Over Christmas, I broke my glasses. This is no small problem for me. I can’t see to read, drive or walk across the room without my glasses. The problem was compounded because we were in the midst of a major ice storm and getting into town was no small feat. Fortunately, I keep a spare pair of glasses. They are not great; bifocals rather than the gradient trifocals I usually wear but they got me through until I was able to order a new pair. ($350.00 plus a ten day wait, thank you very much). This brings up an important point. Don’t overlook the obvious when you are preparing. Every person in the family should get a complete eye exam ASAP. Sell the boat or the bread machine or the family jewels but dig up the money and make sure that everybody has an up-to-date perscription. Buy the best glasses you can afford, the ones that are scratch resistant and have flex frames. Get a copy of your persription to put in your family file. Then bite the bullet and purchase a second pair. My second pair is strictly utilitarian but they will do in a pinch. If you don’t have a complicated persription, you may be able to get away with discount eyewear from the pharmacy for your second pair. I keep about a dozen pair of those cheaters in different strengths put away. At $10-15.00 a pair, it’s cheap insurance. Next, call your dentist. Everybody needs to see their dentist twice a year and be diligent about tooth care in between. You do not want an abscess when you can’t get to a dentist. I brush three times a day, floss twice a day and use a good quality mouthwash as well. and I make sure the kids do the same. I store dozens of toothbrushes (2 for a dollar at a discount store) twelve tubes of toothpaste at a minimum and twelve bottles of mouthwash. I pick up dental floss whenever I find a good deal and plan on no less than a dozen large containers. I keep the small, sample sizes of dental care products that we get from the dentist in our evacuation kits.

Now, call your doctor. Get a complete physical. Pay special attention to vaccinations, especially tetanus. If you find you have a chronic problem like high blood pressure, ask about lifestyle changes and natural remedies before committing to medication. Get you weight under control. If you smoke, quit. No excuses. I don’t have an exercise program. I get plenty of exercise just running up and down stairs and out to the greenhouse and the compost heap but if you live a sedentary life, you propbably should. I can hear some of you now. The money is a huge problem but I am not kidding about selling the boat. There are some things that matter and your health tops the list.

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