Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow and an Injured Toe

I’m writing this with my right foot elevated on pillows and the big toe wrapped in an ice pack. The toe was injured last night in a slip on the ice.

On Saturday, I bought supplies for the upcoming ice storm. We had everything we needed, we thought. But last night we realized we were running low on cat food.

So I bundled up and ventured outside to walk to a nearby convenience store. Walking would be safer than trying to drive, I thought. And yet I knew I would still need to be careful, as "black ice," the kind of ice that looks like water on pavement, is hazardous not only to motorists, but to people walking.

I had no difficulty at first, but when I was a few steps from my destination my foot slid on a patch of black ice and I fell sideways. I managed to break my fall in such a way as to avoid breaking a limb, but my right big toe took the full force of my body crashing to the pavement. Ouch.

At first the pain was not so bad. I was able to pick myself up and limp into the store to buy the cat food. But as I started home (moving much more carefully than before) the pain intensified.

Diane, who once worked as a nurse, guessed that I had suffered a sprain, as well as a slight metatarsal fracture. She performed first aid, treating the toe with ice for a while, then applying a compress bandage and splint (fashioned from a yardstick). Today we continue to alternate between ice and compress.

I can get around on a pair of crutches--a souvenir from a case of gout I had back in the 80s. I always thought those crutches might come in handy again, and so they have.

Meanwhile, it has begun to snow. The snow is not as hazardous as the ice. However, ice is expected to return later and mix with the snow. Thus, driving (and walking) will continue to be hazardous through tomorrow at least.

It is quite a winter storm, stretching from Mexico to Maine, and it is the longest in duration I have ever seen here in Central Texas ...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Waiting for the Ice Storm

Harsh weather in Central Texas this weekend. Yesterday we woke to reports of flooding throughout Austin and the surrounding area. Thundershowers had been expected, but the sheer amount of rain was a surprise to everyone. Also, without warning, a tornado hit San Marcos, destroying the police station and a few other buildings. Since then, the rain has slackened and the floodwaters receded, but tonight the weather is expected to worsen. We are told it is a certainty that the Arctic blast that has caused so many problems in North Texas, Oklahoma, and the Midwest, will move all the way into the Austin area. By tomorrow morning, another storm system will strike, but this time it will be an ice storm. Driving conditions will be extremely hazardous. Therefore, everyone is being advised to stay home, if at all possible, and be sure to have enough food and other supplies to last three days.

I went out yesterday through the cold, lashing rain and bought our supplies. And now here we sit, on this wet, grey day, waiting for the ice storm ...