farther away from the city which is good and we now have the capability to become more self-sufficient. We feel safer being away from the masses of people but we have had to adjust our planning when it comes to shopping, doctors etc.

The initial move was a struggle. We rented a U-Haul and paid for a crew to help load the apartment and then scheduled another crew at our destination to unload. The first crew, 2 people, showed up an hour and forty minutes late. They were waiting in line for an oil change. This hosed up our timing for the second crew to unload and that cost us some extra money. Then we lost the key to the truck and that costs over $300 to replace.

We went to move stuff from storage and there was water damage, mold and mildew. When my insurance company came to inspect the damage, they found that the roof was damaged so they would not cover any loses. The storage company said that since we did not purchase insurance from them that they would not pay for any damages. We consulted a lawyer and he thought it would be hard and costly to take them to court. We will see.

So now we are dealing with going through boxes and containers and having to take pics in case insurance comes through. A lot of things have to be thrown away and things that could be saved are lining up in the garage for cleaning. This is taking a lot of time.

Health

At the end of October 2020, I twisted my knee and went to an Orthopedic Doctor who said I had a partially damaged meniscus and some arthritis. He suggested getting a good knee brace and wearing it when the knee was feeling weak. After using it a few times, my lower leg started swelling and made it almost impossible to walk without a cane or crutches. Went back to the doctor who immediately sent me to get an ultrasound. They found a blood clot below my knee. Thankfully this was after the initial move.

So, I have been on medication to dissolve the blood clot now for a little over a month. It took about 3 weeks before I could walk without any pain.

I have also lost 25 pounds since the end of October. Have gained a few pounds back but I did not have 25 pounds to lose. Most of that loss has been muscle.

In getting treatment for the blood clot my general practitioner found that I have anemia and is working to figure out what is going on. Energy levels have been way down so I haven’t been able to consistently get a full week in at my consulting job, especially with all of the doctor appointments.    

I try to help with some daily chores but am ready for bed at 9:00. This leaves hardly any time to research for blog posts and to work on new things for my business.

What All of This Has Meant for my Preparedness Efforts 

With the health issues I am dealing with I am officially labeling myself as a senior (I’m 61) and realize that plans, activities, preps and mindset need to change. It has also reinforced my thinking that I should concentrate my business on helping seniors prepare since I have a new perspective.

Finances

Having an emergency fund is very important. I was able to keep up with paying medical bills and the monthly expenses. This has put off our plans though for a spring garden and starting to raise chickens.   

I need to establish a separate medical emergency fund that covers the insurance deductible and the part of the procedures and prescriptions that I have to pay. Probably need to look at alternative insurance policies as well.

Getting Home in an Emergency

Before the move I was a little over 20 miles from home where I worked in the city. If there was a real SHTF event it would have likely taken me 2 days to get home.  I was planning on stopping at a prepper friend’s house to spend the night and eat a meal.  

Now I’m 55 miles from home. That’s 5 days plus at a minimum to get home.  So, there are new things I need to consider:

  • I will need to cache some food along the way and ensure I know where water sources are.  
  • I need to identify barns or other shelters to hole up in and research potential government shelters that might be open.
  • I need to work on finding like minded people along that last 35 mile stretch that can provide shelter and support.  
  • I need a folding cart to help carry some weight and maybe consider having a foldable bike in the trunk of my car.
  • Since I will be spending several nights on the road, carrying a tent is now a must along with a bivy bag to help stay warm.
  • In case my knee starts having problems I need to pack a cane in my trunk and ensure I have knee and ankle braces packed.

Other holes in my preparedness

  • I didn’t have a cane or crutches.  Everyone, especially seniors, should have these handy. One cane is not enough either. I kept setting it down and forgetting where I left it.
  • I had not identified new doctors or a pharmacy in the nearby towns. This caused some delay in getting treatment which in turn caused some anxiety and frustration. Don’t wait to get these things taken care of when you move.
  • If not for my wife and my adult son, I would not have survived at home. Family and community are important. Especially as a senior, you need a support group that can help when you have medical issues
  • You need to prioritize the most important things when you are injured or sick.  It won’t all get done so be prepared for it.
  • You need to be mentally prepared for being sick or injured.  I wasn’t. Depression kicked in and made my energy levels lower which meant getting less done. If all of my health issues happened during a SHTF event, my mental health could have been much worse.

Conclusion

I know that many people have and are suffering from much worse health and financial issues, especially during the pandemic. With all of the things that I have experienced over the past few months I feel blessed and know that God is in control. I just need to start trusting in that more.  

Now that I have awakened to the fact of being a senior, I am just starting to realize that a different perspective and mindset is needed to continue on this preparedness journey.

Are you a senior or helping to take care of one? I would love to know how your preparedness efforts have changed for this.

9 Comments

  • Andrew Parks

    Good article, Chip. Folks need to realize it’s not always an EMP or zombie apocalypse that will spur us into action. Any number of issues can turn our world upside down.

  • Larry

    This was one of the best preparedness articles I have read. I am a retired doctor but still find medical holes in my preparedness plans. I have been prepping since the 70’s but still read and learn.

  • Mike

    I’m praying for you and your family Brother. We know that God is showing you some important stuff right now. Looks like you are learning quite a bit!!

  • Well buddy, you know I’m praying for you.

    I think it’s great that you’re taking a positive and forward approach rather than let it become an excuse to walk away from the blog.

    Your insight and awareness will help other seasoned folks find their way. I’m not far behind you and it’s tough to admit we can’t handle the weight, speed, and distance that we once could.

    I think part of growing older is allowing ourselves to come to terms with reality a little easier.

    When I was in my forties I couldn’t handle what I did in the Army but I couldn’t admit that to myself back then. We eventually realize that it doesn’t mean things are impossible, they just need a better plan and a smarter approach.

    You’re miles ahead of most people in mindset and knowledge alone. You got this.

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