Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

Dr. Zhivago where are you?

My world

Uh huh. That was the scene out the windows of my world yesterday (Sunday). We ended up with another 61/2 inches bringing the total snowfall here in Cedar Rapids to a glorious 54 inches. That’s 41/2 feet. That’s up to my armpits. That’s enough, already!

It’s not close to the all-time record during the winter of 1942-43. We need another 30 inches or so to reach that record. When someone told me that, all I could think of was, “Wow, what a bleak winter that must have been, especially for Midwestern families with troops in the war.” Then I thought: “Still not too different than today.”

Roads are really treacherous around here and have been all day. Will probably continue to be all night because under all that heavy, wet snow is a layer of pure ice. 

The guy across the alley clears the alley, sidewalks and stairs for our house in exchange for the use of one of the stalls in the garage. Much to his credit, he’s kept up with the snow this winter better than the city has around our neighborhood.  He cleared the alley, walk, stairs and driveway area near the garage last night.

This morning – garbage day – I knew getting the 2 bags or garbage out would be easier, but when I got to the end of the garage I was faced with what looked like a hockey rink of sheer ice about 20-30 feet in all directions but backward.

Since I use a cane to guard against my right knee giving out, it’s awkward on the best of days to get the garbage out to the alley. This morning, in the subzero air, I stood mentally measuring if I thought I could cross the ice without falling flat on my ask yourself, not a good thing for dialysis patients whose high phosphorus levels (which suck the calcium right out of our bones) leaves us at high risk for broken bones following a fall.

I inched my way out onto the ice, pushing one of the bags in front of me with the cane, feeling none too secure. Once the bag was at the edge of the alley, I turned slowly and shuffled my way back to the relative safety of the cleared walk. 

I did not want to venture onto the ice with the second bag, but there was some serious garbage in it since our disposal has been on the fritz for a couple of weeks. The solution: Garbage bag shuffleboard. I eyed the placement of the bag, saw the ice was glossy slick and I had a pretty clear shot, so I grabbed the ties of the bag, got my feet firmly planted and gave a hefty shove.


WooHoo! I felt like I was part of a successful curling team and I didn’t even need anyone to sweep the path clean.

I got back to the garage side door and thought for a few moments that the lock in the doorknob might be frozen, but I finally got it to work. Getting out of the garage turned a little hairy when the back wheels hit the ice outside the door. Luckily, I managed to miss the snow-blade on the neighbor-across-the-alley’s pickup and get my car turned so I could slide down the alley and into the street. Jewel lived up to her name.

I’ve been hearing rumblings that another major snow storm is expected here this coming weekend. It’s tempting to start rooting to break the all-time snow fall record, but I don’t think so. Any robins bob, bob bobbing along here are gonna end up at the bottom of the deep freeze. Sheesh.


February 18, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss

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