Monday, October 29, 2012

Hunkered Down in The Woo

Yep, we're hunkered down in Worcester, affectionately known as "The Woo" to many. We've been buffeted with much rain and wind today as we sit on the outer edge of Hurricane Sandy's reach. Fortunately, we haven't lost power nor seen much impact from Sandy. 

Many of you will recall that last year, just about this time, we had an October Nor'easter that dropped a lot of snow in these parts. We lost power for more than 3 days and ended up spending 2 nights in a hotel and 2 nights at my mother's home on Cape Cod. 

Although widespread power outages were expected, I was cautiously optimistic we'd avoid last year's fate. First off, no snow was forecast here. It was the heavy, wet snow on trees still full of leaves that brought down so many power lines last year. Second, the utility companies must have figured out it cost more to go around repairing lines after storms like last year's than policing the limbs and trees overhanging their wires, so much pruning has occurred since last year, reducing the likelihood of power outages from limbs and trees falling on lines. Lastly, we live on a street with no power lines or telephone poles, so no falling trees would impact this neighborhood, power-wise.

"Expect the unexpected and unexpected never happens," said Norton Juster in The Phantom Tollbooth. Following his maxim, I spent most of yesterday preparing for a possible outage, even one severe enough to force us out of the house and into a hotel. Retrieved Skip's manual wheelchair from storage and cleaned it off. Charged up the power chair, the hoyer lift we'd need if we decamped and every other chargeable thing in the place. Gassed up the car, got cash, etc. etc. 

At first, I was mostly preparing for us to leave with an outage, as we had last year. But as time wore on, I realized we'd probably be able to stay at home if we lost power. The key difference between this year and last is: cold. Our house got down to about 60 degrees within hours of the outage, and then kept dropping, far too cold to comfortably stay there. Here, it's been in the 50s all day and now the temp is climbing with tomorrow projected to hit 70. I only heard the heat come on a time or two today it's been so mild. 

Happily, all the preparations were unnecessary as we've not lost power and the worst of the storm has passed. It rained all day. We experienced winds gusting up to 55mph. Now the winds are about 20mph with gusts up to the high 30s. We could still lose power ... MW just sent a text about 20 minutes ago saying that they'd just lost theirs ... but it becomes less likely with each passing minute. 

I'd say the biggest effect of the day has been caused by the low pressure. Apparently, the pressure is phenomenally low and it set some kind of record. The low pressure has given me a hellacious headache and caused all sorts of problems with my inner ears. I've been feeling a bit of vertigo and queasiness, so I took Zovran and Meclizine, my one-two punch of drugs to minimize the effects of my Meniere's disease. (Speaking of which, 2 weeks ago, I had a whopper Meniere's attack and had Skip call 911 to have an ambulance take me to the ER. I couldn't stand a 10-hour attack of vertigo and vomiting with the ground heaving like I was on a ship in a choppy sea. The EMT gave me Zovran and, voila, the nausea stopped! I'd never had Zovran before, but you better believe I got a prescription for it the day after my ER visit.)

So, the stress of pre-storm worry and today's waiting out the storm has taken its toll and I'm feeling pooped. Skip's already in bed. I just have to finish the dishes and take the dogs out then I, too, shall head to bed. When I wake up tomorrow, I hope for continued electricity and a return to normal air pressure. 

Hope you are all safe and snuggled in your homes tonight!


Diane J Standiford said...

Glad it went ok. Meniere's disease, our chef in has that, he loves to talk about it. I am tuned to the Weather Channel and wishing the best for all my friends.

kmilyun said...

thanks for the update glad you have power and are safe!

Cranky said...

Thanks for your notes, both of you. Sitting here Tuesday morning drinking my first cup of coffee, a pup on either side of me on the couch. The skies are still quite grey but the air is still and I believe the pressure has normalized because all the weird head stuff is over.

Muffie said...

Sorry about the Meniere's, but glad you also came through this storm unscathed. We were fortunate as well, despite the fact that the point of land impact is just 40 miles east. Oh my poor NJ shore!

Cranky said...

Just read your post on your blog, Muffie. So glad you came through with little effect. It's terrible what's happened to NJ and NY from this storm.

crafty said...

A native Mass-hole, I never knew they called it "the woo."

Glad everything went ok, as it did here.

Cranky said...

I never knew it was the Woo, either, until we moved here. We call it Woos-tah, in honor of Boston accents such as Skip's. (For those who haven't heard me speak, I don't have a Boston accent.)

So glad all went okay for you folks.

Keep on keeping on!

lightning36 said...

Glad to hear that you made it through the nasty weather so well. Bummer on the health problems, though.

Sounds like things are going well in the new digs. So happy that it sounds like you and Skip made a great decision.

Best wishes -- and make sure you take care of yourself. Take those breaks you need to keep you at your best.

Cranky said...

Light - thanks for your note. Taking care of oneself is an issue for all caregivers, and especially so for me. More on this in my next post.