Give Winter the Boot
I caught myself looking at the big online seller site at a pair of Totes Winter Boots – nothing fancy, but they would be quite functional for me. But then, as I started to select my size and put a pair in my cart to check out, a tiny voice in my head said ‘Who are you kidding?’ I stopped and thought, 'The voice is absolutely right, I don’t need those boots because if it is snowing enough that I need boots, I won’t be venturing out.' Besides, they weren’t even cute boots but a plain old functional pair of Totes.
I say "no" to snow
It’s not that I dislike snow, although I have to admit that winter is not my first, second, nor third favorite season. I go out in the cold and can handle the wind and such, but when it comes to snow, I begin to channel the drug campaigns of the ’80s with the ‘Just say no!’ mantra in my thoughts. The prospect of slip-sliding away in the white stuff is enough to keep me housebound.
Snow can be dangerous when coupled with my MS spasticity
The spasticity in my legs from multiple sclerosis can be crazy, and I often walk like the tin man from Oz in need of a good lube job. I shuffle my feet more than step, and scooping my way through drifts is not my idea of a good time. Nor is it a safe time. Snow is beautiful and I really enjoy it, but that is from the warmth of my home and not traipsing through it. I view a fresh blanket of the white stuff as a trap just waiting to take me down.
Snow safety tips
Unfortunately, my reality is that, at times, I do have to go out in the elements, as do we all. I turned my attention from boot shopping to online snow safety tips and found some great ones I would like to briefly share as a reminder to you and me.
- Give yourself extra time to get where you need to go, either by foot or in a car. Travel in snow can usually take longer.
- Don’t let hidden hazards be invisible because you can’t see them. Yes, it’s cold and we like to bundle up, but be sure to keep your vision unobstructed so you can see the snow and spots of ice.
- Shuffling is okay when it comes to walking on ice if you get surprised and find you have to maneuver over the slick stuff. For a change, if you look around you will see everyone is doing the shuffle with you, and it is the safest way to move.
- Once you have arrived inside, don’t overlook that your soles are wet and can pose a hazard by making the floors slippery. If possible, wipe your feet just like our moms taught us.
- Make the weather person your friend, and listen to the forecasts and plan your excursions around the forecast. With today’s technology, it is almost always possible to know what tomorrow’s elements will be like which explains the crowds in the grocery when stormy weather is in the forecast.
Making it through the winter
There are certainly other ways you can stay safe if you have to venture outdoors in the snow, ice and slush of winter but these are my top tips. I wish we could give winter the boot and skip it entirely, but with increased awareness, we can make it through another winter season.
Wishing you well,
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if others with MS have experienced it too?