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Old 30-12-2016, 08:37   #1
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How do you handle being sick.

How does everyone handle being sick at sea? Im not taking about sea sickness but more like the flu and colds?

How about if you are going single handed, how would you handle it?

Thanks
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Old 30-12-2016, 08:59   #2
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

You mean besides don't listen to the voices? Assuming yes; there's a bit on how to handle the mental aspects of single/shorthanding in Andy Evans's book, including on sleep & lack there of http://sfbaysss.org/resource/doc/Sin...rdEdition2.pdf
There are also other resource links at the SF singlehanded sailing society, where the above's found (aside from the book's paper version I mean).


That said, I'm curious to hear other folks answers.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:24   #3
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
You mean besides don't listen to the voices? Assuming yes; there's a bit on how to handle the mental aspects of single/shorthanding in Andy Evans's book, including on sleep & lack there of http://sfbaysss.org/resource/doc/Sin...rdEdition2.pdf
There are also other resource links at the SF singlehanded sailing society, where the above's found (aside from the book's paper version I mean).


That said, I'm curious to hear other folks answers.
Ah... I think CookingGuy was referring to physical illness rather than mental.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:24   #4
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

I would find an anchorage wrap up in some blankets and take two shots of an alcohol of your choosing and sweat it out. May not be the best but has always worked for me.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:36   #5
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

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How does everyone handle being sick at sea? Im not taking about sea sickness but more like the flu and colds?

How about if you are going single handed, how would you handle it?

Thanks
Solo it's never happened at sea. No one to get sick from.

In port anchored up it's not very nice, curl up on a bunk with plenty of audio books and water and wait for it to go away.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:44   #6
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

Carry a first aid kit that has drugs for bacterial and viral infections and read what the difference between the two are. More better, get your Doc to explain.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:56   #7
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

I agree that it's unlikely to catch a cold while on an extended trip. Years ago we went out for 11 days and when we returned 100% of our circle of friends were sick with a flu. We had missed it's arrival. We went back out and just drifted around for another week hoping to avoid catching it, which we did!

Unless you have been infected prior to leaving you won't get sick once you're out there. Another reason for a long cruise....
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:32   #8
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

There are things that happen like ear infections. Happened to a friend on his way from San Diego to Mexico. Not fun to say the least. And yes he was hallucinating after a bit.

You can also pick up things unknowingly prior to leaving, which take a few days to incubate into a full fledged illness. But when they do, you wind up stupid sick, & way offshore. Or you might have the misfortune to succumb to something like pnemonia, or similar, due to snotty weather for extended periods. Yes, the bacteria need to be present. But the beginning "seeds" of some illnesses are either always present, or can linger around for ages onboard, or on you, until your internal defenses are down enough for them to bite you.

I mentioned the book, & the mental aspects of things, as tiredness plays a huge role in any illness when one's on shore, & it's easy to get rest in relatively high quantities, & quality. But when you're out sailing that ain't often possible. And the lack of rest thing switches to a logarythmic scale when short/singlehanding. Which is where the mental & emotional bits fit in.

Plus knowing how best to get quality rest as is specific to you, is a highly bankable item in illness & injury prevention. When Dame Ellen did her record run RTW on Castorama/B&Q they had her wired up to all kinds of bio-monitoring gear. Including to monitor her "sleep bank account". So that at times her shore team would strongly suggest rest (weather permitting). With much of this also being based on prior determinations on what worked best in terms of sleep, & food time cycles for optimum rejuvination & sailing performance.
Ditto with astronauts, specialized sports disciplines, military units, etc., etc. Where the cost of failure is beyond high.

Edit: One option that comes to mind is to kick out a drogue or sea anchor for 72 until the worst has passed, just as you'd do if the storm was external instead of internal. The sticking point being about keeping a lookout for other vessels. It would be a trade off it seems ???
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:33   #9
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

The only time I got sick at sea was with Dengue fever, and I was bloody useless for 5 days. Fortunately, there were two other people on the boat.

As others of mentioned, there aren't a lot of viruses floating around out there. As long as you don't leave with a bacterial infection, you should be fine.
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:35   #10
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

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Ah... I think CookingGuy was referring to physical illness rather than mental.
I told my psychiatrist I've been hearing voices.

She said I don't have a psychiatrist.
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Old 30-12-2016, 11:43   #11
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

From a practical point of view the only medical problems you can self-treat are general bacterial and female yeast infections. Broad spectrum antibiotics for chest, ear, urinary and skin infections and a vaginal anti-fungal cream should be part of the medical kit.

There is good medical evidence that appendicitis can be treated with antibiotics. However, the required antibiotics would not be available routinely and would require a doctor to prescribe with a long sea journey in mind. We will be crossing the Pacific west to east in 2017 and we will have the required antibiotics on board not for appendicitis but for diverticulitis because of my susceptibility to diverticulitis.

Antibiotics vs Appendectomy for Uncomplicated Appendicitis Treatment | Infectious Diseases | JAMA | The JAMA Network

More serious problems such as cardiac problems, I have three cruising friends who have had major cardiac problems while on cruising boats, usually need evacuation. I treated a serious cardiac arrythmia with evacuation to Miami. I have met 2 cruisers who were evacuated after having strokes.

A psychiatric decompensation needed a referral to a local psychiatrist.

We carry a wound staple kit bought from a vet.

I have twice been asked to treat suspected gonorrhoea but I was reluctant do do so because I feared missing associated syphylis.

Phil with a MD degree.
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Old 30-12-2016, 12:49   #12
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

Boat abandoned due to foot infection by single-hander
Abandoned Westsail 32 Free for Taking (Fiji, Pacific)
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Old 30-12-2016, 13:09   #13
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Re: How do you handle being sick.

Flu and colds? Same way you'd handle them on land w/o a dr. I would pack apple cider vinegar and turmeric. A shot of ACV and 4 turmeric pills every 4-6 hrs. Works every time.

Sinus and ear infections: lymphatic drainage massage will drain everything. Kind of gross though. You can feel everything running down your throat. Irrigate sinuses with a neti pot and flush your tonsils with a syringe full of warm salt water. I can go into further detail if you would like.

I am not a dr nor do I play one on tv.

If someone comes near you with a cold before your voyage, douse them in lysol. They will stay away!
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Old 30-12-2016, 13:40   #14
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How do you handle being sick.

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Originally Posted by SetsunaSails View Post
I would find an anchorage wrap up in some blankets and take two shots of an alcohol of your choosing and sweat it out. May not be the best but has always worked for me.


When I was younger I would do that, sweat out a cold or flu.
It did seem to shorten the illness, but I wonder if it's not bad to do that?
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Old 30-12-2016, 13:42   #15
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pirate Re: How do you handle being sick.

Have had to stop a couple of times out there due to injuries.. once when caught by a vertical wave under the stern flipping the boat to one side causing me to crack my back and ribs on a winch.. hove to for 6 days till I could function again.. heavy weather.
Sometimes do it for a 24hr break and some R&R.. freshen body and soul..
Injuries are more likely than illness.. like the guy in the link above.. infections etc.
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