Spring is in the air in western North Carolina. It has been a long winter here. This winter has been colder, with more winter weather than we have had in several years. The White Christmas was pleasant for most, but after a year of practicing social distancing and being unable to get out and about, the darkness and cold have left Asheville residents with significant cases of cabin fever. 

It’s been almost a year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shocked our country. It seemed like everything changed almost overnight. The NBA canceled some events mid-game as the nation suddenly went into lockdown. New terms entered our vocabularies, such as social distancing, remote work, and remote learning. We found new ways to birthdays and holiday traditions during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many have lost people and witnessed love ones suffer. Healthcare workers became heroes, and many have facilitated miraculous recoveries.

Life-changing events alter how we look at ourselves and the world. These can be good or bad events. Some life-changing events seem like they might seem bad, but over time, they change a person for the better. 

“There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States…Approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year.”

No matter what the cause, limb loss is a significant event in someone’s life. It may well be the most difficult or traumatic experience they face. And then, they are staring down a lengthy, often trying process of adjusting to a new normal. It can also be trying, in very different ways, for those around them. 

Winter is upon us here in the mountains of western North Carolina. It can be a magical time of year with frequent snowfall in the higher elevations. Asheville averages about a foot of snow annually, but Haywood County and the ridges on the Tennessee border often experience two feet or more from November to April. Residents of the area know that conditions can seemingly change in an instant, especially when traveling from one elevation to the other. 

For people with limb loss, navigating winter weather with your artificial limb can be challenging. We want to help you get through the season without incident. Here are five tips to help you stay safe during winter.