MEDICINE CHEST 2 post 1 of 2 today*
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So, we understand that going out to get vital medicine you didn’t stockpile is suicidal during and after the collapse. Competition will get you killed. You obviously have no strength or stamina while sick to do so anyway, and it is a death sentence more likely than not to send someone else ( the mother in law won’t fall for that trap ). So, like ammunition, there are no shortcuts. Stock up now or do without. It isn’t as cheap by far as it used to be ( Wally is double priced and the dollar store doesn’t have spit to pick from ) but it isn’t much more than a box or two of ammo to stockpile either. I don’t have exact prices as the NOL kindly paid for the visit and then lost the receipt ( but how could I get mad? She is helping and thinking about the Apocalypse after being totally unmoved by the danger when we first met ) but just think a twenty or two and you are in the ballpark. Remember, this is Over The Counter stuff, only. Not fish antibiotics ( I thought it was now illegal to sell them without a prescription but then I noticed other animal antibiotics being offered. Perhaps to circumvent the changed law? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? ).
Rather than go to CVS, which would have been too expensive ( I think they stay open, like Albertsons, by catering to Old Bastards, and by having beer sales to draw in the lushes, because otherwise their prices are super deluxe insane ) we went on a Wednesday morning to Wally to avoid the crowds. Wal-Mart and the medicine section with crowds is an experience I won’t willingly endure. The bastards at Arkansas HQ, after twenty years of the same store layout, decided to screw everything up and change crap and you can’t find anything anymore. The isles are too small for carts and walkers to mix. And everyone is sick and coughing. It is like shopping at an ER that was crammed into a Shop N Rob. So going while mostly deserted was a must. I wanted to take my time and window shop. What was important and necessary and what was frivolous and there as Comfort Items or Profit Center Items. For instance, basic aspirin is necessary, but Tylenol PM For Gentle Stomachs ( I don’t know if that is a “thing”, but would be indicative of the proliferation of far too many choices of everything ) certainly is not. This time around I was lucky in that I had plenty of aspirin and Tums from back when I was working at The Job Of Whom We Speak Not. Usually I only helped myself to perishable food that was in overabundance but I image that recently as my attitude had slid even further on the Crap Scale I was subconsciously planning on leaving and started to care less about much restraint past the Don’t Get Caught threshold and when expensive antacid got donated I couldn’t help myself. The once daily apple cider vinegar does wonders to keep heartburn in check but there are always flare-ups you need the tablets for. I don’t want to rely on baking soda if possible due to the harshness.
So, I had a dozen bottles of aspirin and almost as many generic Tums. Those items were good to go. I slowly went up and down the isles and hunted just for the other absolute necessities ( aspirin is essential for reducing fevers-which unchecked can fry your brain ) and went with the most affordable and the longest lasting ( pills rather than liquids, for instance ). Of course, the standard rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Say, besides for cuts and abrasions, for athletes foot or other skin disorders. If you are on foot for transportation, do you really want or need raw oozing painful feet? I usually have better luck with bleach water than with either alcohol or HP, infection wise, so I only got two of each. I have a box full of small powdered bleach packs I’ll rely on, but it can’t hurt to have the two more mild medicines given their low price and more ready availability. Plus there is always a gallon of liquid bleach under the sink in the kitchen anyway. These were low probability low necessity items but will still get used.
Next was mineral oil. Being constipated is both no fun and it could become dangerous. Without eating MRE’s I’m probably okay but this is one of those things that is better to have to be safe. Then there is petroleum jelly. All Wally carried for chapstick was $1 a small tube brand name and no way was I going to pay for that. Due to our dry and cold clime, keeping your lips from bleeding is nice. Not critical, but for such a small price, why not? It is also a very good burn treatment and that was more important, a bonus. In a pinch you could also use it as a hand lotion to avoid winter cracked skin, but it does leave a greasy residue forever. But better than nothing. It can also be used on minor cuts ( its original marketing use ) so that is another bonus. Hard to see NOT stocking it, actually. I grabbed a huge bag of cough drops. I’ve never found them all that effective, but the price was really good and I’ve at times had coughs that seemed to want to pull muscles or crack ribs so I figured it was really better than nothing at all.
Then there was “stomach relief caps”, a generic Pink Stuff, in case I did get diarrhea. It was both cheaper and I imagine longer lasting than liquid Pepto Bismo. This is something you don’t mess around with. Severe dehydration can kill you. You can drink all the salt-sugar homemade Gatorade you want but if it shoots out the other end you still die. If I was on an extremely frugal budget and I couldn’t afford all of the above at a minimum I’d have anti-diarrhea meds, bleach and aspirin. Last in the shopping cart were antibiotic cream-not critical but nice to have as it stays in the wound longer than the thin liquid disinfectants-and Band-Aids. Not cheap, those wound coverings, but that is one item generic simply does not work. What good is a generic band-aid if the glue is insufficient? You might as well scotch-tape a cotton ball over the darn thing. And that is it, your cheap and vital OTC medical supply stockpile ( and if I missed something vital, not covered elsewhere like soap or razors or Aunt Flo items, that is what the comments section is for ). Cheap peace of mind.
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