Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winter Cold Snap Highlights our Family's Vulnerability

We are such weather wimps in Seattle. Our climate here is so moderate that we rarely endure snow or bitter cold. But this week, snow and tempertures in the teens have frozen our hilly streets, making the side streets impassable. Schools have closed, and so has my medical clinic.

As soon as the snow started coming down in earnest, I began to strategize about Steve's dialysis. He couldn't miss treatments, of course. And our driveway is steep enough that we really cannot drive him out of here. Moreover, he requires a cabulance or Access bus for transportation because of his wheelchair.

So, we just hunkered down and took care of dialysis at home. We haven't been able to get out in a couple of days - and we really haven't needed to.

But it has highlighted for me the sense of true vulnerability we have as a family with a disabled person who requires ongoing life-sustaining treatments.

So what to do?

For the moment, we'll just keep on doing what we're doing. But I'll start stocking our pantry a little differently, planning ahead for more meals on hand. I think we're OK in the emergency preparedness area, but I'll firm this up a bit. Bottled water, extra blankets, flashlights are not frills. Particularly if the power went out again.

And I'll breathe a little easier when tomorrow's Home Hemodialysis treatment is done, and "in the bank."

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

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