Monday, February 10, 2014

Housebound Winter

I have only been outside 4 days since Thanksgiving...

Imagine that..

I can walk and use a walker and just got a push wheelchair for long distances--thanks to a kind nurse.
however due to my bad lungs, if it is too cold I cannot breath...

and this has been the winter that only snow miser could have come up with...

So many days where the temperature has been in the teens or below.

Usually most winters there is a warm-up day to the 30s where I can get out a bit, scattered here and there, but not this thaws for us. There have been so many snow storms, I figure the clouds are going to be out of water for spring and summer.

Some of my friends say, "Can't you come up with a bubble suit like the guy in the Boy in the Bubble movie but this time with some heat or air conditioning for the summer?"  Hey I looked for inventions on line and considered the heated mittens, have tried the giant mug of coffee for steam below my lungs but my body and cold don't mesh together well. It goes even beyond the wheezing and lungs that suddenly start slamming shut should a temperature too cold get past the scarf but like my body shuts down inside, and the bottom falls out. It's hard to explain. I am guessing this is some mix of circulatory problems mixing with the endocrine. Yes, I have even gotten "sleepy". Don't they say people go to sleep before they are about to freeze to death?

A few ER visits and throwing up even a few times I wheezed so hard and was so cold, taught me to live the way I do. One day around 2005 fed up with being enclosed inside, I said, "Im done being a wimp!" then had my husband drive me outside. Walking then made me sick.  I started shivering, and wheezing, and it was not a good thing. It was time almost to go to the emergency room.  One thing when your body is not getting enough oxygen, panic attacks ensue. The adrenaline kicks out like gangbusters. Trust me on that one. Enough times of this happening and as I got older, I didn't fool anymore or push the envelope.

I've tried standing outside on cold days for very short periods of time, trying to toughen myself up, but the lungs are unforgiving task master. Yes those wind chills the Weather Channel loves to put up mean something.

When my physical therapist was here in the fall, and working on exercise programs with me, he noticed the bronchial spasms that happened a few times even as I went out into 40s on days that were more damp. Just so everyone knows I never have smoked. I wrote elsewhere about how my lungs went bad even before the serious weight gain came. 

Other climates have been considered but heat is no good too. Heat also affects the lymphedema and brings more swelling.. Washington State probably would be an ideal climate, but then not everyone can afford a move and considering how poor I am, I'd never see one friend ever again and Seattle rents for me would mean a cardboard box in an alley.

If anyone has any ideas to fix this, I am open to them. Yes, we warm up the car, I dress warm etc, that is what makes going out in the [hopefully mid] 30s possible though not ideal. Also not walking on snow or ice is pretty important for someone like me.

When I hit the 3 month mark, one starts feeling strange. Friends who have visited have helped me keep my sanity as well as my poor husband having to march through 3 feet of snow and -10 temperatures to get everything from medicine to groceries.

Spring can't come fast enough.

This many years housebound I have my little world set up, making cards, old movies, books, stamp collection, computer. I can putter hours and hours away, and this is probably an Aspie blessing so I rarely get bored but locked inside you miss just sitting outside a breeze on your face. I miss my groups and clubs and visiting people and seeing places. This has been the worse winter, weather wise I ever have remembered.

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