WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED POSTS IN THE ‘WHY’ SERIES TO BRING YOU THIS WEATHER REPORT WRITTEN YESTERDAY.
The day is starting and I hear a bird chirping outside. Feeling ready for spring, I open the curtain and see the ground is not green…..not brown either. It’s covered with white powder. SNOW again. We don’t get that much here, not like they do further north where I grew up, and beyond. We usually have just enough cold, snow and ice to qualify November through early March as winter. We had more here than usual so far this year, but I’m grateful we didn’t get dumped on like states north of here, especially the northeast.
Toward the end of summer, I heard people say that the Farmer’s Almanac warned of a harsher than usual winter. Well predicted, Farmers. Snow is abundant on the news, creating havoc in many places around the country. Cold has visited more often as well. When the mercury drops to an unreasonable level, I wonder “what is that zero on the thermometer FOR anyway? It’s only reasonable to assume its purpose is to keep the air from falling below it. Zero, you have failed us too often.
I’ve heard the question many times, “would you rather be hot or cold?” There are as many answers as there are people. My response is always the same, “NEITHER! I want to be comfortable!” I used to be younger (you too, right?). Weather back then was a number on a thermometer and was something that I went into. But now I’m older (you too again, right?). My dad told me once that the older you get, the more you feel the weather. I believe he was correct and I’ve experienced that. In addition to that though, MS has changed how I view and feel everything and it intensifies the way I experience weather. Weather has become a traffic light for me – either free to go, proceed with caution or STAY HOME!
I’ve stayed home a lot. We went out to the grocery store last night and I was reminded of why I’ve stayed home a lot. The cold shot holes right through me. Low temperatures are cruel to an MS body. In my younger years, it took longer for the cold air to seep through my skin. Now I seem to quickly feel the weather not just outside of me, but inside me as well. It doesn’t take long to become cold to the core. I know that has happened when I realize I’m shivering on the inside, which is quite different than normal shivering. I also used to move through the cold faster, but am now stuck in the cold air longer. With spasticity ever present, the cold further freezes my muscles, making movements more difficult and much slower. And because MS involves nerves and faulty wiring, cold often translates to pain when it registers in my brain. It makes no sense, but cold hurts. I believe that I feel the air inside a building about 5-10 degrees cooler than most people. And outside, temperatures feel about 20-30 degrees cooler to me than the thermometer reads. So, while the average person feels 35 degrees as 35 degrees, I feel it as about 10 degrees. Once in a warmer place, it seems to take me much longer to warm up than the average person.
So I avoid the outside for now, except for viewing it from a window. I am so very grateful for My Man, Mr. Legs, who trudges through all weather to bring home what we need He weathers the weather whether or not he feels like it.
Come late July, I foresee whining about the extreme heat and how it wrecks havoc with my MS. For now, I’ll dream of perfect weather and comfortable temperatures and be glad for the great inside place I have to be. I am hunkered down in front of my social director, Mr. Computer, and next to my warmest companion, Ms. Eden Pure (infrared heater), waiting for the birds to stop chirping lies through the window. Hope is believing there will be spring when the grass will turn green and the flowers will bloom and I will once again feel the sun on my face.