Snow Days


Day two of my being stuck in due to snow/ice is coming to an end. It’s definitely melting but the paths right outside my house were absolutely covered in ice today. As much as my chair may well handle it for the short distance to the main road (which I suspect is clearly), it’s not worth the risk.  I may get out tomorrow if it’s improved a bit, I may not.


Snow is something that worries me. It’s pretty to look at but it’s also pretty damn inaccessible.


For the last several years I’ve often stressed myself in winter working on the panicked idea that I had to get my prescription as soon as it was ready. And that food shopping needed to be got pretty much immediately. There could be no waiting for a few days to replace the cheese (even if I didn’t need it straight away) because what if it snowed and I couldn’t get out for days on end and not having cheese became a real problem?!


It was never a real problem because I have family nearby and they would almost always be available to get anything I needed in a real crisis. And not having cheese would mean I missed out on some yummy meals but never become a real problem. (Med on the other hand…)


The biggest issue actually is my difficulty in asking for help. And how hard I find it to lose my independence. The unending sight of snow with no idea when I might get out again was a huge problem too because if you know you’re stuck here for three days you can cope. If you know you can get out if you want to but it’s difficult it’s copeable. If you use a wheelchair that might not manage the snow and there’s no definite end in sight it’s different.


I’ve been trying over the last year or so to be slightly less panicked about needing to do things immediately just in case.


I shopped Wednesday and grabbed a couple of extra bits due to the forecast but then realised when I got home I needed bread. As I was near Sainsburys on Thursday I picked up bread and a few extra bits again. I knew I had everything I needed for several days and if it snowed I’d be fine.


I was right, I’m absolutely fine for food and meds and everything even though I haven’t been out for two days.. I have enough bread etc to keep me going tomorrow and Monday, possibly Tuesday. Realistically the freezer and my cupboards could feed me several days after that but my meal choices may be slightly unusual.


But when I left the writers workshop on Thursday night as the first flurries of snow fell I felt panicked. I regretted that the workshops have changed venue. There is no shop near where they are now held but the big Sainsburys is a couple of minutes from the previous venue. I had a strong, strong urge to go and do a panic shop before I lost my ability to go out. To run round sainsburys picking up things I knew didn’t need but didn’t feel I could run the risk of not having.


I don’t even know what I would have bought, I just really felt I needed more food in the house because it was snowing. Things that it would make me feel better to have but would very possibly have been doomed to go uneaten.


My head knows I’m fine. That the snow will go in a few days and I’ll be out and about again – possibly even as soon as tomorrow. But my heart isn’t so sure.

Snow Days No More

I started writing a blog post on Thursday about how it was a snow day and what I was doing (mostly crochet and audiobook that day) but then my carer came and I saved it to drafts and never went back to it. And now it’s Sunday and it’s finally snow free and I’m out of the house for the first time since Wednesday. So this entry is now snow days no more.

If memory serves there were no stuck in the house due to snow days last year. Which is good. I think maybe I coped better this time to previous snowbound times. I don’t know why that is. It might be the fact that I panic shopped a lot in the days before. It might be the fact I made a conscious effort most days to not be on the Internet for the whole day without a break (crochet and audiobooks featured heavily most days but mum also came round yesterday and helped me have a sort out). Or it could just be having a carer in twice a day meaning I saw people – I’d like to think that’s not it but it could play a part.

It’s just damned annoying that I ended up missing two shows due to the snow and am now out and about again with nothing big planned for this week. But such is life.

Self Care Sunday

I’m not sure what form self care has taken this week that I can blog about.  I’ve been getting into quite a good routine, taking my baclofen and sertraline (muscle relaxant and anti-depressant) everyday, writing everyday – although not the stuff I’d really like to be writing everyday, getting a break from my wheelchair every afternoon or early evening, a fair amount of stretching but not everyday and some form of exercise most days (usually a very small amount and some days it’s been more of a phoning it in thing).

But at the same time I’ve also had a brand new PC which is very very exciting but has meant my sleep pattern has gone right out of the window and I’ve not been getting enough sleep which isn’t good!  I must work on that… the trouble is when I’m on my iPad it’s easier to be aware of how long I’ve been online or faffing around playing games because the battery % goes down and then gets so low I have to charge it.  Or it’s gets down to a point where I know I’ve been on too much because It’s less than two days since it’s last charge and it’s under a certain % (I always get two or sometimes three days out of a charge). Plus, the ipad is easier to put down and go do other stuff and go back to than a PC is. I think because for some reason I don’t like to have the PC on but not be using it.  Although this new one boots up so quickly that may become less of an issue.  I think for a first thing I need to stop putting the PC on after a certain time of night.  Must work on that.

I’ve been much less social this week, in part due to a lack of opportunity.  I had coffee with a friend on Tuesday and lunch with another on Friday and as always I’ve seen my parents.  I also went shopping on Thursday so I saw several people I know and enjoy a brief chat with at both railway stations – loads of people think it’s weird that I’m friendly with the assisted travel staff.  Make no mistake I’d not say they were my friends but I’ve known many of them for years – between the three stations I’m at most often there are at least two people who’ve known me and helped me since I first started going on the train by myself in my late teens.  But there’s nothing wrong with being friendly – it takes a lot of confidence and guts to travel on the train by myself (in fact I started getting a little freaked out on Thursday when I was put on the train at the time it was supposed to leave and then it didn’t leave for 30 minutes).  It’s not a big deal and I don’t want you thinking I’m brave for doing it.  But I have that confidence because I know the people and who they are. Anyway, I seem to have gotten off of the topic of being social.  I think it’s probably a good thing that I’ve not been out and about as much this week, I needed the break.

Speaking of breaks, one of the things I really struggle with at this time of year is the idea of snow.  I don’t go out in the snow because I don’t think it’s safe when it’s properly on the ground for my powerchair. So I tend to get all “Rah! must go out because what if today is the one day I don’t go out and then I get snowed in and can’t go out for weeks” and I go and do all the things and put pressure on myself. Plus, god forbid I should leave going to get a loaf of bread until tomorrow. I might not need it today but I have to go today because it might snow.

But lately I seem to have been doing much better at having downtime and not panicking so much about the possibility of getting snowed in.  I’ve had a few days at home lately including Wednesday.  My new PC was coming and I was planning to stay in till it came but then they text me and said it was coming mid afternoon and I thought “right I’ll go and do this and this” and then I stopped and thought “no, you’re tired you need a break.” and I stayed home. So that’s taking care of me.

That said, I have now got to the point where a day or two of snow wouldn’t go amiss to make me get a decent break from rushing.  I’m thinking if I could go to the CAB Christmas social (which we always have in January) on Tuesday evening and then wake up to snow on Wednesday morning and have it gone again Sunday that would be fabulous.

State of the Emma

I was quite torn whether to call this entry Random Bullet Points of Life or State of the Emma.

If I’m completely honest I’m not sure I’ve really got any news to share here but it feels like absolute ages since I posted something here that wasn’t a book review so I figured I probably should.

Generally things seem to be going well. I started the year off with a bang when I got a UTI a few days into it but that cleared up easily and with just one course of antibiotics so it’s all good. I am beginning to wonder if nitrofurantoin needs to be put on my do not take list of drugs though. I seemed to feel crap the whole time I took it.

The other thing that came out of that appt was that my blood pressure was checked and it was really high. I had had a really stressful morning trying to get out of the house, having shedloads of spasms and throwing my handbag across the waiting room being some of the highlights. And then I tried to ask the locum GP to check how long a course of antibiotics I usually have in my records because I have it longer than she said usually and it didn’t go too well. So it’s not overly surprising that my blood pressure was high. I had an appt to go back and get the nurse to check it but thanks to the snow I had to cancel it.

I was snowed in for a week (I could possibly have gone out the night before I did but decided not too as it was dark and I knew the paths were still icy). For the most part I coped really well with that – in fact it surprised me how unbothered I was by it. I did loads of reading and crochet and started a sort out that’s been on my todo list for ages.

There definitely was something else I wanted to mention under this heading but I’ve lost my train of thought and have no idea what it is!

I’m trying to make serious inroads into my TBR stash which has surpassed pile status approximately a year ago and has been up around the level of mountain for quite some time. The snow helped with this a lot but there is a way to go yet! I’m considering implementing a book buying ban for the next two or three months.

I also briefly considered earlier that I might make 2013 a year in which I don’t buy yarn. But then I remembered that not only did I buy a 300g ball of blue aran a couple of weeks ago, I bought a ball of yarn yesterday. Clearly this is a plan that requires more thought but certainly my stash there is in need of getting under control. That’s part of the sort out I started and I’ve been putting it into piles of yarn I think I’ll use and another of remnants and other bits I don’t think I’ll use (subcategory what the hell was I thinking buying that?!) It’s interesting how much I’d forgotten about but then find and remember what I used it for (or more likely what I wanted it for) and bits like where I bought it or when or… Memory is a strange thing sometimes isn’t it?


>Day 17 of 100 days of writing

I had thought last night that I’d probably end up writing something about numbers today. The number 17 has always been if not my favourite number one I’ve got a thing about. As a teenager playing bingo or other number games at school I’d almost always pick 17. And I longed to be 17 because in my mind that was a great age. That was the age when it would all come together for me.

Anyway… I didn’t end up writing about numbers. Mostly because The White Stuff is falling and I wrote about that.



Snow is falling
All around
The world
Just whiteness


spring up
Fights are
A good thing
Just once a year.


For some
Accidents happen
For others


Wheels and
Snow are
Not a good
Leaving the house
Is too
Much to

♥ Emma

>I’m A Cripple, Get Me Out Of Here

>Today is the 9th day running I’ve been stuck in the house and all being well…. I’m GOING OUT TOMORROW!!

So long as the weather doesn’t take a turn for the worse my friend is going to pick me up tomorrow night as we’re going to see The Hairy Bikers.  She reckons if I take my manual and she picks me up between us we’ll be fine.  I hope she’s right!

9 days since I’ve

  • worn shoes
  • sat in my powerchair
  • left the house
  • done any of my own errands or shopping
  • seen random people on the street
  • seen anyone unexpectedly
  • spent any cash.

I’ve coped a lot better than I expected I would with being stuck in.  Although I did resort to ordering Domino’s for lunch today because I wanted a bit of comfort food and also because if I ordered a pizza I could also get them to bring some of my favourite sweet brown fizzy stuff.  Being stuck in lasted a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would too.

I am looking forward to getting out again but something tells me it’s gonna be a bit strange.

But for the past six weeks or so I’ve needed to sew buttons back on my coat but haven’t gotten round to it.  You would have thought given how long I’ve been home I would have found the time but no….

>Snowbound 2010 Day Five

>(Geordie accent, male voice) 

“It’s Day Five of Snowbound, 2010. Emma, usually out and about all the time has had a good day but is slowly starting to go insane”

I have had a pretty good day today I cleaned out the fridge (yuck) and gathered up all the rubbish and recycling in the house which my sister than chucked out for me (snow is so bad I couldn’t get to my food waste or non-recycling bin even though they live by the front door although I might have got to the recycling bin which is literally right next to the door).  She also put a fresh sheet on my bed.  I did some washing too and tidied the bathroom a little.

Soph stayed round for about an hour and a half or so chatting. She had a go on my Wii too (Molly wanted to know what games I have – Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort with Just Dance on order from Amazon too).  It was good fun and we were discussing whether Sophie should get one as well.  It was almost as much fun watching Soph do canoeing and sword fighting and table tennis as it is doing it myself.

 My parents went to Tesco and got me some stuff but didn’t call to see what I wanted as it was “so early” which amuses me because my sister rang me at 10.15 and I thought she said they had just left.  They didn’t have their mobile on but they thought of the most important things.  My Dad brought it round this evening and also took my washing back with him as my dryer is not working at all right and although I can use it my mum was worrying there would be a fire.

Not long after Sophie left a really good friend called me to say she was at Sainsburys and would be coming round after what did I need?  To which I went “I haven’t got any money in the house” and she said we’d sort it later.  She got me a few more bits too including a big thing of bacon and some very yummy looking crusty bread – mmmm gonna have me a lovely lunch tomorrow!  She just stayed for five minutes or so but it was very nice to see her and chat a bit.  Hugs too are always appreciated.

I really appreciate how much people are doing for me although the independent streak in me does make it hard.  I think the thing that probably meant the most was a CAB e-mail that went round about during the snow and when I e-mailed to say “sure you’ve figured this out but I can’t do anything, can’t get out.” I got an e-mail back to ask if I was ok for supplies as she (manager) was sure something could be figured out if I needed anything.  I was really touched and a little bit choked up reading that.

The snow does seem to be melting a lot today so that’s promising but I think the forecast is still terrible.  It did try to snow a little more today but I don’t think it settled.  Hard to tell, if I’m honest.


>The snow means I haven’t left the house since I walked home as it was falling Tuesday night.  And there is no chance in hell that I’m getting out of the house tomorrow either.  Realistically at the moment I can’t see Sunday being a day out either but who knows for definite.

I was supposed to go see the nurse on Thursday; that got rescheduled to Tuesday but the pessimist in me now sees it getting rescheduled AGAIN.

The “I’ve been stuck in the house for three days with no end in sight blues” AKA Cabin Fever has just struck within the last hour or so.  I’ve actually done much better than I did last February when I was stuck in the house for four days straight (I think) and was a sobbing tearful mess by the end of day two – Thank you PROZAC!!  Of course it helps that I twigged on this was likely to happen so was able to get a good stock up of food and what have you.  Supplies were just beginning to run low tonight but would have been OK for a few days for me but my Mum called and said she was heading to the supermarket so she got me some bits as well.

I think actually other people having had to do things like get my prescription and do my shopping is the bit I find hardest.  I’m too independent for my own good sometimes.

Good news is that a courier made it to my front door this afternoon and I’m now the proud owner of a Nintendo Wii.  And even though I’ve not left the house in days I still managed to spend an absolute fortune this morning on theatre tickets… most of which will be paid for by others but it’s still all on my switch card for now.

>Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful

>I suspect that the weather will mean I can’t go to the bureau tomorrow or indeed out of the house at all.  Blah.  In fact, I would say the odds are currently not down to zero because it ain’t over till the fat lady sings and I’m not singing… yet but that they are pretty damn close to zero.

In fact having just gone and openned the front door and peaked outside between writing that paragraph and this one I’m thinking that a miracle would be needed to get me out of the house tomorrow morning because I sure as hell would struggle to go out now.

I popped into Sainsburys yesterday afternoon to get some stuff in case I was snowed in (usually I would go today) but managed to do that very clever thing where you get home and realise you’re nearly out of something vital, in this case sandwich fillings and margarine.  So when I went out to meet my friend this afternoon I popped back in to get those things and some freezer stuff.  And remembering the five days running when I couldn’t leave the house last February due to the snow I got some treats too.  It was snowing a little and just beginning to settle as I walked home.

I have a lot more perspective on that possibility now.  Partially from having had the experience previously so knowing what to expect.  But also because when I spoke to my mum earlier she told me the weather has meant that my Great Aunt hasn’t left the house since Christmas Day and is going stir crazy.  She’s in her 80s and lives a while away and quite out in the sticks.  Her more local family (she doesn’t have children) are further away than my family are from me too I think although I know she sees them regularly and they’ll be helping her out.  She probably won’t get out of the house for a few more days either.

That’s practically two weeks she’s been stuck inside… puts my probably only a few days or so stuck in the house (I hope!) into perspective.

In many ways when I talk to The Great Aunt (as she sometimes signs cards; she isn’t my only Great Aunt) I can see a lot of similarities between her and me in terms of likes and dislikes and both of us being very independently minded.  But something tells me she probably copes with being stuck in due to snow much better than I will ever do!