Category Archives: air pressure

Awaiting the Storm

If you listen to the news, which I haven’t but Richard, in an uncharacteristic display of interest regarding the weather, has been keeping abreast of the latest news by reading updates on the NYTimes online, you already know Hurricane Sandy is heading inland and may or may not hit New York City at some unknown point…  it’s hard to say. Meanwhile, everything is shut. All the stores are closed, all public transportation has screeched to a halt, friends of ours who are in “Zone A” have had the boilers in their building shut off since yesterday evening, some others have been evacuated, and yet, other than the occasional breeze and light sprinkle, there is nothing to suggest anything is amiss.

On Saturday as Nic and I did our weekly grocery shopping run, Nic commented on the long lines. The typical four-hour window given for delivery of one’s groceries had been suspended and other than thinking it strange that so many more people were out getting groceries, it didn’t occur to me to be concerned.  It has to be said, we do not watch the news on television and my reading of the NYTimes online is topic specific.  When Nic asked why so many people were grocery shopping I said something about how it was always like this on Saturdays and then went into a lengthy explanation about typical Monday through Friday work weeks and how it made sense that Saturday was a good day for grocery shopping. By the glazed expression on my eldest child’s face, I’m pretty sure I lost him after the first 30 seconds. Looking back, the incredulous expression on the woman’s face directly behind us now makes sense and I feel a little saddened to realize it was not a look of awe at my brilliant analysis of the shopping habits of fellow New Yorkers.

Last night I explained to Emma that there was a big storm headed our way and because of it, school would be closed and that there might be heavy rain during the night, but that we were all going to be safe.  I was a bit more concerned that the changing air pressure might wake her in the night, causing her pain and upset.  When she woke this morning and came running into our room, I said, “Em, has it started raining yet?”  She said, “Rain, lightning and thunder!”

“Really?” I said, peering out into the darkness.  “I don’t hear any rain.”

“It’s raining.  No school,” Emma said, with the kind of unerring certainty that does not invite argument.   Then she pulled the bed sheets up over her head.

I asked Em if she wanted to go up on the roof to see first hand what the weather was like.  I grabbed my camera and rain gear .  “Oh honey,” Richard said as he watched me zip up my rain jacket, “you’re going to document the storm,” he wiggled his fingers to make quotation marks.  “I love that.”

“It hasn’t hit us yet,” I told him.  “It might.  Later.  You never know.  They’re saying 95 mile per hour winds and 10 foot waves.  Maybe I’ll take the kids to the river later,” I announced.

“I love that you’re going out to record the weather and not hunkering down into fear-bomb-shelter mode,” he looked at me with what I’m pretty sure can only be described as pure, unadulterated, adoration and admiration. (I am convinced I’m reading his look correctly and NOT the way I completely misinterpreted the look of the woman in the grocery store.  Of course, I have been wrong before…)

Em on the roof just now in appropriate, pre-Sandy, attire

Air Pressure, Autism and How To Make A Perfect Arnold Palmer

Em has a cold.  When Em has a cold it’s stressful to her.  She repeatedly holds her nose and blows, despite being told this will not reduce the pressure she feels in her head, she does it anyway.  Maybe it momentarily does release the pressure and that’s why she keeps doing it.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that having a cold along with a change in air pressure causes her tremendous discomfort and pain.  A friend of mine, who is also Autistic told me her head feels as though it’s going to explode when the air pressure changes.  She told me it’s so excruciatingly painful she loses the ability to speak.

While I do not share in Em’s pain due to the barometric pressure, I did manage to throw my back out Friday afternoon.  No this is not going to be a “woe is me” post, I promise.  I could barely walk on Saturday and so Richard, being the all around amazing, wonderful, practically perfect guy that he is, took Em to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ending with the Natural History Museum where they played an extended elevator game. (Emma rides the glass elevator in the biolife section where an enormous whale is suspended from the ceiling and a video plays on a massive screen showing the beauty of the ocean and the slow, march towards its inevitable death because of mankind’s negligence and refusal to take responsibility, while Richard pops into view and pretends to scream, and Emma, safely cocooned inside the moving glass elevator hysterically laughs.)  This game can go on for a very long time.  Thankfully Emma was NOT slowed down by her cold or the pain caused by the air pressure.

By the time they returned home I was able to hobble up to the roof with Em where she insisted on wearing this outfit.  It’s a new take on the standard knight costume, a kind of King Arthur’s knight meets one of the witches from Macbeth.  Personally I think it totally works and can we all take a moment and admire Emma’s pose.  (No.  I did not set this up.  She saw the camera and struck a pose unprompted..)

Last night, having spent yet another jam-packed day going to MOMA and (yes again) to the Natural History Museum with her awesome dad, Emma’s cold had worsened only slightly and my back had not improved.  “You two are quite the pair,” Richard observed as I hobbled over to Em’s bedroom, carrying my iPad, while making (almost inaudible) groaning noises.

“I’m going to read to her and then it’s zombie time,” I warned him.  Lest any of you conclude this is referring to some form of kinky foreplay specific to Richard and me, let me dispense with this notion.  It’s not.  We are catching up on season two of the series ‘The Walking Dead’, which Richard has tried to get me to watch for about six months.  Given my weakened state I finally gave in and found I rather enjoyed it.  Lots of zombies, end of the world as we know it, great non-zombie characters and it’s only while watching a zombie show that one can truly appreciate the following conversation: “That was totally unrealistic!  Zombies can’t move that quickly.”  Or “Gross.  How can a zombie have that much blood in their skull?”  Or  “So, wait… they eat humans?  But how are there so many of them?  I mean are the zombies basically left-overs?  Why would they just bite one human and devour another, seriously I don’t get it…”

And then, as though this might explain everything, Richard asked, “Want to go back and start from the first episode?  You’ve missed a lot.”

“No.  That’s okay.  Just keep filling me in.”

So when I was jolted awake at 3:45AM by a body (Emma’s) lying practically on top of me, I just rolled over in a zombie induced state of undead exhaustion.  I heard Richard get up and take her back to her bedroom and ten minutes after he returned to our bed, having immediately fallen back asleep, I heard Emma crying.

I grimaced in pain as I made my way to her bedroom where she had the lights on and was whimpering “Mommy come.  Ears popping.  Go see Mommy nurse.”

“Oh Emmy.  I’m sorry.  Want me to lie down with you for a little while?”

“Mommy stay.”

I promptly fell asleep only to be abruptly awoken, a few hours later when my face hit the floor, having fallen out of bed, either that or Emma pushed me in an attempt to gain a few more inches of room on her twin bed.  In a dazed state I slowly stood up and found, much to my surprise, my back felt fine!

“I think falling out of Em’s bed this morning made my back better,” I announced to Richard as we got breakfast for the children.

“Really?” he said.   Then he added, “Cheaper than a chiropractor.”

“And not as painful as a zombie bite.”

As an added plus, Emma seemed to feel much better this morning too!

Lest anyone accuse me of ‘making lemonade from lemons’, I need to add that I was voted, “Most Negative” in high school, a high school, by the way, of over 3,000 students.  Just sayin’… Plus, I don’t much care for lemonade, unless it’s in an Arnold Palmer and even then limeade is preferable.

The Perfect Arnold Palmer

Fill two-thirds of a glass with brewed, cooled English Breakfast Tea, add Limeade and a splash of Cran-Raspberry juice, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Voila! 

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