Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK

Coping - or not coping - with snow

A few years ago I could still just manage to sweep/shovel the snow from my door, along the path and around my car and even dig out small areas where it had been compacted into ice. It was extremely hard work ( while trying not to slip or lose my balance) and very tiring.

I was astonished once by my neighbour asking to borrow my broom, brushing the snow off his car (while I waited, shivering) handing the broom back to me - and driving off ! That was the year my other neighbour parked in the area I had laboriously cleared for turning my car and plonked his wheelybin in the area I had dug out for mine.

Now in 2017 my ramp and path are icy under an inch of snow, and over 2 days I have cleared and salted about four yards, with another 15 or so to go - even to reach the car. It is infinitely more difficult now, juggling with crutches, shovel and salt bucket.

I had two visitors today; one called in this morning, the other in the afternoon. The first who has MS and is recovering from foot surgery offered to clear the path, but of course I couldn't let her do that. The second (perfectly fit) did do a couple of very small tasks after I asked. But when I mentioned the fact that I had only managed to clear a tiny bit of the ramp/path (which was obvious to anyone approaching or leaving the house) there was absolutely no reaction at all. I didn't ask for a third favour, but I do feel a little bit sort-of not-very-well-treated.

Oh well, I should be able to reach my car by Monday or Tuesday (even if I can't walk round it to de-snow it) , and I should be grateful that people are prepared to come for a coffee and chat - and that I'm not about to run out of vital supplies.

Or it might thaw.

6 Replies

Hi Amanita,

Happy New Year and I hope you are well. The callousness and rudeness of some people is very surprising. When I was first diagnosed, you would expect the people close to you to show concern - we would if someone we knew was diagnosed with a permanent crippling illness - it's not to much too ask. - my parents have passed away as well as my father in law so I only have a mother in law . I couldn't keep up with my active job so I had to give up work. We couldn't pay the bills on one wage so you expect my mother in law to sell her million dollar house and help her son out - but NO!!!

My husbands cousins totally ignore the fact that I use a walking stick when nine months ago I was a very active person. I have seen them 3 times in 2 months - too much

It's too much to ask people to show some concern and to ask if you're okay. I get more courtesy from strangers than people I know. I guess that's how some people are and we just have to deal with it - PITY


Hi Amanita. It is easy to feel a bit hard-done by, and perfectly understandable. I don't have the problem with the snow - we don't get it much here, and when it does snow, I just don't go out! Of course, I realise that if you work then you have to go out. A practical suggestion - could any of your (nicer!) nearby neighbours help? Do any of them have teenagers who would be willing to help? Or a church nearby who may not realise that people nearby are struggling? Or is there a group on Facebook that covers your town and you could ask for help? I hope the snow clears up quickly for you (I have no idea where you live). Best wishes, Dawn.

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Snow for me unfortunately is a no go area my crutches go one way and I go the other so its batten down the hatches time when the snow comes

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I'm so sorry to hear your dilemma. I live near Chicago so our winters can be bad. I've been lucky so far. I'm not in crutches. But winters are very difficult for me. If I slip and fall there is no way that I'm going to get myself up. My wife looks out for me so I don't share your problem. I think that somehow you need to find someone that will assist you on those bad winter days. It sounds like you have inconsiderate neighbors and no family assistance. Maybe you can reach out to your church or other groups you're involved in. You definitely should not be shoveling. Start being vocal. Maybe somebody out there will hear and do a good deed.

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Lose the crutches for winter and get a walker much safer my family's very good for helping almost to much hovering but if I fell I'd be done considering I've had a full hip replacement due to arthritis so that was enough for awhile I'm just very cautious or stay in if weather is bad

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Very many thanks for all your thoughtful replies. I am in a cul-de-sac of three houses in a village in Scotland, so we have winters, but not on a Chicago scale ! I have no living relatives at all to keep an eye on - or ignore - me. The broom-borrowing neighbour is affable but never volunteers to help, though has done a few small things (e.g. lifting something out of the car) when I've asked. The horrid space-swiping neighbours have been replaced by a very much nicer and friendlier couple, but he works long hours and she has health problems.

I am really bad at asking people for help, even though I do have a handful of friends in the village. It seems like imposing on them.

Salvation did come, to my huge relief - in the form of one of those friends, who I don't think of as particularly robust. She came round for a chat yesterday afternoon, and insisted on setting to work with shovel and salt, and had the whole route to my car cleared in about 15 minutes. I was tremendously grateful to her.

I hadn't thought of using a walker outside, Busyma - I use one indoors when getting out of bed. Is it less likely to skid on ice than my crutches? I didn't even feel safe hanging on to the wooden rails each side of the ramp when the paving was so slippery.

I have recently had two falls on other people's wet outdoor steps even when being extra-careful (no damage done thank goodness as I subsided in a sort of loose heap and didn't hit any sharp corners) - so my confidence is pretty minimal.


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