What Happens When You Get Sick on an Off-grid Homestead?

Fy Nyth
by Fy Nyth

A question I have gotten over the years is, what happens when you live in a homestead off the grid, and you get sick? What happens is nothing, as in everything still needs to be done, and none of it gets done if you're sick enough.

Illness and injury do happen no matter where you live.

I had a root canal under a nearly 30-year-old filling in a tooth last fall, and the dentist severely messed it up. I had a bad fit on the crown that caused a lot of pain. I've been back for many repeated trips to try to adjust that.

The dentist finally decided that I needed a specialist to redo the root canal because I had an infection underneath again. So, it wiped me out. 

I don't know that I've ever felt that exhausted in my life. I spent almost eleven days doing nothing but sleep or dragging myself to one dentist or another.

That is despite having been in pretty good health and taking great care to eat good food and get exercise and fresh air. My daily routine slowly came to a halt as I got sicker, but the chores still needed to be done. 

Sometimes these things happen in life, but what happens when you have things that require a good bit of manual attention?

Whether it's the weeds that were little in the paths in your garden that you meant to get weeded a while ago and hadn't got to, the basic functioning of a house or a propane bottle needs to be filled, or things like that.

What happens is things just don't get done, and then they either get done later or not at all. 

What happens when you get sick on an off-grid homestead

We've got a beautiful carrot crop. I did pick some earlier today to have for dinner. The strawberries need to be thinned, and we need to dig a few new potatoes. 

I have been picking beets and zucchini, and the onions and garlic are ready to harvest. 

Anyway, there's a whole ton of stuff that I should be doing that is done when you're that wiped out. We will unlikely get through our entire lives without something going wrong with our health. This is why I always have had as many backups around the place as possible.

There's usually a trash can of firewood right outside the door. That is for when something like this happens; if I don't feel up to going out to the wood pile or splitting more wood, I can still keep the stove going. This is especially important during colder weather. You may not get to every chore, but you need to make sure you have food and heat.

In the summer, that wasn't an issue, so pretty much all I did was drag myself outside to feed and water the animals and go back to bed. It's very frustrating when you don't feel good, and you know you have a million things to do, and you're getting further behind by the minute. 

Things I can reiterate that I'm thankful for is having everything set up to work as efficiently as we do. I made it relatively easy to pretty quickly fill the animal's water systems and their feeders, along with feeders for the birds, and to pick up some eggs and go back to bed.

The garden got neglected. It's a matter of setting priorities and doing the absolute bare minimum with what little energy you have. 

I've begun weeding and harvesting as I feel better. 

There may be things not done yet that I counted on having done before winter that will either just not happen or they'll get done next year.

So that's what happens when you get sick or injured in some way for a while. That's frustrating, but it's also part of life, and you just have to be patient with yourself. 

If you're considering living in a homestead off the grid, I recommend that you try to have your day-to-day systems of the things that absolutely need to be done, like getting water and food to animals, to be as simple as possible.

There may well be a time when getting them done the way you want is a lot of work and takes more energy than you've got at the moment. 

I also recommend having all the good things for taking care of illness in general. I'm not a doctor, and I can't tell anybody else what to do, but the things I like to have are lots of herbal remedies, bone broth, fire cider, ginger brew and honey, fermented garlic, and so on.

Have the medicines and the tools you need on hand to care for yourself, so you don't get even sicker. 

What happens when you get sick on an off-grid homestead?

Try to prepare your homestead off the grid, so you are able to give yourself a break if needed. Then have patience when something like illness or injury happens.

What do you do to keep your homestead running smoothly when you're sick? Share your pointers in the comments below.

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 1 comment
  • Jul50435034 Jul50435034 on Feb 01, 2023

    I'm rural but not off grid. I've learned a lot of doctors are like stores in a mall . I live simple, clean and efficient, help others and every day prep for the unknown of some sort. I do know if anything happens and I'm not prepped for it because I didn't think of it, I can live and be uncomfortable within myself with no problem. I really enjoyed your article. Blessings on your journey.