You’re probably wondering why “Pee” is in the subtitle, right? Well, it’s not about potty humor (that’s not to my liking). Rest assured, it’ll make perfect sense when you’re done reading this post. First, allow me to set this up.
I’m not sure if this television show is still on, but several years ago I was into watching a reality series called Doomsday Preppers. Its premise was to profile people who often went to extreme measures to ready for a catastrophic event.
These people were thoroughly convinced that civilization was headed for doom. That society would erupt into chaos. That our world would soon teeter on existence.
Some “prepped” for the financial system collapsing. As I recall, this economic upheaval would be caused by an electromagnetic pulse, be it from the sun or an enemy… or maybe the Chinese had something to do with that? Others believed climate change would inevitably lead to mass food shortage. The was no shortage of ways to bring on Armageddon; pandemics, nuclear disaster, terrorism, war… and the always popular asteroid colliding with the earth.
Their obsession with “prepping” was certainly entertaining as they vowed survival, no matter the expense. World be damned!
In achieving survival they built bunkers or fortresses; complete with backup electricity, air scrubbers, and water filtration. They alarmed and booby-trapped their property. Arsenals of weaponry and ammunition were stockpiled. Food, seeds, medications, and water were hoarded. Hell, some even modified their vehicles with bullet-proof glass, run-flat tires, and plows to navigate through clogged roads.
It was fun to watch, for sure. Still, to me, they seemed over-the-top. Utterly absurd.
Then it occurred to me — when my wife, Sue, told (ridiculed) me — that I, in fact, am no different when it comes to my family. Ryan in particular. My mistake was by denying it. She was overly enthusiastic to prove me wrong.
It’s true, I must admit. In my defense, I did it based upon a real catastrophe. Not on some far-flung fear of society crashing. No. It is absolutely personal.
I never intended to be one of these so-called “preppers”.
It just developed over time. Our circumstances (with Ryan) demanded contingencies. We couldn’t risk losing electrical power, water, or heat. Running out of his medications or nutrition was unthinkable.
It was accidental that I am a full-fledged prepper.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Since Ryan is unable to voluntarily shift his body he is at extremely high-risk of developing pressure ulcers (i.e., bed sores). Early on we would physically reposition him — no longer than every two hours — by using pillows and foam wedges.
The first fail-safe we added was buying both a bed and wheelchair cushion with alternating air flow cells. This would mechanically rotate him. This shifting assured blood flow.
So, at that point, we not only physically shifted him but also had the equipment to do it mechanically. Even so, I still felt uneasy. I mean, what if I miss my two-hour deadline and the bed loses electrical power?
So we upgraded his bed with a battery backup… and I was feeling comfortable with this until one night when the neighborhood’s power went out. The bed switched over to its built-in battery, but we needed to restart the air flow.
So… we got an external backup battery and plugged the bed into that. This way the bed’s built-in battery would not have an electrical interruption requiring a restart. This worked great… but his bed draws so many amperes that the batteries drain in roughly six hours.
I’ll cut this short and get to the ultimate remedy when we lose power, like from an electrical storm. We installed a whole-house backup electrical generator… that provides power to the external battery… that provides power to the built-in battery.
Oh, there’s one more safeguard. If I feeling tired and worry I might fall (deep) asleep for more than a couple hours then I’ll drink 32 ounces of water.
It forces me to wake and go pee. Turns out, this is what my wife reminded me about… just before calling me a “prepper”.