Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wheels in Winter

Although I love Minnesota, winter is hard on me (and my wheels).  With cold temperatures below freezing and sometimes even below zero, along with the piles of snow it’s difficult for me to get around. Sometimes I develop seasonal depression because I’m stuck indoors.  When that happens, I’m never in the mood to do anything or be productive.  It’s very unfortunate because I love getting outside (especially to take my dog for a walk) and go out in the community.  I’m looking forward to spring when I can get outside more.

Last week was especially hard.  The temperatures were very extreme; schools, events, activities etc. were even governed close last Monday and Tuesday because of the cold.  I believe the high was below -20°F and the wind chill factor (how it felt) was at least -40°F.  The news commented saying five minutes outside and someone could start to freeze!  Even Brody didn’t want to go outside.

The weather here is also very unpredictable.  The other day felt like a heat wave with the high being 40°F.  Other states probably might consider that cold but not us here!  I would definitely take Brody for a walk if there wasn’t so much slush in the streets.  In fact, I did when it first snowed and everything was fresh.  Last night it snowed a few inches and we’re due to get more today.
Me and Brody about a month ago.  It was still warm enough to be outside and the ground wasn't too wet.  By the way, he loves his sweaters!

The sun was shining brightly.
He only goes in the snow when it's warmer out.
When it's cold and snowy he goes out as quick as possible! 
On this day he stopped to soak up the sun.

Having a SCI and being on a ventilator is no match for the cold weather.  Because of my injury, I’m not able to feel if I’m cold or hot.  The only way I know is when it’s too late and my body starts spasming.  Also, the cold air can be very hard on my lungs.  When the vent pulls the air in, it goes through the tubing, then my trach and into my lungs.  There is nothing to warm the air up so it feels the same in my lungs as it is outside.  When someone breathes through their nose, the hairs warm the air up so it’s not such a shock.

There are still a couple months left of winter with more cold days and lots of snow!  As long as the temperature stays above 0°F I’m willing to venture out.  It’s definitely not the same to just look out the window as it is actually going somewhere.  Hopefully my wheels can take all the snow we’re getting and I can go somewhere soon.



sylvia said...

Hang in there.... I don't like going out in the cold either. Spring is on its way. We just have to get through January and then it should get better. Love the photos. Brody looks so happy!

Anonymous said...

You are so incredibly brave. I watched a few of your easystand videos on youtube and you literally had me in tears, I was honestly hysterical. I am so sorry this has to be your situation and hate to see you suffering.

John (jan) said...

u look terribly cute with that hat.
i hope u ll wear it again this winter.

u did have a rough time. lets hope next year is easier

no tears here though. i find u awesome and cool as u are. just stay yourself.