Saturday, January 23, 2016

Will I Be Homebound This Winter?

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
November 4, 2014

Trenton, New Jersey used to have such mild winters that officials closed the schools when there was only 2 inches of snow on the ground. The dip in the jet stream that brings cold Artic air south shows why Trenton was lucky (black dot = Trenton). Last winter Trenton had six major snow storms in six weeks that were measured in feet instead of inches. Strong storms in the Artic now blow the jet stream farther south to include me. So much pack ice has melted due to global warming that the air is saturated with water vapor which turns into snow on my street. I want people who have recently found my blog to see this post about one of my winter strategies. Also see my next post on using a cane in the snow.

Since my stroke I am careful about venturing outside when it snows, but I am not trapped inside until spring comes either. Warning #1: I never walk through snow covering the sidewalk or street because it is a fall hazard. Once streets, sidewalks, and access to my car are clear I wear boots over my shoes to protect them from the slush. Boots I tried on at a shoe store did not fit over my leg brace. My leg brace will not let me point my toes which is a pre-requisite for donning boots. On-line I found the Neos overshoe with a Velvro opening that goes all the way down to my toes. The Villager model is lightweight which is perfect for me.

A video at shows how to don this boot. Warning #2: I do not put the boots on while standing as the video shows because I do not have good standing balance. I don my boots safely while sitting. A trick the video does not show is to make the ankle straps as long as I can before I put on the boots. After I snap the straps closed I pull on the ends of the straps to make them tight. Warning #3: The first set of boots I ordered were too big so they flopped around when I walked. Bottom Line: I get good traction from the treads and do not arrive with soggy shoes. I walk more slowly with boots on, but that beats not being able to keep appointments like a visit to the doctor.

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