knockout-punchYou’re going along in life.  Every­thing is going well.  Then *WHAM!!*  Some­thing small, sil­ly yet dev­as­tat­ing hap­pens that knocks the wind out of your sails.

So it was for me the week before Thanks­giv­ing this year.

The Mon­day the week before Thanks­giv­ing some­where in my day I ate some­thing my entire diges­tive sys­tem didn’t like (I think I know what it was and where I ate it but can’t prove it for legal cer­tain­ty). I’ve had an upset stom­ach before, though rare. And one a hand­ful of occa­sions I’ve had what may have been food poi­son­ing. But only once before did I have a diges­tive tract infec­tion like this! (And in that case I con­tract­ed it on a trip out of the coun­try, part my own fault as I indulged in some foods I don’t usu­al­ly con­sume.)

I will spare my read­ers all the gory details. Suf­fice to say that my entire colon purged itself mul­ti­ple times a day. I didn’t eat any­thing at all for 2 days. I lived off water and some gin­ger ale, lat­er some Gatorade (which seemed to help prob­a­bly get­ting my elec­trolytes back in bal­ance). When I did try to eat with in a very short time it too was purged. Even on Thanks Giv­ing day 10 days after it start­ed, one of the worst days of the year to have stom­ach prob­lems, I was still woozy.

Final­ly after more than 14 days straight my diges­tive tract was doing bet­ter. Even as writ­ing this now it’s still not com­plete­ly back to 100%.

Very very trou­bling for me as I pride myself on hav­ing a “cast iron stom­ach” most of the time. At worst I would get heart burn. I can’t even say any­one in my house­hold was sick that I caught some­thing from. Who knows what it was.

My point in telling this is it could eas­i­ly also hap­pen dur­ing a SHTF event, at a time you need to be oper­at­ing at full capac­i­ty. In fact, prob­a­bly even more like­ly dur­ing SHTF as nor­mal access to clean­ing and hygiene could be inter­rupt­ed, food and water pos­si­bly more like­ly to be con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed, improp­er­ly han­dled or pre­pared food more like­ly, etc.

At the peak of my ill­ness I was feel­ing at most half-strength. I was very lethar­gic. No moti­va­tion to do even dai­ly events much less extra. I was slow­er than nor­mal to react to stim­uli. It was more dif­fi­cult to think con­cep­tu­al­ly and strate­gi­cal­ly beyond dai­ly nor­mal rou­tine. All con­di­tions you do not want to be in dur­ing an emer­gency.

The moral of this tale is that while care­ful food han­dling, prepa­ra­tion and per­son­al hygiene is impor­tant every day, it is even more vital to be aware of dur­ing an emer­gency. Dur­ing a STHF event you need to keep your­self at peak phys­i­cal and men­tal per­for­mance, for your sake as well as your family’s. Don’t skimp on per­son­al clean­li­ness and be sure of both your food and water sources as well as not cut­ting cor­ners cook­ing and prepar­ing your sup­plies.

A dis­as­ter is the worst time to also be suck­er punched by your own body.

***This post was pro­vid­ed by ST.  ST is a prep­per on Long Island, and a friend of Sub­ur­ban Sur­vival Blog.***

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