February 12, 2006

winter finally arrives

After waiting for four months for winter to arrive, it came today - in a big, big way. Heck, I even experienced my first "thunder snow" - I always thought that was a myth 'til now. Still working on the pictures from the camera, but here's one from my V3. This was taken in an average and unbiased section of snow. Poll error is +/- 3%.

As you can see, we got what in meteorological terms is called a "shitload" of snow, one step up the scale from a "buttload", which we previously dealt with in the great President's Day blitz of '03. This is not to be confused with a "metric buttload" of snow, which is a much smaller - and more concrete- measure, approximating the amount of snow one actually has to shovel to get his stoop and sidewalk clear. This makes me concerned for my "large" and elderly neighbors, who are at risk of suffering the "white death" - or shoveling-induced heart attack. How could anything so pretty be so deadly? (Most of my elderly neighbors seem to have family come over and do the job for them, so don't worry.)

I enjoy shoveling snow. I don't know why, but I do. I guess it feels like good, honest work on which nothing is riding but my own satisfaction. The city demands certain minimum standards of sidewalk shoveling, but I like to go above and beyond. This morning was my first time shoveling here at the new apartment and I learned a lot - like I have a great front area to dump excess snow easily, but that I also have to first dig upward out of my below-grade entrance. I also have an area of the curb where no parking is allowed and that is GREAT for ditching extra snow. Due to the overwhelming amount of snow, I only did one good clear shovel-width along the sidewalk, but that's still more than my neighbors managed.

Unfortantely, I am learning the hard way that perhaps some of my lung problem is just sheer cold. I had to stop and rest several times while I shoveled and I felt out of shape. But even later, just for a quick trip to the convenience store for a decaf coffee and some Bounce, I was walloped with a giant asthma attack, which eased up while in the store, but came on again full-force on the walk back. I really must be more pointed in my questions I put to the doctor. Perhaps, in addition to antibiotics, I need a dose of hookworm. On the other hand, I didn't have that level of asthma while shoveling...perhaps the nebulizers I did in between are responsible for making me more susceptible to a cold-related asthma attack?

In health- and snow-related news, ABC ran this article about snowshoe programs in the Northeast. Apparently, several high schools up here have quietly begun most of the country's 500 snowshoing phys ed programs to help combat childhood obesity during the winter. This is a very good idea! I've never been snowshoeing myself, but if I can ever get my lungs back on track and be an "athlete" again, I would very much like to learn and go on some trips. Snow makes me feel so alive!


nickt said...

I guess you'll have a few days off now. Enjoy the powder!

Steve said...

Hmmm Intertesting theory about the nebulizer txs making you more prone to "cold-related" asthma attack.
You use Albuterol in the neb?

Brooklyn said...

not in the neb, but I do it as a puffer beforehand. I think it's the TOBI that's irritating my lungs. If I end up on IV tobra, then I'll at least get a break from the inhaled versions for a couple of weeks.

Steve said...

I could write a thick book on the physical and psychological effects of prednisone.Ive taken it my entire life. Currently Im on the drug appx 30-40% of the time.( read " more about my asthma " on the sidebar of my blog)
Its a double edged sword.
It can work wonders but, the side effects can be severe. I guess the bottom line is...if it makes you breath easier, use it! but, try to taper off as quickly as possible.

partyrunner said...

i totally feel you on the shoveling snow thing. i even like digging my truck out.

my friend and i were introduced to snowshoeing just a few weeks ago. i'd never even heard of it. running snowshoes are expensive, and i wonder how much use id get in pa, but i'd love to try it.