For several years, the standard, stock-in-trade medical handbooks for survivalists and preppers have been Where There Is No Doctor and The Special Forces Medical Handbook, both known as the manuals for all things survival medicine. These books are great resources and deserve their spots on the bookshelf. However, there’s another book out there that is giving these guys a run for their money, and the authors of this 400+ page work join host Bill Heid on Off the Grid Radio today to bring some very important lessons and information to our listeners.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: July 7, 2012
Bill: And here is the show. Welcome again, I am Bill Heid, the host of Off the Grid Radio, and I’ve got a wonderful and exciting show for you today. We’re going to talk with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy about Survival Medicine, and I think it’s appropriate. We talked— I think we were on their show; Brian and I were on their show two Mays ago as we just discussed. But Dr. Bones was a practicing board-certified Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons for many years, recently retired. He’s drawing from all of his experiences with living in South Florida and that area with the hurricanes that plagued part of his country —part of that area— and designing medical strategies for those who find themselves in a situation with breakdowns and collapses. And his wife Nurse Amy is a Certified Nurse-Midwife, and also an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. Retired for many years, she’s devoted herself to homesteading and just digging into all this stuff that our listeners love so much. So with that, welcome you guys.
Nurse Amy: Hey Bill, nice to be here. Thank you so much for inviting us.
Dr. Bones: Yeah it’s great to be here Bill. Nice to talk to you again.
Bill: Well it’s great to have you back, and great to talk to you— have you back— or it’s good to talk to you again as we did in Dallas, we were mentioning. And we talked a little bit about survival medicine and just what we were doing then. But since then, you’ve got this book, and I think I wanted to avail the information in this book, The Doom and Gloom— The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, which, you’re not glooming, you’re blooming. Because you guys are also the blooming parts, because you guys are also master gardeners in Florida, right?
Dr. Bones: That’s absolutely right. We work with the Master Gardener program and help people put together successful gardens. It’s been a lot of fun.
Bill: So in terms of, you’re a doctor, nurse, you understand the survival side of things; you’re practicing gardeners, kind of survival gardeners. I understand that point. So you’re perfect company for us in terms of our listeners. And what really, as we talk about, what happens in a breakdown situation— and I think this is everyone’s worst nightmare— is, what do you do if you can’t get to the doctor? Right? I mean, isn’t that, wasn’t that the subject that comes up most of all. What do you, what if there’s some kind of trouble and you can’t just call 911 and get that insta-care that Americans are so used to?
Dr. Bones: You know it’s not even a “what if?” This has happened before on various occasions, most recently has been the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where our national disaster emergency medical response has been found to be completely inadequate. We had, despite putting hundreds of medical personnel in the field from many different states and having them all converge on New Orleans in the aftermath of the disaster, they were completely overwhelmed. There were over 15,000 patient visits every day for the first few days. I remember seeing a quote by one of the disaster medical assistance team members saying they had to black tag the sickest people and put them in a separate area so that they could die in peace. So, it’s very, very important to know that this is not just a “what if?” This is something that has happened in the very recent past. It’s something that can happen in the aftermath of any storm, a tornado, hurricane, what have you, wildfire, and it can happen certainly in a complete societal breakdown. It will happen in a complete societal breakdown.
Bill: And it can also happen, guys, in very various levels in kind of a— in a situation that’s a slow burn or rust. Like, I noticed in the headlines not too long ago I was looking at pharmacies and hospitals in Greece, so if you just— in other words, it doesn’t have to be somebody flips a switch and it’s all of a sudden, boom! Out goes the lights, as the old Pat Travers song was. But rather, what if things just, like in Ancient Rome, or in Greece in this case, where they just degrade slowly and you can’t get to the doctor not because he’s closed because of some flood or hurricane or something but because there’s a line there. You still have the same systemic issue, it’s just, it’s more a rusting out of a system.
Nurse Amy: You’re absolutely right. And another point to not only being overwhelmed with the physicians is pharmacies are having problems stocking certain medications these days. You’ll hear a headline here and there where this medication or that medication is in very low supply. I’ve heard mumbling from EMTs and paramedics that their stocks on their trucks, you know, sometimes they are out of the medications they may need. And there’s nothing they can do about it. Hospitals are having trouble. And you think, you know, who’s on the top tier of receiving the stock of pharmaceuticals? I would think that it would be the hospitals. And they’re having difficulty keeping up their stores of medication, and as a public, we don’t realize these things are happening. You know, why is that going on? What’s happening?
Dr. Bones: Well we’re in the midst of a slow downward spiral economically. I think we’re one event away from it being a fast downward spiral. You’re certainly right when you talk about Rome or other ancient civilizations. You know that the sign of a decline of a civilization is when they are unable to reproduce their own technological achievements. The Romans build aqueducts, yet two or three hundred years later, people had no idea what they were even really for. In our situation, 50 years ago, we were able to put a man on the moon. And now, I don’t know whether that we have even the financial wherewithal to do the same thing.
Bill: Is it because guys were spoiled? In other words, one of the reasons they say Rome fell was because —and I know we’re getting away a little bit from the subject of survival medicine— but one of the reasons that it is touted in many cases of why Rome fell was that it, the spirit of the people saw it as no longer defensible. In other words, folks just didn’t— there was an age when The Republic had meaning and it was substantive for its citizens, and so people said yeah, you know, some great Roman Senator would give a speech, and we would say, “let’s march” right? And, “let’s go defend the territory” and whatever that meant to Rome. But then at some point it just was no longer worth defending, and I’m wondering if in many parts of our culture we don’t have some foundational principles we have in common that we all say, “let’s go fight for that because that’s worth defending.”
Dr. Bones: Well the value of our civilization, of the American civilization has become very amorphous, or very vague to, I think the grand majority of the population, and it’s very difficult for them to be willing to fight for something that they’re not even really sure what it means anymore. I believe that very few people will take the time to learn about our nation’s history, what we stood for when we started this country, and I believe that unless we educate the general populace, and especially our children, that we’re going to have a lot of trouble down the line.
Bill: And yeah. Would you die for a $179 iPad? Is that worth marching for? Do you go to the borders with your guns and say, “we’ll die for this”? And I think not. I think we’re all sort of atomized away from the center, as Yeats would say. There’s no core. So we have to figure out— not only do we want to sort of figure out how to survive medically, but we also have to kind of figure out how to survive, what’s the cohesive element in a society that holds it together? What’s its glue? One of the ways I think that we can sow community and caring is in fact learning how to be attendant to our neighbor if our neighbor is hurt, down, sick, or whatever, in the best of our capacity. So you’ve written this wonderful book. Do you want to go through and tell us a little bit about, just, why did you end up writing this book, and then, what’s the sort of genesis through the finish, and what motivated you to get started and all of that?
Dr. Bones: Well you know, the various medical books that are out that are survival, quote unquote, medicine books are all geared for outdoor hikes, or ocean voyages, or trips to underdeveloped countries. There are some excellent books like Wilderness for the Outdoors, Wilderness Outdoors. Where there is no doctor, I’m sure you’ve heard of one or another of these books though in the past. And, the amazing thing is, even where there is no doctor, which is supposed to be a help aid for those people that live in a village in a remote and austere environment, actually end almost all of their chapters with, “and, go to the hospital. And, get the patient to the doctor as soon as possible.”
Nurse Amy: Right. Transfer!
Dr. Bones: But the truth of the matter is that there may come a time when there may not be modern medical care, where we may not have a modern medical facility to take that ill or injured individual to. Or there might not be doctors of various specialties available in the nearest big town. So, I wanted to write a book that would allow people to, in plain English, to deal with all the likely medical issues that they may encounter in a complete societal breakdown. Well, anything from the aftermath of a major storm to a complete societal breakdown. And we talk about all of the aspects of being a successful survival medic. So someone that can be responsible for the medical well-being of their family, their loved ones, or a survival booth, in times of trouble, and be able to do it with limited resources, with standard medical supplies, and then when those run out, with what is in their environment that may be improvised to serve some more purposes.
So we’re doing the best we can with what we have and where we are. That’s an old quote by I think Theodore Roosevelt, I believe. And that’s going to be the case in situations where modern medical care is not going to be available; somebody in your family, somebody in your group has to take responsibility to be the medic. And this book is supposed to be their help aid. It’s more than 400 pages, it talks about not only fractures, and civil unrest traumatic injuries like gunshot wounds and knife wounds, but it talks about mundane things like athlete’s foot and animal bites. Things like that, things that could be an issue for people in any situation where they are unable to reach a doctor or to obtain standard medication.
Bill: So throw some bones, no pun intended, what are some likely medical conditions that can arise, you know, you can take us through a Katrina situation, or you can take us through whatever situation that you want to hypothesize. But what are some likely conditions or issues that our listeners would face if it’s a breakdown, either acute or chronic?
Dr. Bones: Well I think one of the very basic problems that you’re going to experience are those related to hygiene. Now most us are generally pretty good about keeping ourselves clean, but that might actually be more of a challenge than you might think in the aftermath of a major storm, and especially in a societal breakdown situation. You’re going to have problems with, let’s say lice; you’re going to have problems with ticks, bedbugs. You’re going to have simple problems with hygiene simply because you can’t sterilize your water well, because you’re going to have difficulty properly preparing your food so that you don’t wind up contaminating your food and getting, let’s say, diarrheal disease, dysentery. Things that killed many, many people, I mean, dysentery was the cause of the death of more civil war soldiers than bullets or shrapnel. So these are simple, simple things that can happen, but there’s simple things that you can also work with to prevent if things go south.
Bill: So how do I prevent dysentery? I mean, someone asked me to write a review of the movie, The Road, and it was pretty simple. I just said two words, “pretty dirty.” So anybody that watched that movie is knowing exactly what you just said. It’s pretty dirty. So how do I keep from getting dysentery?
Dr. Bones: Well of course you want to properly sterilize your water. You need to have; if you can afford it it’d be awesome to have a water filter. There are a lot of excellent commercial water filters on the market. But, you can also simply boil your water. 10 minutes at a rolling boil I think would be fine. You could even sterilize water by putting it out in a clear bottle in the sun and allowing the UV rays of the sun to sterilize it. We also use iodine; 12 drops per gallon would be an excellent way to sterilize your water. Bleach, chlorine bleach—
Nurse Amy: Or bleach, right.
Dr. Bones: Probably around the same amount.
Bill: How much bleach do you put in? If you’ve got some bleach laying around the house and you’ve got a gallon of water?
Dr. Bones: If you have some bleach around the house?
Nurse Amy: I think it’s eight to ten drops.
Dr. Bones: Eight to ten, eight to twelve drops I think will be fine.
Bill: And do you have to leave it sit?
Nurse Amy: Yeah, let it sit until that chlorine smell dissipates for a while.
Bill: Okay. Very helpful. Alright, so what are some other things? You were going on, I kind of interrupted you there, but what are some other things? Dysentery as you said, that’s a major one. If you can overcome that you’ve done miles of headway.
Dr. Bones: And you have to make sure that you clean your food preparation surfaces also. Even if you just take a little bleach and dilute it with water and just clean your counter surfaces, or whatever surface you’re going to be preparing food on, even if it’s a big, flat rock. I think that that would go a long way to making sure that you don’t develop issues with infection. Now, there are other types of infection of course. In a situation where we’re going to be doing activities that we’re not very used to doing, or very accustomed to doing, at least on a daily basis, let’s say chopping wood, things like that. You know, we’re going to wind up injuring ourselves. We’re going to have cuts and we’re going to have abrasions. And we’re going to, well basically being klutzy at any new activity, or being a little unused to it or unaccustomed to it, we’re going to wind up hurting ourselves.
And some of these cuts that we may develop will have, of course, the chance of developing an infection. And if they do, unless you have antibiotics, unless you have the appropriate medications and the appropriate idea of how to clean these wounds, then you may wind up getting an infection that goes all the way into your bloodstream. That’s called sepsis, or septicemia. And indeed, it could turn out to be a life-threatening situation, just from something as simple as a cut on your leg or a cut on your arm.
Bill: Now, I have to go back. I haven’t read your book, but I’m going to get your book, and as we said before the show, we’re going to put the book in our store. And we’re certainly going to do everything we can to get this book, to make this book available to all of our listeners. But, I have to tell you this. My grandma, if I cut myself and I couldn’t get to the doctor, and you know why I couldn’t get to the doctor when I was little, I’m 54, but when I couldn’t get to the doctor it was just because my grandma didn’t want to take me. But if I cut myself, she would pack it, just for example, she would look around just like, what do I got here. Here’s some sugar. Let’s pack this with sugar and put some tape around it. I mean stuff like that. Was she nuts when she did that? Or was there some medical reason why she always wanted to put sugar in my cuts.
Nurse Amy: No, it’s actually a bacteriostatic. In fact, one of the most common veterinary medications— treatment for open cuts and wounds is called Sugardine, and it is a mixture of sugar and Betadine, which with two ingredients is darn easy to make at home. So that’s awesome. Also, raw, unprocessed honey, it’s fantastic. It can replace your triple anti-biotic ointment or cream because it has a very low pH, the bacteria can’t survive, plus, the viscous consistency of honey is wonderful for tissue healing, for new tissue cell development. It’s also great for wounds. If you have a second degree wound, or, you know, heaven help us if you get a third degree wound and we don’t have—
Dr. Bones: Third degree burn?
Nurse Amy: Third degree burn and we don’t have a burn unit available. The only thing that I would recommend would be the raw, unprocessed honey to be poured into that wound after it was cooled off and cleaned. There’s really nothing else that I can even find that would remotely come close to the healing properties of raw, unprocessed honey. Fantastic for third degree burns.
Bill: Well has any big companies got a hold of honey and called it, you know, ‘Honeyzine’ or something and tried to make sure that we can’t get it? It that a prescription product yet?
Nurse Amy: You know, if they could figure out some way to genetically modify the bees that they then have special genetically modified bee produced honey—
Dr. Bones: If they could patent it I’m sure they would.
Nurse Amy: —if they could tweak it and they thought of it, unfortunately I may have just given them the idea.
Bill: Yeah, and then they would say, “don’t try to use this at home, because only a doctor should tell you how to use this.”
Nurse Amy: Absolutely. So then the FDA would come in and steal all the beehives and kill all the other bees that weren’t the genetically modified, because the pharmaceutical company that now owns the genetically modified bees would claim that all those other bees were illegal.
Bill: Yeah, there you go. I was thinking of Nietzsche and Hitler there and having some kind of super bee that someone would have. And then the prescription honey. And it would be this great big funnel and there would be a guy with a moustache like Hitler in charge of the company.
Nurse Amy: I can totally see it.
Nurse Amy: But seriously, raw, unprocessed honey. We could spend an entire show on the benefits of it. It’s one of those products like baking soda, you know, there’s a million things you can use with baking soda. Or vinegar, vinegar is fantastic for so many things.
Bill: All right, talk about a couple of them, because I think people have vinegar laying around just like they have baking soda. So I mean, we got off on this, let’s talk about what can I do with vinegar in an ordinary situation?
Nurse Amy: Well vinegar I have to tell you, I basically grew up smelling like vinegar. And the reason is I lived in South Florida and had frequent burns because we were outside all the time. And what we do when we got home is, my mother would run a bath, a warm bath not a hot bath, and throw some, either apple cider or white vinegar. It doesn’t matter; both of them have the same medical properties. Throw that in the water. You get into the bathtub. The warm water that cools off draws the heat and so does the vinegar. It gives you a very cooling sensation. And then she would soak a t-shirt in this very strong vinegar and water solution and I would sleep, of course on a few towels, but the vinegar pulls the heat out of your skin. It’s a very cooling sensation, similar to witch hazel. I don’t know if you’ve ever used witch hazel.
Bill: I never have, yeah. But I’ve heard of witch hazel being used for that purpose.
Nurse Amy: Oh. So, we also washed our windows with vinegar. But vinegar is also great for sore throats. You can gargle with it, some vinegar water. It is amazing.
Bill: Would vinegar have made a better “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” chemical than Windex? Because, it seems to me like you can do more with vinegar in this case than that guy did with Windex by a long shot.
Nurse Amy: Vinegar, like I said, I mean we could spend a whole show. And you know what else is wonderful? Growing garlic. If you seriously think that you may need to go out into a garden and get your medication, garlic is fantastic.
Bill: Now what can we do with Garlic?
Nurse Amy: Well, externally it is similar to the honey. It has antibacterial properties. You can squeeze garlic juice and use it on a wound. You could also— to prevent infection and also to heal an infection, garlic is wonderful. You can get a garlic oil and it helps to cure ear infections, which, if you think about it, what else are you going to be able to use in times of trouble to cure an ear infection? I mean those are really difficult. So garlic oil is wonderful. Also, having aloe vera plants. We’re talking about burns and some of the things that are great for burn healing. We’ve mentioned the vinegar. Witch hazel is also great for a burn, and the raw, unprocessed honey. Aloe vera plants are great for wound care and also for burns.
Dr. Bones: And we talk about all of these—
Nurse Amy: There’s so many things in nature.
Dr. Bones: We talk about all of these things in the book as well as conventional ways to deal with things. Of course, you know, if you fracture your leg, you’re going to want to know how to put a splint on. But, also, there are a lot of medical issues, a lot of other things that you can use natural methods and alternative remedies. So we practice what we call integrative medicine. That means that we’re going everything that we can to find tools form not only the conventional medical woodshed, but from also the herbal medical woodshed—essential oils, things like that— to give people every possible option to take care of their family and keep them healthy in times of trouble.
Bill: You guys mentioned, or Amy mentioned that, you know, what do you do for an ear ache. And I’ll never forget the scene in the movie, the name of the movie is gone, but there’s a scene about a breakdown in society, and I can’t remember the name of it, but this guy, they go to a movie and they come back home and the power goes out. And so everything kind of starts to go downhill from there. His daughter starts crying, right? And they’re trying to get— what’s the problem? Well she’s got an earache. And anyone that’s ever had children knows that an earache is just an extremely painful thing for a child, and he tries to go to the pharmacist, right, to get her prescription filled and he can’t get in. There’s chaos at the pharmacy and so forth, and he finally resorts to just stealing some of this medicine.
But it was that thing that kind of got me thinking, years ago I watched this movie and I started thinking, what would it be like if you could not access your diabetes drugs, your— just something as simple as an earache. And garlic would, I mean, that’s a great start. It may not be totally as effective or it may solve the problem, but I mean that’s at least you’re doing something, right?
Nurse Amy: Right. The other thing I would do for the ear infection is actually ingest the garlic. From a half a clove to one clove, and I would put that crushed in a teaspoon of raw honey and take that three times a day, because garlic is an internal antibiotic also, as well as an external. So actually ingesting garlic will help kill and take care of the infection from the inside also.
Bill: So it would be good to sort of attack that both ways?
Nurse Amy: Absolutely, absolutely.
Bill: Well what are some other— let’s talk a little bit about medical skills. What are some medical skills that the average person should know?
Dr. Bones: Well that depends a little bit on what you’re expecting actually to happen to tip society over the edge. If you’re concerned about civil unrest let’s say, then you are going to want to know how to treat traumatic injuries. You\re going to want to know how to set a broken bone, you’re going to want to know how to deal with sprains and other kinds of problems. If you’re concerned about let’s say, a pandemic, then you’re going to want to know how to deal with respiratory infections, how to keep a sterile sick room so that if there is somebody that’s sick in your group or your family that you will be able to keep everyone else healthy, including the caregiver. So these are some of the things that are very important to know. And also, let’s say that you are concerned about, I don’t know, radiation effects from some kind of nuclear event like a meltdown, something like that, then you would have know how to put together a shelter that would be useful and—
Nurse Amy: Dental care.
Bill: Dental care.
Nurse Amy: Dental care.
Dr. Bones: One thing that I always want to know, and I have to—
Nurse Amy: Oh no, are you going to reveal our secrets?
Dr. Bones: Yeah, Bill, you’re going to love this. By the way, any time that we are on—
Nurse Amy: Oh no. Don’t do it.
Dr. Bones: —that we’re on an interview together. Every time, any time that I’m actually saying a word—
Nurse Amy: Anything.
Dr. Bones: Anything. Amy is usually just stipulating wildly right in front of me, telling me things that she wants to do. She was actually making, while I was talking about radiation, she was actually making the motion of somebody brushing their teeth because she wanted me to talk about dental care.
Bill: Well, when you think about your teeth, I mean, that’s just a lot of things happen from your teeth. We’ve discovered that, if nothing else in the last 50 years, that good things happen or bad things happen through your teeth. So, what are some simple— I mean, can you really tell me— let me play the devil’s advocate for a second— can you really tell me, are you going to tell me how to pull a tooth in the book or something? I’d like to— Jeremy is in the studio here. If I bought the book could I practice on him and pull some of his teeth? Just—
Dr. Bones: Of course this book, like the beginning of every survival medicine book, tells you that this is only for situations where modern medical care is not accessible. But yes, we tell you exactly how to do that. You know, in situations—
Nurse Amy: And how to check to find out what’s wrong with the teeth.
Dr. Bones: Right. We tell you how to identify the tooth that’s not doing well, how to identify the likelihood that that tooth would survive without doing something about it. We tell you also how to go about pulling teeth; also give you references so you can actually see it being done in real time. There are actually references in the book to some videos that we have that actually show that. And we do everything possible to make sure that you’re prepared for not only the aftermath of a storm, but a long-term societal breakdown. Now, if your power is going to be out for a week, it’s probably unlikely that you’re going to need to pull a tooth.
Nurse Amy: Right.
Dr. Bones: But if we find ourselves in a long-term survival situation, equipment like dental extractors are actually going to be extraordinarily valuable.
Nurse Amy: Oh, and tell him about the temporary dental fillings.
Dr. Bones: Oh yeah. And speaking of natural things, we use a special oil of clove and zinc oxide, and we show you how to make temporary filling cement simply by putting those two together and applying them in an appropriate fashion it will put a loose crown in place and cement it in place. If you’ve lost a filling it will be there for you. I’ll tell you, you can buy these things already made and you’ll get three or four uses out of it.
Nurse Amy: Yeah that’s a very small amount.
Dr. Bones: But if you get a little bottle of clove oil—
Nurse Amy: Which may cost you let’s say, six or seven dollars. And you can buy a pound—
Dr. Bones: —of zinc oxide powder.
Nurse Amy: Medical grade.
Dr. Bones: Right. Medical grade powder. For about 20 bucks you could probably do 1,000 medical fillings.
Nurse Amy: Yeah, you’re entire neighborhood.
Dr. Bones: You could do temporary fillings for a large town probably.
Bill: Well I’m smirking a little bit. We need this data, I mean, this is great information. Do I need, and not to be too playful, but do I need any special tools to pull a tooth? You mentioned a week without power, but I’m looking for excuses to start pulling teeth. So, what would I need to get started, because a toothache is another one of those things that, boy. We do have a good— our culture has great dentists, so we tend to solve those problems quickly. But, all kidding aside, those problems become amazing, and huge, and large in a situation if you can’t get to the dentist. So, do I need— can you pull a tooth with a needle nose? Or what do you—
Dr. Bones: Well, what basically you need to do— by the way Bill, you’re very right that we have one a long way in terms of dental technology. The main goal of every dentist is to save every tooth at this point, but that is actually a very, very new philosophy. And when I say very new, I don’t mean going back to Roman times, I mean just 40 years ago or 50 years ago the main treatment for a diseased tooth was removal.
Dr. Bones: Mhmm.
Dr. Bones: And so, in a situation where we don’t have modern medical care, that will be the thing that’s done. And 90% of all medical emergencies can be dealt with by extraction. So, dental extractors come mostly in uppers and lowers, and they actually come in even more specialized versions that take care of, oh I don’t know, incisors, your sharp teeth in front, and molars, for the teeth in back. And so, I think that usually it’s best to get a good upper and a lower. I think extractor number 150 and number 151, if you only could have two, those probably would be appropriate.
Bill: So I can go Google, “buy dental extraction kit,” and find a kit?
Nurse Amy: Yeah, we bought some on EBay ourselves.
Dr. Bones: Yeah, when we were assessing— now I’m not a dentist, so I’m not telling you that I am one. But, we talk about that type of thing on a regular basis after because we’ve done a lot of research on it. In addition to having extractors, you need to have something that loosens the ligaments that hold your tooth in its socket. And for that, people use something called an elevator; it looks like a very small chisel. And that’s how you loosen the tooth and then the extractor itself actually removes it. And you could actually go online to YouTube and you go to Mouth Everest dental extraction at base camp. And you can actually see, in an extraordinarily austere environment, you could see a person remove another person’s tooth using the chisel part of a Swiss army knife and a dental extractor to remove the diseased tooth.
Bill: It’s amazing that they were even prepared for that. I mean, even having some extraction stuff at the base camp, that’s pretty good thinking because that’ definitely going to slow you down on your way up the side of the hill, you know?
Dr. Bones: Yeah it makes me think that there are probably people that always live at the base camp I guess if they are going to have that kind of long-term stuff available to them. Or it’s possible that they had a dentist that was travelling through.
Bill: Sure, sure. So, once again, listeners, don’t start pulling your own teeth. If you can go to a dentist, you know, warning, go to the dentist. Homeschoolers, don’t pull your own kids teeth just to save a few dollars; take them to the dentist the way you’re supposed to. But what we’re talking about today is, we’re talking about what happens in an emergency, and dentistry is a huge part of it. So you’ve got a chapter in there about dentistry? And it sounds like it’s exhaustive just in chatting with you.
What are some of the other things that you think are really important in a worst-case scenario. Just simple things you mentioned like, you know, lice, ticks, worms, flees, whatever. What about dealing with things like that, you know, things we have under control now that kind of spiral out of control in situations. Certainly probably had the situation in Katrina where you had lots of bugs and stuff because you can’t go in and spray, you can’t do this and that. So, talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Bones: Well there are a number of different plants that you can have in your garden that you can harvest to help protect your home or your camp from excessive insect issues. Citronella is one of them. If you can grow citronella in your area, in our area it happens to grow like a weed. And, as you know, just rubbing the leaves of the citronella plant on your arm will give you a natural insect repellant. Some people use dog fennel and other dried herbs, and they put it either in their pet bedding to protect against ticks and fleas, or in the old days they actually used to put a lot of this stuff around their doorstep so that these kinds of insects are not likely to get into their home.
So there are lots of different plants you can grow that will help you with regards to insects and other kinds of things. Of course there are a lot of diseases that are passed along by mosquitoes and you don’t want to have a lot of stagnant water in puddles around your camp. You want to be on dry ground if at possible because that will decrease the likelihood of mosquito issues and that kind of thing. And also, Amy has actually an oil that’s called ‘Lice Knowing You’ and it’s a professional oil blend that she has just handed me. And this is basically just essential oils of the same types of plants that I was just talking about, and this is something that will help prevent those kinds of issues.
Bill: Say what that oil is again?
Dr. Bones: It’s called ‘Lice Knowing You’.
Bill: Okay. Where do you get that?
Dr. Bones: Where did you get it?
Nurse Amy: Actually I got it from a place, liceknowingyou.com.
Bill: Okay. Wow.
Nurse Amy: It’s a natural combination of essential oils and neem oil. Smells wonderful, I’ll tell you that.
Bill: Great, great. That’s another little good tip. Here’s a big problem. Let me just talk— can I talk? Remember Stuart Smalley? “Only you can help you.” Can I help me somehow? Here’s my breakdown issue, I take thyroid medicine and I’m diabetic. What’s going to happen to me if I can’t get to the pharmacy? And I’m not diabetic, I don’t take insulin, I just take Metmorfin, so I’m— but how do I stay alive? And stay peppy with a weak thyroid?
Dr. Bones: You’re a class two diabetic and you take thyroid medication on a daily basis?
Bill: Yes sir.
Dr. Bones: Okay. You might consider the use of various desiccated natural thyroid remedies. And while modern medical care is available, what you might do is you might ask your doctor, “I was wondering doctor if you’d be willing to monitor me on this natural supplement,” something you can stockpile in good quantities. And you would ask him to check your thyroid levels on this natural supplement to see whether or not your thyroid levels actually stay at a normal level with the natural supplement. If he’s willing to do that and your thyroid levels are indeed where they should be, then that natural supplement would be an appropriate thing for you to use in times of trouble and you should begin stockpiling it.
Bill: Now I don’t trust googling “natural thyroid support” because there’s going to be the guys who are the best marketers are going to come out on top. Do you want to go out on a limb and mention one? Or—
Dr. Bones: No, I don’t endorse—
Bill: You don’t endorse anything.
Dr. Bones: I very rarely endorse a specific one. I know that there is a prescription one known as ‘armour desiccated thyroid’ that is pretty well known. But we don’t endorse specific brand names or anything like that, so we’re not really into that type of thing.
Dr. Bones: With regards to diabetes, you’re a class two diabetic, and seeing that you’re most likely going to be eating less and you’re going to be doing more activity, your diabetes is actually going to be somewhat improved —even if you happen you to be at normal weight now— as a result of those changes. Because, in a totally austere situation, one of the ways to deal with diabetics is to put them on a diet of very small meals very frequently, but a total calorie count —almost completely protein by the way— with a total calorie count that is barely enough to sustain your weight.
Dr. Bones: So that is an actual strategy in this type of situation. And you have to remember that diabetics in a long-term collapse situation, especially insulin-dependent diabetics, you’re not trying to go for normal sugar levels, you’re just trying to go for sugar levels that will keep them out of something called ketoacidosis, which is the main complication that occurs with diabetes when your sugar goes too high. And you can actually go into shock from that. You’re not going to be at a normal sugar level, but with any luck, you won’t be at a level that will cause you to die from the diabetes. You may not have the same lifespan that someone who doesn’t have diabetes has, but that’s actually true today. So, this is something that we’ll have to face some hard realities if we find ourselves in any long-term situation.
Bill: So the advice is generally just to, you’re cutting your calories, you’re trying to shoot for proteins, and you’re eating smaller meals, and you’re staying active of course, which as you say that’s probably a benefit because you’re going to be burning— probably in a little tougher, harder time scenario— you’re going to be burning a few more calories, building muscle mass, maybe a little bit in your body. So there may be some positive sides, not that you’re looking for that, but there may be some positive sides to just the more activity side of it.
Dr. Bones: Right. The type 2 diabetics are not going to be anywhere near as in bad shape as the type 1 insulin-dependent guys are.
Bill: How long can you store insulin?
Dr. Bones: Insulin, as a liquid, insulin will not last very long beyond its expiration date and will begin to lose potency relatively soon which means you would have to take more of the insulin to get the same effect. I’m not sure exactly how long before it has absolutely no effect, but any liquid medication is likely to not stay potent very long after its due date. Now that’s different from pills and tablets where it’s been documented that many of these do retain their potency for years after the expiration date. And that I have also in the book we talk about things like that in my, on my website, the truth about expiration dates, we talk about it in the book. And we have information from the shelf life extension program in which FEMA had stored all these millions of doses of medication and it turned out that when they went expired, they didn’t know what to do with them. So they did a study and they found that almost everything that was in pill and capsule form actually did stay potent and effective for two to ten years after the expiration date as a matter of fact.
Bill: Okay, that’s helpful. That’s helpful. Now, I’m not trying to turn this into a mash episode. I mean, sometimes we’re flipping, and it’s important for the listeners to know. As serious this is I think that some levity is required, because in a break down situation, going too deep into the head and not being able to sort of take things as they come is a dangerous thing, and I want to talk about anxiety and depression a little bit. But I don’t think anybody’s got the site survivalhemorrhoids.com. Do you guys want to speak to hemorrhoids? I know that was one of the things that you wrote about, and I’m not trying to bring up a crazy subject, but what’s the nature of that being in the book? What do you got going there?
Dr. Bones: Well we’re talking about not only all the likely collapse scenario things like gunshot wounds, and fractures, and things like that. But we talk about mundane things because we want this to be a reference book that you can use to deal with family issues. And natural methods that you can use to deal with hemorrhoids include using witch hazel. Witch hazel actually has a very soothing effect upon hemorrhoids, and so that’s important—
Nurse Amy: That’s the main ingredient on all these wipes in the pharmacy right now. You’ll see it. All of these soothing tush wipes and things like that, they have witch hazel.
Bill: Okay. You don’t want to substitute vinegar there though, do you Amy?
Nurse Amy: No.
Bill: Would people be sorry if they did that?
Nurse Amy: Well—
Dr. Bones: She believes in tough love.
Nurse Amy: Yeah, I think the witch hazel is a much better medication for that particular issue. And it does reduce the inflammation.
Bill: So witch hazel would be something good to have around?
Nurse Amy: Witch hazel, it’s also great for insect bites. So when you were talking about, you know, these mosquitoes and all of these problems with all of these bugs, if you did get bitten by a bug, witch hazel is one of the great things to clean and treat the burning, and stinging, and itching from bug bites.
Bill: So store up on the witch hazel, which you can buy. That’s something easily stored and easily acquired, I mean, you can go to your local, you can go to Wal-Mart or a pharmacy, anywhere and get witch hazel.
Nurse Amy: Exactly. And I just want to mention one more thing, since you had mentioned type 2 diabetes, is I was reading recently, and you should look this up, that there’s some studies that show that it’s possible that the intake of, a regular intake of some vinegar may reduce your blood sugar levels. So check that out.
Bill: I think I’ve heard that as well. I think that’s something that I’ve heard and I think that’s something that bears some investigation. I’d love to see some empirical studies on that. So of course, it probably wouldn’t be worth someone’s time to do a full-blown study on it because nobody— unless you did something to vinegar and called that vinegarzine or something and tried to make that into the cure.
Nurse Amy: Yeah, right.
Bill: But that’s another great idea, another thing worth looking into. And I mean, you can test your own blood pretty easy, like I have blood testing equipment so, for me, I could tell you empirically whether that works or not after about a 10-day, I would probably do about a 10-day trail and just write my numbers down and see what happened.
Nurse Amy: Right. And what you do is, don’t change any other variable. Eat your same diet. If you pay attention to your calories, have the same caloric intake. Maintain the same exact level of exercise so that the only variable for that entire 10 days is strictly the vinegar. If you vary your caloric intake and your exercise, then you’re not going to have the right data. So try to keep everything else exactly the same and only change the vinegar intake.
Bill: Yeah maybe early in the day or something, maybe just practice with breakfast and see if you can’t push the numbers down through your breakfast meal by having a little vinegar prior. I don’t know; that’s something that I don’t want to give, if that’s medical advice, out. But that’s something that I certainly, I’ll plan on trying.
Nurse Amy: No, it’s definitely something that is spoken about a lot, and basically you’re mixing your vinegar and your water. And you can even throw a little honey in it, never hurts. A little honey, water, and vinegar.
Bill: Okay. That’s again, great advice. So, another big thing that I think is important that you guys speak really authoritatively and well to is antibiotics. Because it seems like we really need antibiotics, we’ve got that problem with antibiotics obviously, but what do we do if we can’t get our kids antibiotics, or antibiotics to ourselves? What are some every day alternatives that we can look for?
Dr. Bones: Well we’ve talked a lot about the natural antibiotics such as honey and garlic. But many times we should— many times we really want to have some actual pharmaceuticals available. So we want to talk about how to stockpile these types of medications for times of trouble. And what I’m telling you now is basic information for a situation where there is no longer modern medical care, modern pharmaceuticals aren’t being produced. How do you prepare yourself? How do you stockpile these medications? And we are aqua culturists, so we actually have a pond with tilapia. We do a lot of things that— these guys are cute fish but also they’re tasty, so.
Nurse Amy: And they’re prolific.
Dr. Bones: And they’re prolific as hell.
Nurse Amy: Like rabbits!
Dr. Bones: Oh yeah.
Nurse Amy: Oh my goodness.
Dr. Bones: We’ve got lots and lots of baby tilapia at all times. And we happen to live down in South Florida where they can actually survive the winter, so it works out to our advantage. Well, when these fish get sick, of course, we can give them antibiotics in their water to make them, to get rid of whatever infection that they might have. And so what we have done is taken a look at these medications. And these medications are, let’s say, amoxicillin would have a brand name called Fish Mox. And we took a really close look at these and we saw that the bottle actually had one ingredient, and that was amoxicillin. And interestingly enough, the amoxicillin was at the level, at the dosage that you would use in either a human child or a human adult, depending on the strength of the Fish Mox that you got. So, that struck me as a little unusual.
So, I took the actual pill out and I compared it with the PDR, which is the Physicians’ Desk Reference that was pictures, or photos of every pill that’s manufactured, and also you can find this online at drugs.com. And I found that the 500 milligram Fish Mox dose was a red and pink capsule with the numbers and letters ‘WC731’ on it. And the other antibiotic, the human antibiotic was a red and pink capsule with the numbers and letters ‘WC731’ on it.
Bill: Oh my goodness. So you’ve got the same thing.
Dr. Bones: So basically, what I’m saying is that I believe, I personally believe that they are produced at the same factory, they are just separated out and some are sent to human pharmacy, and some are sent to a veterinary supply store. And, think about. Why would a guppy need the same dose of amoxicillin that you would give an adult human male? So, I believe, and you can get these medications without a prescription from your pharmacist or— I mean, from your veterinarian or from your doctor. You can stockpile 100’s of doses if you so desire, and they’re not unreasonable in price. And so I think that every prepper should have some store of these kinds of antibiotics simply for situations in which modern medical care is not available to you.
There’s a movie, or, not a movie. I think it was a series on the History Channel, or, was it History Channel? I think History Channel called ‘After Armageddon.’ And there was a young family and the father was an EMT, and they wound up in a survival community —something terrible had happened— they wound up in a survival community and he had cut himself, indeed, chopping wood as we mentioned earlier, and it had got infected. He had gone immediately upon cutting himself to the medic for the group, but they had no antibiotics, they had run out. And so he just sat there and over the next few days, watched that wound become infected, fester, it went his blood stream, he died. That is an entirely unnecessary thing to have had happened, and now you know a way to prevent it.
Bill: That’s pretty amazing. While you were talking, I was playing around with my computer and I found also, you mentioned ‘Fish Mox,’ M-O-X, and I found ‘Fish Flox’ which is in parentheses, ‘cipro.’
Dr. Bones: That’s correct. There are eight or nine different antibiotics that come in aquatic form that are perfectly useful, I think, in that they are— for the post apocalyptic setting because they are indeed one ingredient, they’re in the human dose. All of this is in my book, and we talk about not only that but antibiotics and their uses too. So we tell you a lot about what antibiotic is good for what.
Bill: Fantastic advice. Let’s, as we get ready to kind of close here— geez it’s been an hour and, almost going on an hour here and we kind of, we’ll put things to rest. But I think one of the things that you cover in the book is anxiety and depression. And I think, to close up, I mean we’re kind of away from the actual medicine part, maybe we’re kind of working on the head. But the head, in a breakdown situation, what you’re thinking about, and if you can keep your family— if there are reasons to move forward, reasons to live, that that group of people, that person, that family, whatever it might be, that community is going to do better than folks that don’t seem to have a reason to live.
Dr. Bones: Well, you’re absolutely right that somebody who’s going to be responsible for the medical well-being of their family or their people in time of trouble is going to be dealing with anxiety and depression, and other mindset issues, as much as they’re going to be dealing with diarrheal disease or other kinds of physical medical issues. So part of your duty as a survival medic so to speak is to be a counselor. You have to, number 1, you have to include a positive outlook any way you can. You have to know how to deal with these types of issues from the standpoint of support. You need to know how to use natural remedies to provide, let’s say, the mild sedative effect when necessary. And many times, lavender, and some of the other herbal remedies have as a side effect, or not as a side effect, but as an action of a mild sedative effect. This sometimes helps people with anxiety. So people that are depressed or anxious need other things to do, so it’s your job to make sure that these people have things that will allow them to be active and to be doing things constructively for the benefit of the group. If they do that then they have less time to think about the other issues that can occur. And, of course, you have to consider that these people are in need of some kind of spiritual base, some kind of anchor. And so don’t discount the importance of spirituality. You know, without telling you to follow any particular religion, but just spirituality is one way to infuse hope into a community that may be sorely lacking that.
Bill: If you’re ever depressed, one way to get out of depression is to do something for somebody else. I don’t know if it’s a chemical release, or I don’t understand all of the psychological effects of it, but I know it’s true. If you get depressed, you want to help others. One of the best ways to help others is to get this book, and here’s my— I know you guys shouldn’t really pitch your own book. Let me pitch it for you because I think it’s really important. If you buy this book and you learn some of these foundational principles, you can, it’s going to work on a couple different levels because you’re going to have that information at hand, but you’re also going to benefit from the fact that you’re helping other people.
And I think that’s a huge part of the book that may be understated or underestimated, because if you get into trouble, you want to keep going, as you said, you want to have a positive outlook and you want to stay positive. And one way to do that is just learn. Learn and become informed about what works, what can you do in the event of trouble if you can’t get to the doctor. So guys, what’s next for you? Are you going to any— what’s the next show or something you’re at so folks that are out and about, if they want to see you practice learning how to do some suturing or something, where can they see you?
Nurse Amy: Our actual next self-reliance expo will be in Arlington, Texas, near Dallas. Actually the Arlington Convention Center, and it will be in a building next to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Love. It’s sort of a— we’ve been asked to put on a self-reliance expo, and this is because he’s very much into promoting preparedness. Regardless of whatever political things that he says, whether you like what he has to say or not, the fact is that he is trying to encourage people to be part of the preparedness community. And for that reason we are putting on an expo, and it’s a great place if you’re beginning in the path of preparedness, or if you’re deep into it. You can walk through the aisles, pick up free information, there are educational classes, you know—
Dr. Bones: And we are going to be teaching classes on how to suture. We’re going to use pig’s feet.
Nurse Amy: Hands on!
Dr. Bones: Hands on, how to do it.
Bill: Very cool.
Dr. Bones: Teach people even more important things like, how not to suture.
Nurse Amy: Absolutely. And a big part of the class is wound care. And we had discussed this earlier about, you know, if we have an unfortunate situation where we don’t have electricity and we have to be preparing food outside, we’re going to need to chop the wood and prepare the fire, there are going to be injuries. And even the simplest lacerations. If the wound is not cleaned properly, it can lead to a serious infection.
So, it’s not just a lecture. We don’t stand there over, we only— it’s a small group of people, we only allow 12 to 15 students. Each student gets personal attention, each of them has their own pig’s foot which mimics human skin as much as possible, and they all get a suturing kit. And we teach them how to suture, we teach them how to use a skin stapler, which we just added the past class. We teach them how to improvise using duct tape to create a butterfly bandage so that you don’t just throw a piece of duct tape over a wound and then rip it off without injuring the person. Go ahead.
Dr. Bones: And we’ll also be speaking on the main stage so that if you can’t get involved with the hands-on classes you could still either watch us teach those classes, because the lecture we’ll be doing is, of course, free. And we’ll be also talking about other survival medicine topics on the main stage.
Nurse Amy: Yeah. We spend at least an hour each day basically going over a lot of what we’ve discussed here, but with slides, with how-to. Not just theoretical, but, if this happens to you, step a, step b, step c. Go through these things and you should be able to care for it to the best of your ability. And really to the best of ability depends on the knowledge that you attain prior to that issue. So, education is a big part of us. We have over 200 articles on our website for free, we’re all about teaching about survival. Gardening, herbal remedies, how to grow herbs. I have planted over 70 different medicinal plants in our backyard, and we have them and we’re learning about them and how to prepare them.
Dr. Bones: And you’ll find all of this information not only in our book, “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook,” but you’ll also find it at www.doomandbloom.net.
Bill: It’s a great website, www.doomandbloom.net. You’ve got a retired doctor and a retired nurse, who are also master gardeners, feeding you all this information. Don’t miss them in Arlington, Texas. You said July 26th and 27th?
Nurse Amy: 27th and 28th. Friday the 27th.
Bill: 27th until the 28th, okay. Don’t miss them there, that’s an important thing. You can find out more information about that, you can sign up for the class, actually, on their website doomandbloom.net. Guys, thank you so much. It was fun talking to you before; it was fun talking to you today. I know your time is valuable, so I really appreciate it. Just great talking to you.
Dr. Bones: Thank you so much, Bill.
Nurse Amy: Thanks, Bill.
Bill: Thanks guys.