The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Sunday 7 May 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Your first aid supplies with Rosanne.

This week we are taking a look at medical supplies preparedness.  Take a look at Rosanne's medical pantry...

So you can see why I asked her advice on this subject! Over to Rosanne:

My Medical Pantry
It all started because I do not have a cabinet in bathroom, I know good excuse. Plus the linen closet held like one folded set of sheets per shelf. So my sheets now hang and I have a medical closet.

I find a good medical pantry is necessary, remember you really don’t need it, till you need it and if it isn’t there, well forget it.

I wanted to cover as many practical bases as possible. Yes you can go overboard. Your knowledge is one thing to consider. Stock what you know you can use, not what you won’t. Example a Pulse Oximeter, I always thought they were cool. But really you don’t need to worry about blood gases because if you don’t have an oxygen tank and tubing, it’s not going to matter. Only way I can see one needing one is if there is a member with COPD in family.

One thing everyone should learn how to do is take ones blood pressure. They have the electric/battery operated ones where all you need to do it slip the cuff on, easy peasy. I have one of those because I know husband cannot read a meter or know when to start and stop with it. I also have 2 stethoscopes and cuffs. I also have a blood glucose meter with test strips, lancets and alcohol wipes. Now with both you need the knowledge of how to use, how to read and know when someone needs true medical attention.

Let’s start with Bandaging:
Band-Aids, various sizes (remember the shelf like on these is about 2 – 5 years for the adhesive on them).
Butterfly Bandages
Liquid Bandage (This stuff stings, but works) Super glue
Finger/Knuckle Bandage (I find we do pretty good with bandaging and tape in our house)
Gauze Dressing Pads (Both 4x4 and 2x2) I recommend a lot along with Medical Tape.
Instead of Trauma Pads that they recommend I stock sanitary napkins and tampons. (Their main purpose is to absorb.)
Triangle Bandage, I have one, never used it. Have at one time improvised with a scarf. (It was larger and prettier.)
I have a pair of needle nose plier in my stash, for pulling needles, fishing hooks out.

Eye patch bandages
Betadine for washing cut areas, injuries. (Do not use hydrogen peroxide, it burns, ever see the white skin you have after pouring it on, well that’s the burn.)
For Burns: 
I grow an aloe plant in house.
Packs of Water Jel Burn Dressing, these are 4” x 4”.
For a Sprain or Break:
Flexible splints
For Fingers I just have popsicle sticks, they do make finger splints
Cold packs, (freezer and instant)
Elastic Bandaging (I have 2”, 3” and 4” and at least 2 to 3 of each) from experience I know they get dirty quick on a kids ankle)
for a toe break I have set toe and wrapped with cotton between toes and taped 2 toes together to act like a splint.)

OTC Meds:
Allery Meds, both pill form and nasal spray, eye drops.
Neti-pots, Nasal Irrigation System (Squirt Bottle ones), salt packets and distilled water, (The distilled water is important, you do not want to use tap water unless you have boiled it and let it cool).
Nausea and Diarrhea Meds along with Laxatives and Fleet Enemas
Various Cold Meds, pills & liquid
Cough Meds, liquid, pills, natural and cough drops
Antacids, liquid, chewable and pill (I have Zantac and Pepcid for both an antacid and because they are an H2 histamine blocker.  I have bad allergic reactions to mosquitoes, Benadryl is an H1 histamine blocker and does a good job but when taken with an H2 histamine blocker they work together amazingly to stop the itch.)
Fever & Pain:
Thermometers (2 old fashion kinds oral and rectal) also one battery read out one.
Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Aspirin
Cooling Towel
Reusable, fillable ice packs
Sprays, Ointments, Creams
Sting & Bite Gel (Benadryl, numerous others)
Antibiotic Ointment
Sun Screen
Lip Balm & Ointments
Antiseptic Hand Wash & Wipes
Bug Spray
Fungal Ointment
Pain Relieving Cream
Other Items:
Nitrile Gloves (I’m allergic to latex)
Ziploc Bags (separate from kitchen ones, because you never know when you will run out in kitchen and need them to dispose of soiled items) (You want something that seals.)
Scissors (The blunt end ones, don’t want to accidently cut someone)
Extra Waterproof Tape (For use over bandaging, holding those ace bandage one because you lost the clips, I finally got smart and purchased self-stick ace bandaging.)

Hot packs, both adhesive and 2 electric (wet & dry) plus additional rice hot packs and instant.
First-Aid Booklet
I also keep additional Rx items

My Medical Pantry isn’t as complete as others but it serves our needs and our level of being able to deal with a number of things that can happen.

One day a neighbor was walking on the road in front of our home, he fell, he is 92 yrs. old and on blood thinners. We didn’t know him personally at the time. But between cold packs to slow the bleeding down, wipes and bandaging we were able to stabilize him enough for his wife to get him to the ER, they let her know that whoever thought of the cold packs to slow the bleeding saved his life. Needless to say we were happy to hear he was doing well and we could help. It shows having a medical pantry is helpful to have.

Thank you Rosanne!  This is wonderful.  We all need to somewhat customise things to our own families needs.
Rosanne asked me to add the old fashioned hot water bottle. Heat can be a great pain relief.  I totally agree with that. We could include cold packs in the fridge for sprains and swelling as well. 

This year I have worked to organise and expand out supplies. Just being able to find things quickly is important.  Once organised I took Andy and showed him where everything is now kept. There is no use if we are all organised and no one knows where it all is!  We are not always home to explain it!
I have included first aid books.  These are easy to pick up here for $1 each, even current Red Cross manuals. I put one in each car and one in the first aid cupboard.  While we have the internet and phone what if we don't? If the power is down for some reason and there is an accident do you know what to do?

My husband is on blood thinners. This makes bleeding an issue. If he gets the most minor cut he bleeds so badly it's a fright!  So we need to know what to do as if he got a significant cut, well, it would be bad. So my first aid kit needs to consider this. I have bandanas, pads, clean towels, large dressings etc.  I have a lot of them!

I also keep face masks. The kind you wear in a flu epidemic or contagious exposure. I noticed the chemist had a box of about 100 of these. How long do you think these would last if something nasty broke out? Only the first few customers would get any. So I have 100 of those. 
We keep surgical gloves in both cars and the medical kit. If you need to help someone on the side of the road you need to be wearing gloves.  I always have these. I have a pair in my handbag. 
When I learned CPR and we were told you need to carry these things always!  
I also always carry aspirin and antihistamine.  Once time at the farm a man ran over a bee hive in a tractor! He had hundreds of bee bites! Mum gave him an antihistamine right away and they say it probably saved his life.  (it just reduces allergic reactions)

Inside my kitchen cabinets I keep instructions on basic first aid.  

Do your first aid supplies reflect the needs of your family? At the farm we have to have supplies suitable for dealing with snake bites plus know what do do. It is an hour to any help what so ever. 
Does everyone know where everything is kept and what things are for?
Are things several years out of date? (no kidding I had several things that were YEARS past use by dates!)
If you have any tips and hints in this area please share them!

My medical cupboard is in good shape since it was one of my projects so far this year.  But my over the counter medications and other medications are not!  Once my bathroom is finished this is something I will get organised as I will have a special cupboard set up.  That is about two weeks away.

Thank you so much Rosanne for sharing what you do in your home and your knowledge.

Have a very good week!  It is a beautiful day here.  xxx 


  1. Dear Annabel and Roseanne , thank you for a very informative post. I am not very well prepared in this area , it is something I really need to work on . This post will help me immensely . Thank you again Annabel and Roseanne. Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, Thank you! Just take every opportunity to add little bits and know where they are so you can find them fast. So many things are easily looked after with basic first aid and become not so good if left any length of time. Its kind of preventative. Many thanks Barb! Love

  2. I love the list -just exactly what I needed. She is very organized and ready for an emergency!

    1. Thanks Vickie. I have found even first aid items come on good specials and thats helped me get better supplies. Then I found Aldi keep quite a lot at really good prices! Lately I have noticed so do our cheap/dollar stores! This has helped! xxx

  3. Rosanne and Annabel this is just wonderful information. I would like to add a couple of things I have found to be of use in bad situations. Years ago I was heading home on rural roads. The school bus pulled up a little ways down the road. I saw, to my absolute horror, a little boy run across the road behind the bus. He was hit by a ute travelling the opposite direction. I saw that 6 yr old catapulted into the sky and land on the road. I had a full medical kit and gloved up I held that little boys brain in his head. The road was extremely hot and we were able to get a space blanket under him and use the second as a sun screen. Thick cotton pads helped to stem the bleeding from his nose and ears.
    So I would add space blankets. They are so very thin and can be used for both under and over. Thick cotton swabs, you mentioned sanitary pads as an option.
    At home I also like to have a number of medicine cups for measuring dosages of liquids.
    Kyle survived and would be 22 now. When he was 10 the family moved south to be closer to hospitals for his ongoing care. I often think of him and am so glad that we had the fully decked out first aid kit in the car.

    1. Goodness me, Jane..just as well you were prepared. That is amazing.

    2. Oh my goodness Jane I just about burst into tears reading this. Wow. Thank good ness you were able to help. What a terrible thing to witness. Well done on eating, knowing what to do and being prepared. It is very sobering how life can change in a second. This is a testimony to why you keep first aid in the car! Thank you for sharing it.... sometimes we need a prompt to take the time to organise ourselves.... this would be good motivation. xxx

    3. I forgot to say I keep a very large wool rug in the car but I will add the emergency blankets you mention.

    4. You were that boys guardian angel Jane. Bless you. Mimi xxx

  4. Annabel and Rosanne, what a great post! I've picked up several ideas that I can use. I have several herbal salves and treatments in my medical pantry. Also, I am in the process of tearing up an old white sheet into bandage size strips for wrapping wounds. Thanks Annabel and Rosanne!

    1. Dear Patsy, I am doing the same thing with old sheets... if you run a very hot iron over the bandages and roll them up then seal they are very hygienic. Very useful to have on hand. And low cost. Not all of this has to be expensive at all. Many thanks! Love

  5. Thank you Annabel and Roseanne!
    This is a wonderful post and all such good information! I love Roseanne's medical pantry it is so well stocked.
    I also have many vitamins and things like children's fever reducer or cold medicine since they can't take adults. I also have a small supply of gel for toothaches which also works well for mosquito bites.
    Since recent studies have shown that meds are good for at least 5 years after the expire date I stock whatever I can it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I just got childrens panadol drops here too. Good idea! I also heard that tablets last a lot longer than liquid medicines. Also if kept cool they also much longer. I have a few things I keep in the fridge just to be sure.
      I think vitamins are good too. And I forgot that I keep lemonade as this is what I want if I am sick, probably as Mum gave us that when we were kids. But dehydration is a real thing so anything that makes a person drink more is good when ill. Thats my logic! With love

  6. Rosanne and Annabel,

    MY! How thorough. Good work, very good work.

    As for your sheets hanging, I have a plastic basket under each bed. In that basket is a set of folded clean sheets for that bed. No wasted closet space to hang the sheets.

    Add to bandages: Duct tape.

    Add to sore throats/sinusitis: Recipe for salt water.
    --Measure 8 ounces (1 cup) water and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt (sea salt, table salt, kosher salt, etc.) until dissolved.
    --For gargling, you want warm water; gargle 5 long gargles, 4 times/day.
    --For stuffy sinuses, there's nothing else like saltwater snuffs. Fill the bowl of a large spoon with lukewarm saltwater. Pinch off one nostril and snuff up the saltwater into the affected nostril. Hold as long as possible with head up; blow out into bathroom sink. Repeat 4 times. Snuff in saltwater 5 times in other nostril. Blow nose really well. Do this regimen 4 times/day. It's miraculous!
    --Soaking a cut finger or toe in saltwater is great. If a toenail was trimmed too deeply or a cuticle was yanked out, saltwater soak is relieving.

    Add Epsom salt to the medical supplies. Directions are on the carton. A great soak for tired feet, etc.

    Add a basket of clean rags. Oxyclean or bleach will clean them up well. I like white, so I cut my husband's under-T-shirts and under-A-shirts. They can be dampened and heated in a microwave or with hot water. If they're too nasty after use, you can pitch them.

    Matches can sterilize needles, too. Unless there's visible pus, you don't ever want to burst blisters.

    Make a list of medicines family members are allergic to, and even their Blood Types.

    Really, truly helpful, gals! Great job!


    1. Dear Kelley,
      What good ideas! A list of family allergies is an excellent idea! Same with blood types and other medical information. Very good ideas.
      The salt information is great. Only recently I was told to gargle a salt mix every couple of hours (by Doctor)
      I love epsom salts... also Lectric Soda... for soaking aching muscles. Very soothing. Also detoxifying.
      Thank you for these ideas! We are accumulating an excellent list. Lots of love!

  7. This is an excellent post Thank you ladies.
    One item that everyone should have in the case of an emergency is Aspirin. If you have chest pain and cannot get to help, chew aspirin. As long as you do not have a condition that reacts poorly to Aspirin then it can save a life, it is also very helpful for migraines.

    I did have a good stock of medication but have had to use it up due to harder than normal financial times and I think the second part of this year will be used to build up this part of my pantry again.

    It really sets my mind to fruitful purpose when I read your blog Annabel. Thanks also to Rosanne I really do appreciate your post as it is very timely and useful

    Love Mel S

    1. Dear Mel,
      I really agree about aspirin. I keep one in my purse, some in my handbag too.
      Thank you for saying such a nice thing Mel. That is such a compliment. I know what you mean. My mind can worry, I can be anxious. The news is always terrible. There is always something! Well if I keep the right company and read the right things it makes me happy and as you say "sets my mind to fruitful purpose" ... what a good way of putting it. I will use that from now on! If I have something good to work on and plans... then it is a good thing. We need to be thinking on good things. One good thing I am thinking on today is making a folder of printed information that I would need if the power is out. I was thinking if I could remember the recipe to homemade electrolytes. Then I realised if I actually need them it is likely to be in a heatwave and what if the power is out... the recipe is on the internet or here on my blog. mmm so I thought ok I need to have a written copy of such things! So I am making a folder of vital information that is in PRINT. a good thing to be thinking on!
      Have a really good week! Thank you so much for you suggestions! With love

  8. My mother is also on blood thinners and I made her up a purse pack of items to stop bleeding. From memory there were latex gloves, wipes, sterile pads to absorb blood, bandages and plasters but most importantly wound clotting gel that you pour into a wound to stop the bleeding. This is easily available through a chemist (pharmacy) and makes a huge difference in reducing bleeding quickly for anyone with clotting issues.

    1. Dear Melanie,
      What a good thing to do for your Mother.
      I heard about a product in the US called Quik clot. I was interested in this because of Andys issue. Also if we had that or an equivalent in Australia. apparently the military use it. I am unsure what to do about that as I asked the chemist and he said Andy having a man made heart valve is an issue with this product. (in his opinion) however if bleeding severely is a problem that is life threatening! So I came out now sure what to do.
      I think however if the military use it then it must be a vital thing. I would say everyone should look into it and see what their doctor says etc if they are on blood thinners. Another thing is that we only just realised really is that anyone on blood thinners should wear a medical alert. We never thought of it.... also this info is good to have in a purse, wallet, mobile phone.
      Thanks so much for your comment and good ideas! With love

    2. I purchased quick clot ( I think that's the name) for an extreme emergency. We live an hour from our hospital. I thought the list was fabulous - thank you! I would also add some homeopathic treatments such as arnica, and some essential oils such as lavender, tea tree.
      Love Heidi x

  9. Wow. Thank you so much Roseanne and Annabel, as well as everyone who keeps them coming in the comments. Jane, I also got tearful reading yours. Thank God you were there to help!

    1. Thank you Allegra! as the comments keep coming the list keeps expanding! Much love,

  10. What wonderful comments and so helpful.
    I have other pantries of homemade remedies, salves, oils.
    I forage a lot and have many uses for my collection of weeds.
    I one bathroom I stock epsom salts, baking soda, sea salt, gallons of distilled water. (Never use tap water for nasal flushes unless you have boiled the water and cooled it first, I feel safer with distilled.)(The trouble is that tap water can harbor microorganisms. These microorganisms don’t normally cause infections in the body, but washing them deep into the sinuses may give them a chance to start growing in places they normally couldn’t reach.)

    I have Baby Aspirin for heart attacks, chewable is easier also that trying to swallow a pill and water when you are grabbing your chest in pain. (experience here)

    I also use Ibuprofen 200 mg + acetiminophen 500 mg for pain relief that is bad, it works better than percoset, years ago they named it poor man's percoset.

    I also mix equal parts of raw honey with baking cocoa for a cough suppressant, it works better than codeine. I just don't keep these in medical closet, they have other designated areas to sit in.

    I probably can go on and on about alternatives. But just wanted to talk about a small portion of medical pantry in house. My car kits have other items in them also.

    So happy to be part of Annabel's blog, she is suck a caring and giving person.

    1. Dear Rosanne, (everyone Rubies is Rosanne!)
      Thank you so much! This has been such a help. We all need inspiration and motivation in this area.
      Maybe we should go into emergency alternatives another day? There would be plenty of times that knowing how to improvise would be very very good. I like a back up plan!
      I like to keep natural honey. I think it is very useful in many ways. They seem to be still discovering the properties of honey and Manuka Honey especially and I keep that always.
      Thank you so much Rosanne! With love

    2. Dear Annabel and Roseanne
      Thank you for this very informative post! One thing I keep a good supply of is meat tenderizer. We use it for bee and wasp bites and it also can be used for jelly fish bites as well. Make a thick paste with water and apply topically to the site where the stinger has been removed from. If no stinger was left behind apply it over the small puncture where the stinger went in. It's mode of action is that it dissolves the venom left by the stinging insect. Blessings, Cookie

  11. Dear Rosanne and Annabel,
    You have a very nicely organized medical closet, Rosanne. Thanks for posting this Rosanne and Annabel.
    We have much of the same, plus, in ours. Everyone's needs, circumstances, and expectations are different, so as Rosanne, so wisely mentioned, each families medical preps will be individualized.
    Thanks again,


  12. Hi Annabel, Roseanne and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    It has been interesting reading through the comments here, and I was quite absorbed by the comments of Rubies!! Ha ha!! I would love to hear more about your alternative treatments, foraging and so on, Roseanne! This is the world in which I live!!

    Jane, you have reminded me about space blankets, which I noted while reading a survival book. What a horrendous accident you aided with! Kelley, thank you for describing how snuffs work! Annabel, the ironing of homemade bandages is what I can do.

    We have improvised quite well with very few medicaments. I have noted that we can also make our own cold packs by mixing water and methylated spirits (3:1) in a suitable plastic bag. Even the masses of lantana that surround us have their uses. The leaves are highly anti-infectious, and, when bruised, help considerably in the healing of cuts.

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

  13. What a great list, and what wonderful comments. I honestly don't know which is the more informative and helpful! We have a home first aid kit, one for our business, one each for our cars, and a travel one. I cannot tell you how many times each of those has been used in a crisis, or even just a situation like a gastric problem in a foreign country. With thought, you really can make a difference in any situation you might care to imagine. Great post Rosanne, and thankyou to Annabel for creating such a vastly knowledgeable community. Love, Mimi xxx

  14. Annabel and Rosanne, what a great post,on the news this morning was about an ambulance man who saved his own life he put him self on the heart monitor and could see something was wrong,i have always wanted to buy a blood pressure machine the ones you buy in the chemists,so this is on my list,as well as baking soda,to help with removing splinters,i am slowing building up my first aid supplies.

  15. Pet first aid is also important. We googled "dog heimlich" when our dog was choking badly and the info saved him. So think about pets too. I stock anti-itch ointment, ear drops, cone collar, dog antiseptic spray,and omega three oil when he has hayfever. Online there are free sites with pet first aid info that would be worth printing out.

  16. I have run out of time and have to do Wednesdays post... thank you so much Rosanne and everyone who commented and helped. I really appreciate your help. We have formed quite a list of items and tips.
    I thought to add that the chemist (pharmacist) can be a wealth of knowledge to ask about first aid, products etc. Also here we have emergency numbers that could be included or written up such as the poisons information centre... for fast information if you need it. Thank you all so much! xxx

  17. Thank you Rosanne and Annabel for the wealth of information you have provided. It has prompted me to look closely at what I've got on hand and where it's kept. One additional item that might be handy for those who live near areas where there are ticks or for when you go bush walking or camping and that is Wart-off. although it's meant to rid one of warts it's also excellent for getting ticks out of you. It freezes the tick, it dies and then it's easy for you to remove it without part of it remaining in you.

    1. Wendy,
      Thank you, I had not heard of using wart off, we are in for a bad tick season in NYS, this is definitely my next purchase. My Son has had Lyme's Disease and I really do not want him or his children to go through it again.

    2. I was diagnosed with Lymes like disease last year and am still going through the healing process, a very long, slow and steady process. One thing that's been recommended to keep ticks away from me is rose geranium oil. I mix a few drops of it with some coconut oil and dab it on different parts of my skin when going out to the back yard. I smell nice but apparently the ticks don't think so lol yay!

  18. I am sure that what you have said will definitely pierce the ears of your readers and make them think more deeply about it

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  19. A great post. I have worked some on it but quite a way to go. Nancy

  20. My Daddy was on blood thinners and his dr. recommended plain black pepper poured on wounds. It stops thw blooding instantly and does not burn. Works on goats, too!! 😉


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