These days, it's increasingly common to have a chronic illness or disability, but that doesn't mean that you can't be prepared.
We live in a toxic society and a land of chronic illness. Whether you blame this on the environment, chemicals in everything we ingest and inhale, or some other facet of American life, more and more people are becoming seriously ill for a long period of time. As I wrote recently:
133 million Americans are dealing with a chronic illness right now. That is a full 40% of the population of our country. By 2020, that number is expected to skyrocket to 157 million. (source)
With numbers like that, some of these people are bound to be preppers.
People are dealing with:
-Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
-Mental health issues
Of course, this isn't a complete list – it's a drop in the bucket when you look at the declining health of Americans. Add to this, sometimes declining mobility is just a part of getting older.
With all of the talk in this niche about being fit, bugging out on foot, camping, and surviving when you have to do everything by hand, that has to be pretty daunting for anyone coping with a chronic illness or disability.
As someone who has been dealing with a debilitating condition for several years, I can completely attest to how discouraging it feels when you think about all of the things that you can no longer do.
But here's the thing that I learned:
While you may not be able to do everything you'd like to, you can still be an incredibly valuable asset to your community.
You can still manage disasters with aplomb. You can raise a garden, preserve food, and learn skills. You just may have to do these things a little differently than other folks who don't have the same health challenges.
It is a brutal reality that there are some situations in which those who have infirmities truly won't survive. But, in a situation so dire, many people who are perfectly fit and healthy will also perish. You can't really sit around dwelling on this but you know that it is a basic premise of survivalism. Not everyone is going to make it. There is an element of luck involved. For example, if you are at Ground Zero of a nuclear blast, it doesn't matter if you went to the gym 6 days a week for the last 10 years and ate a diet of rice bran, lean meat, and broccoli. You'll be toast.
But, most situations you'll find yourself in are not nuclear Ground Zero situations.
One thing I have written about time and time again is that no one has an absolutely perfect set-up. Just like no location is without its drawbacks, no person is either.
Not everyone is going to be a warrior, a carpenter, an engineer, an herbal expert, and a farmer. Not everyone has the capability to "live off the land." (Actually, a lot fewer of us have that capability than are willing to admit it, but I digress.)