Good morning! I say this because we care – we don’t want to see any more snow shovelers in the ER this winter. Every year it seems like there are more and more – and they’re not coming with a mild sore throat they’re worried is Covid.
1. If you have been relatively sedentary, don’t do it – don’t shovel. There are plenty of kids around that want the cash. You will enable them to buy Minecraft and defeat the Ender Dragon. Therefore, safely consider your money an investment in the future of the Far Lands. Plus you will be the “cool” neighbor. Look, no one has ever come into the ER flat on the back, shirt ripped open and purple-faced with a 295 lb ex-Marine EMT doing compressions on their chest because they paid the neighbor kid.
2. Want to do it yourself? Buy a snowblower.Talk about making the neighbors happy? Much less stress on the ticker. In and out of that cold weather in a hurry.
3. “Doc, I’m dying to get out and shovel. I LIVE for it.” Ok, I get it – I like it too. If you need to do this and you have not been taking part in strenuous exercise – talk to your doctor about whether or not you need a stress test. Oh, I get it – this is the catch. This is how you get paid, right doc? Nope, we don’t care where you get your stress test – as long as you get one if it’s necessary.
4. Keep your face (and everything else) well covered. Let the scarf or your Covid mask warm the air coming into your lungs. Where else is it going to go? Hats are crucial. Studies have shown up to 10% of our body heat is lost through our head (the 50% thing is a medical myth).
5. Repect the wind and snow – they steal your body heat. Wind is very concerning because it removes the layer of heated air surrounding our body.
6. No alcohol before going outside or while outside. Feels warm I know – it isn’t. It causes vasodilatation of skin’s vessels making us feel warm. But then the warmth goes away and we are left outside freezing our rear end off.
7. If all this fails, you are outside lifting wet snow, and chest pain or an anginal equivalent (shoulder, arm, jaw, etc.) hits – STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Wait a minute. I’m sorry, it’s not stop, drop, and roll. It’s 9-1-1. That’s right – get inside, chew 4 baby aspirin and call 9-1-1. We will meet you in the ER with the paramedic, Sven.
Walk with a Doc wants you to enjoy the great outdoors this winter, but please be careful. Also, if you feel there is someone you love who may benefit from these reminders – please forward to them. Wouldn’t you rather join us in Hawaii…