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Friday, February 10, 2017

Snowstorm Anxiety When You Have Allergies, Asthma, Hashimotos, Cellulitis Issues

I never cared for snow.  As a kid, I would play outside, but I was the first to come in.  I got cold easily, no matter how much I bundled.  Because of that, I used to bundle my own kids like that kid from A Christmas Story.  

I discovered that having Hashimoto's makes you sensitive to cold.  At several of my jobs, I used a personal heater to stay warm.  As I type this, my hands and the tip of my nose are freezing.

Pending snowstorms cause anxiety, similar to the anxiety of going out in public.  Many scenarios go through my mind with each forecast.

  • Do I have enough food in the house?  There's the old joke - I gotta get the bread and milk - for me it's very real.  Most people keep their homes well stocked.  They can eat anything.  Those who suffer with allergies can't. I try to be prepared.  I make meals I can freeze and I get out to the store to be sure I can eat for a few days.
Mom loves Shoprite's Can Can sale and any sale.  There's a lot more than pasta and sauce but just that alone can feed an army!  The gluten free pasta on mom's shelf is not for me, I can't eat corn based.  I eat rice based pasta.  
  • I live in a apartment attached to my parent's home.  My mom always kept her house well stocked. There's a refrigerator with freezer and large pantry in the kitchen. There's an extra refrigerator and freezer, large stand alone freezer and another huge pantry in the garage. The problem is, I can't eat any of it. Everyone else will be fine.  I won't.  
An ambulance stuck in the snow on Long Island.
  • I am concerned when I hear that snow, ice and bad visibility will make driving conditions bad.  A lot of people say they feel trapped.  My fear is I may need an ambulance. Will they be able to get to me?  Will they get me to a hospital fast enough?  
  • I'm terrified enough riding in an ambulance, but to ride in bad weather scares me even more.
  • Will I get treated at the hospital timely being they are so busy due to snow? 
  • There's a lot of car accidents, slips and falls and other issues that come with storms. There are only so many ambulances and responders.  Between being more busy and bad roads, it could take too long to get to someone in need.
  • Someone driving me would first need to clear the driveway, clean off the car and try to drive on ice and in snow with poor visibility. 
One of my many hospitalizations for cellulitis in my leg(s).  The doctors use a marker to outline the affected area so they can make sure the infection isn't spreading.  I also have to wear a red allergy bracelet.  Also, IV's are no fun.  
  • I worry about an infection developing suddenly.  It happened one New Year's Eve.  That night, there was a snowstorm. The infection hit after midnight. New Year's Day, my sister drove me to the Emergency Room; no doctors were open on the holiday.  It took a long time to get there in the bad weather.  That day, because it was so busy in the ER, I spent 8 hours on a gurney in the hallway awaiting a bed in the main hospital. I was being admitted.  
Snow and ice combined with New Year's Eve is a recipe for disaster and it shows in the ER's.  

How do I try to remain calm and try to assure I won't need to go to the hospital?  

  • I  make sure I  have all my medications. I double check my inhalers, emergency inhaler, Benadryl and all my prescriptions.  I remind everyone not to spray any chemicals. I ask if anyone in mom's house put anything in the oven that would cause a reaction before I go into her house.  
  • It is well known that dogs are calming. I try to pay a lot of attention to my dogs. 

This soup is tomato based and I added cauliflower and broke up lasagna noodles to add upon heating it up.  
  • I eat comfort foods, such as the soups I have frozen. To see recipe, visit this page.  
  • I watch old movies.  Classic, feel good movies like Dirty Dancing, When Harry Met Sally, Christmas Vacation.
  • I go into my parents' side of the house and chat with them and/or spend time with my husband. 
I feel the need to monitor the situation closely.  I am constantly switching to updates on the local weather channel and looking up information online. I look outside often to see what's happening.

Snowstorms cause anxiety in many people, but even more for people who have any kind of medical condition.

If you suffer with allergies, asthma, immunology issues or any medical conditions, how do you handle it during snowstorms?  Please leave a comment.   

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