I have a love hate relationship with winter.
Who wouldn’t be caught up in the stillness and beauty of a crisp chilly winter morning? Or the silent solitude of watching the snow falling against the glow of the moonlight? Who doesn’t dream of the magic of a White Christmas?
Winter is a beautiful time of year.
It also wreaks havoc on my body and mind which eventually leads to frustration, depression and exasperation.
Cold and Cerebral Palsy
My body is so sensitive to temperature. When I feel cold I tighten up which increases the muscle tension that I already live with. If I’m not at home and/or in control of my surroundings my body feels like a ticking time-bomb that has no hope of feeling warm or relaxed ever again. Of course, that’s an exaggeration, but it is how my mind works. This leads me to frustration and feeling of total defeat. Whatever fun event I may be at or planning to be at now becomes an obligation with attendance a chore. My mood deflates and I resent not only my condition, pain and discomfort, but the person or group who has invited me out or welcomed me into their home.
It’s undeniable that cold weather causes me to move even more stiffly than usual. If the cold is prolonged it will lead to pain.
Cold and Mood
Then there’s the havoc it wreaks on my mind. I live in a climate that while rainy, it is seldom cold enough to freeze or snow. This winter has been an exception and it’s now been a full week since I left the house. The town is poorly prepared to manage snow so sidewalks and walkways are danger zones of ice and slipperiness. My wonderful partner has made every effort to clear our own walkway and provide me a safe path from door to vehicle, but what good is the ability to get into my truck if I can’t safely make my way from my truck to my destination once I arrive?
So I stay at home. Finishing my Christmas shopping online and sending my partner to collect other random necessities. As a normally independent woman it drives me bonkers to have to make a list, eventually scratching things off as I determine they “can wait” until I can get them myself (I don’t dare share that with Joe, as he’d do anything I ask without question).
Every now and then I manage a day out in the snow, with my two favorite “people” – Sleeman & Stella. I think that’s what I have been missing the most with the increase in pain and subsequent reduction in my mobility.
Sleeman is 9 years old now. I was on my own when I got him and having the responsibility of a puppy was an awesome motivator to get me out of the house and going on walks. Of course no ankle-biter for me, I got a wolf-lab puppy that would grow to potentially 100 pounds. Living so near to rivers, mountains and lakes there are endless possibilities less than 15 minutes in any direction. Often on weekends we’d take off in the morning, backroads map in hand but no specific destination. We found some great places and the venture out always had a way of enhancing my mood for the week to come. He used to come to work with me so we often started and ended our workdays with a walk out at a nearby lake.
Stella. lol Stella. Now 6, I got her because I was convinced Sleeman “needed a friend”. I love her to death but admit that having her has done nothing to make my life easier. lol I had hoped that having a “sister” would tame his hyperness when in public or around other dogs, but her presence has been such a challenge. She’s so high strung with endless energy to burn. The dynamic of these two dogs has made it much more difficult to take them out on my own but I still manage every now and then.