The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow and Disbeief

It snowed. In Phoenix. In Mesa. In sun country. I could hardly believe my eyes. We can have 90 degree weather this time of the year. What’s it doing SNOWING? Rain, oh, yes. When it rains here, it just pours down, and then an hour later, the roads are dry. Hail, yes. We usually have a hail storm once or twice a year. But snow? Never. Well, a couple of times it got to North Scottsdale, about 30 miles away and quite a bit higher. But yesterday, I was driving on Main Street in Mesa in snow. I lived in Anchorage, AK, for many years. I learned to live with it. My kids sledded, skied, made snow angels, had snowball fights, the whole deal. I drove with snow piled six feet high on the side of the road. I drove on ice covered by snow. Oh, yes, that was tricky! And I moved away to avoid the snow. I gladly gave away my heavy coat, my snow boots, my gloves. And here I am, driving in the snow again.

And why am I ranting about snow in my LBD blog? Well, because the disbelief that I felt when I saw actual snow on my windshield must be similar to what a person feels when they get that LBD diagnosis. Well, I’m sure my feelings weren’t as strong, or as dismayed, but they were definitely as unbelieving. I hadn’t planned for snow. In fact, I’d planned against it. I had a lot of things to do and NONE of them involved snow. “Why is this happening to me?” I thought. “Why am I driving in snow again? I’m not prepared. No snow tires, hey, not even very good tires, period.” And the family who gets a LBD diagnosis is saying stuff like that too: “Why us? I don’t believe it. It must be a mistake. We aren’t prepared. We have lots of things to do and NONE of them involves dealing with such a debilitating disorder.”

The snow soon went away. True, I can still see it very low on the hills, but I don’t have to drive in it anymore. And soon, it will even be gone from the hills. That’s the difference between my situation and the family with Lewy. Lewy doesn’t go away. It may recede, but it never leaves. Just as I learned to live with snow in Anchorage all those years ago, the family has to learn to live with Lewy. They learn to traverse the scary, difficult roads of delusions, choking, etc. and survive. They can even learn to make snow angels, that is, to find enjoyment. The difference is that eventually, I escaped. You don’t escape from Lewy. You have to play it out. That’s where the similarity ends.

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