Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Making It In

I wonder if weather forecasters realize that part of their audience listens to their reports in an almost visceral way. I think they get that truck drivers and taxi drivers and bus drivers rely on them to help plan times and routes and to make sure they make good decisions regarding their life and their work. I'm not sure they get that people with disabilities are also glued to the forecasts trying to get every bit of information from them. The weather determines a lot about what I do and don't do - this is particularly true in winter.

In winter snow covers cut curbs and makes everything slippery. My manual chair is nearly useless in the snow and my power chair does well but often there's no room on the sidewalk for me and the curbs are impassible. Work is doable because I take WheelTrans which runs 24/7 but when they ask that passengers take only emergency trips so that the system is free to serve those going to and from hospitals and treatment centres - it can be hard to think of work as being in the same category of need.

The difficulty is, they so often get it wrong. They predicted that today would be horrible for travel, I however decided to bet differently. I'm at work. Got here fine.


Having said that.

All the emotion and fuss that goes into making these kinds of decisions, the getting up at 3 to see peek out and see if travel is possible, is exhausting.


I got here fine.

Now, if they'd let me nap.


Maryclare said...

Good luck on the return trip. It is on days like this that I am really glad to be retired. MC

Andrea S. said...

Curb cuts wouldn't be so consistently buried in snow if more of the people clearing sidewalks would remember to include curb cuts in their shoveling. Even walking pedestrians sometimes need to walk in the street if curb cuts and sidewalks in general have too much snow, but although that can be dangerous for us too, I would imagine it would be more dangerous for many wheelchair riders because they are shorter (when seated, that is), and because too many people don't even think to check for anyone below walking adult height. Those curb cuts are SO IMPORTANT but so persistently neglected. I know wheelchair users who are often stuck inside from the time it snows until the snow melts. Bad enough down here in DC where it only snows a few times each winter and, barring blizzard levels of snow, usually melts within days. I assume worse up north.

For those of us who walk but who are not always well coordinated and who are already dealing with permanent effects from past ice-related falls and not anxious to deal with more, consider extra attention to pre-treating curb cuts before storms and de-icing them after. The bottom of curb cuts seem especially prone to developing puddles when snow starts to melt, and these can then re-freeze into ice. Dangerous for walking pedestrians who need to traverse them to reach sidewalks! (Dangerous for wheelchair users too?) My left knee still has a bump from my last ice-related fall nearly four weeks ago!

Anonymous said...

now that the snow is starting to fall, hope you can make it home okay!!!

Jesse the K said...

Once again, you've put into words an experience so many of us face. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I know how you feel. I live in the south and granted we do not have much of an issue with snow in south Georgia but there are other issues. It rains a lot here during the winter months. A lot of disabled people like me do not have wheel chair vans. To top it off we have eletrical wheel chairs. I know for me I cannot use a manual chair yet due to the fact that I only have 40% usage of my right arm (a lot of nerve damage due to wreck). So I am always watching my weather app on the days I have to go to wound care and doctor(I go to wound care every three days). On the days it is windy I will drag me wheels about going out because it hurts my arms like teeth without enamel would hurt if on ate something to hot or cold. So yes I think they should also include a weather report for the disabled too.