I’m a slow walker, and I don’t walk back – especially in a Canadian deep freeze!

img_0518Oh snap it’s cold! Still no need to run…

There are so many things we miss by going too fast. Back in my EMS days, I was taught to never run.  When I feel the need to speed up, I now take time to slow down and proceed with caution.

When one rushes into situations, we often miss the significance of our surroundings.  I’m not saying stop and smell all the flowers, but do notice them!!!

Walking with a cane especially in a Canadian winter has made me far more aware of my surroundings, it has a crazy snow spike… and having reduced use of my hands while using my cane – has forced me to plan things out more.  I move slow and try to avoid hazards, or being the hazard.

I live where we get real winter. Its -30 Celsius before wind-chill at the moment, with a fresh surprise dump of almost a foot of snow overnight, and currently under an extreme cold warning. My snarky weather app gets me in this weather.  So does my chemo induced peripheral neuropathy as it is triggered by the cold, one of the only known triggers.  So… activities requiring outside in the winter cold are limited or postponed entirely when Canada throws a deep freeze. It’s simple, I stay in.

Being a minimalist outside in the cold – I shovelled my walk so people can get in & out of my place safely and know I’m not dead- but then decided to swear at my driveway and its foot of snow before giving up going inside to warm up. I will snow-blow it once I warm up, at the moment it’s too cold for anything to survive out there.

And why am I still so cold?

Because my furnace apparently decided to not… Oh good!

I thought I was being a sissy for the cold (I actually need to keep an eye on myself – since chemo I don’t regulate my body temperature very well and often can go both hypo and hypothermic quite easily), but no… not this time, my house was cold & not warming up.


I despise being cold.  My neuropathy burns. The floor is lava right now for my feet, and I’m typing in fingertip-less gloves. I love them for extra warmth and proprioception when my fingers go sausage from the cold. I also have a space heater on my feet – that are in double layered fuzzy warm awesome slippers with the essential grippy bottoms – fully necessary when you slip and tip gravity like I do. I find I love warm & fuzzy – but why are they often so so slippy.  Also wearing a winter hat… I call it managing.  This is no different from an average cold day with me. I like the warm and have come up with ways.

The horrible part is – I know it will get colder, and possibly financially painful before it gets warm/better.  Oh furnace repair person – come quick!

This brings me to the winter obligations. I love when my friends come here asking if I need anything before.   Yes please, can you bring me supplies? And by contrast,  I hate being obligated to go outside when I know my biggest trigger is cold.

I also struggle with wanting to see friends, however the consequence of going outside is the pain of getting cold.  Explaining that me going outside might not happen in the extreme cold is ongoing. Some take it better than others, to some it seems like they think I’m being stubborn and open to negotiating, as if my disability is open to negotiation.  WTF! If it were only that simple.   It’s often not because I want to stay home, but should stay home.

These are my limits. Having options are a good thing, choosing pain for social engagement – pfft! That should not be a negotiable thing, yet it continues to be.

Oh Options… like being able to have a furnace repair person come out in this cold on a Saturday night… It was only a sensor and my furnace is now fixed, and things are warming up. Winning!

While I’m being self-full in saying no to outdoors, or even saying no to simply going outside, those negotiating with me are I feel at times being super selfish in their requests and negotiations. Would they go out if it hurt?  Probably not.  Would I ask knowing this, nope.

So… This morning I went to swear at my driveway one last time via my front window with intention of gearing up in all the layers and trying my skills at snow-blowing…  still -30C and apparently feeling like -41C with the wind-chill. It was time to shovel/snow-blow… as I’ve learned that if you let fresh snow sit too long – it sets up & becomes a more challenging job.  OMG Its not even funny to try being funny at those temperatures.  So cold they didn’t even let the penguins at the Calgary zoo outside – Burr!!!

Then I noticed it… Like magic…

WHOA! I had a double take moment… seriously, it was done!

Snow Angel Gratitude!!! Who ever you are… Thank you!!!

You’ve given me more than just snow removal, you unknowingly also returned my winter independence. I can now leave my home via my vehicle in my garage without having to go through the cold and pain of shovelling my evil driveway full of snow. I don’t have to spend time outside today – OMG – I don’t have to clear a path so I can get out.  Something so simple, but for someone like me so massive.

Today I am super grateful for these gifts, and it made me cry happy tears.

2017…  its been a lesson.

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