"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 11 October 2014


I take note of synchronicity.  And I especially take note of synchronicity when it involves health.  And / or safety.

Being 1/2 an hour out of town, and living in an area where there is limited emergency treatment available, I believe in being prepared - for any medical emergency.  That means I have most necessary items on hand - for any unforeseen accidents around the home, or sudden ailments such as vomiting, diarrhoea, eye infections, etc.  I did a CPR course many, many years ago when our children were small and we installed a pool in our garden, and that kind of knowledge you don't forget easily.

I think I wanted to be a nurse when I was a teenager, but nothing came of that. But, unlike RMan, I am not queasy at the sight of blood (how can any mother be LOL?)  So, medical preparedness has always been left up to me.

Back to synchronicity...

My first indication was when I read 1st Man's posting on the 15 September 2014.

I replied to 1st Man's post with the following comment:

"Cool box :)

I'm embarrassed to confess I have an entire medicine cupboard in our bathroom. Medicines, tablets, ointments, suntan lotions, antiseptic - you name, it's in my cupboard.

To hide it, I've used a decorative cupboard. You wouldn't know what it contains unless you snoop and open the drawer / doors. Being so far out of town having a comprehensive medical supply is important."
The health and safety questionnaire my grandson composed
The second synchronistic moment was when my 11-year-old grandson, Mike, sent RMan and I an e-mail on the 21st September (exactly a week later) asking us to complete a questionnaire he had devised for a school project.

Both were to do with health and safety in the home.


And safety.

I was suddenly brought up short when I realised that I wasn't being terribly careful - especially as far as my granddaughter, HJG, is concerned.  Being 10 months old, she started crawling a couple of months ago, and, from the looks of her, walking is not far off.
The drawer, although not easy to pull
open, was full of potentially toxic tablets
and medicines.  As we are GP has given
me a broad spectrum antibiotic script
- for emergency situations only
My unlocked (and unlockable) bathroom cupboard full of medicines was not secure enough!  And the drawer full of tablets was an accident waiting to happen.

My only excuse is that I haven't been around small children for years, and I got comfortable.  But, that is no excuse!
The cupboard door are far easier to open
and inside there were filing shelves
filled with ointments, tablets,
lotions, etc.
So a radical re-think / re-organisation was in order.

Last weekend I spent Sunday doing just that.
High enough that little fingers can't access, and,
being in our linen cupboard, this is actually
a far easier option for us adults to access too :)
No more bending down to find what we are
looking for.  Different medical supplies are
in their respective trays.
I moved all the medicine items from the bathroom drawer and cupboard to a shelf I cleared out in my linen cupboard which is in our bedroom.  The shelf is more than a metre above floor level, so I'm not concerned that she will be able to access that anytime soon.
A safer bathroom cupboard
What I now have is a bathroom cupboard filled with hot water bottles, a back massage machine and infra-red light (both sealed in their boxes), aqueous hand lotion, and a left over bean bag which we cannot heat in our microwave as we don't have one anymore LOL

And the drawer.

That now houses suntan lotions, tubes of cal-c-vita (RMan believes in vitamin supplements - I leave that to what I eat ;) ), hand towels, baby oil and a pack of cotton wool.
Our quick-grab medical "toolbox"
But, I also have a quick-grab medical "toolbox".  It is kept right next to the linen cupboard by our bedroom door.  Easy to grab and move around with, it is invaluable - especially if it is needed outside in a rush :)

The large "toolbox" contains:
Anything and (almost) everything needed to
close / protect a wound
Various sized crepe bandages, burn dressings (antiseptic and paraffin), swabs, dressing tape, various sized elastic adhesive bandages, sterile gloves, micropore dressing tape, blister kit, Steri-Strip skin closures and a sling (which can double up into a tourniquet).
A good selection of anti-inflammatory patches
and burn dressings -
historically, RMan has not always been
that careful when it comes to fire, etc ;)
The inlay tray contains: antiseptic and antibiotic ointments, sterile wipes, scissors, quick grab sterile gloves, tweezers, tongue depressor (a.k.a. boiled ice lolly stick) antiseptic cleansing spray and lotion, scissors, sterile needles, quick grab Steri-Strip skin closures and a caustic pencil.  And a infection control mouth to mouth device.
Quick grab items to dress a wound
When I was browsing a pharmacy a few years back I spotted this mouth-to-mouth / CPR device which will assist in preventing the spread of infection - if, and when, I ever need to give a stranger mouth-to-mouth.
Easy to use, this mouth-to-mouth gadget will
help prevent the spread of infection via mouth
Finally, for those little accidents, which require a bit of a love and a cuddle, and a modicum of first aid, there is this little box.
Granny's quick-fix, "love you" box of plasters
for those little mishaps :)
It contains sticky plasters, Germolene antiseptic cream and a roll of micropore - just in case the plaster doesn't stick properly.

Thanks 1st Man and Mike.  I now have a safe home again :)


Vicki said...

Thanks for this post. It served to remind me that I am not up to speed in the medical supplies department. I have the basics, but found I was out of a couple of things I needed just the other day. Looks like I'd better get busy and restock!

We tend to forget about all the things little ones can get into when we no longer have them at home all the time. My youngest grandkid is 6, but even at that age, they are curious. Good plan for making a save environment for the little ones.

Dani said...

Vicki - Getting old (er) and comfortable one forgets the basics of safety, especially when one's grandchild is all grown. But, I must consider HJG's safety too.

I tend to replace anything than is running out - that way I'll always be stocked and, hopefully, ready for any eventuality ;)

1st Man said...

AWESOME post! (and thanks for the shout out). Interesting what you say about synchronicity...Thursday night, 2nd Man said "we really need to get more first aid supplies at the farm"...and I said yes we do. Then we were watching a TV show last night (Friday) and a segment came on that was talking about how people in more rural locations often don't have access to quick medical treatment and have to rely on themselves in an emergency. Sync 1, Sync 2....then today I read your post...Sync 3!

So now I'm making lists, researching what to get, getting ideas from the net and I'll start shopping next week.

Isn't synchronicity grand? :-)

Kev Alviti said...

Thanks for this post. I'm now going to order a first aid kit now as we like to think we're prepared but haven't really got one! Thanks again.

Dani said...

1st Man - Glad to be of service - and thanks for your help ;)

"people in more rural locations often don't have access to quick medical treatment and have to rely on themselves in an emergency" - my motivation exactly. Apart from a medical contingent which firmly believe in weekends, and strict working hours, our 4.75 km sand road (if you can call it a road) delays our trip to town - taking roughly 10 -12 minutes out of a 25kms / 30 minute to traverse. Those precious minutes could be critical in a real emergency.

Dani said...

Kev - You're very welcome :)

Linda said...

Haha! I just bought a first aid kit for the car this morning because we've headed off for a trip! It's hard to remember to keep a house child safe when our own kids get older. Good on you for thinking about it.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Hello, first comment from me to you
We have men with "special needs" (don't you just hate that term) for day care here, so we are pretty much up to spec with health and safety, which can really limit what we do sometimes. But your post has served to remind me about the little ones that come here and their curious little fingers! Thanks for the timely post

Dani said...

Linda - We have no first aid box in our vehicle, but we don't travel far often so i don't figure that necessary.

Yes, keeping children uppermost in one's mind regarding the storage of medicines and poisons, is not always easy, especially as it's 28 - 30 years since I needed to keep my children in mind, and 8 - 10 years since my grandson needed that consideration.

Dani said...

FiD - Welcome - and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

I'm so happy to have been of service :)

Chickpea said...

Thank you for the timely reminder. I had a well stocked first aid kit when the children lived here but that's gone by the way. I need to stock up again, and also revise first aid skills. I think I also need to adapt the first aid kit and knowledge to take into account the risks faced by us now we are older.

Dani said...

Chickpea - We all get stuck inruts of one type or another. Keepig first aid kits up to date is one of those ruts...

"the risks faced by us now we are older" is exactly why we have a pretty good stock of anti-inflammatory patches - for if, and when, they are needed. Used in moderation, naturally :)

Harry Flashman said...

Well organized. Like you, we live so far out that we need to keep a fairly comprehensive collection of medical supplies. No tiny kids ever come here, but mine are spread out between three buildings, so if I lose one building to a fire , etc, I don't lose an entire category of supplies. I hope you are healing up ok from your accident.

Dani said...

Harry - I hesitated showing the extent of our medical supplies - we are NOT hypocondriacs LOL But, I HAVE to be prepared (giggle) I haven't thought of splitting the supplies between the house and garage room - reckon if we had a fire of that magnitude we'd have the fire brigade (with their antiquated fire engine) here chop-chop!

My rib is slowly healing - thanks for asking :)