Posted by: guinness222 | September 13, 2008

Hurricane weary,…a real thing!

      I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a “condition” which I’ve named “Hurricane Weary”, or “HW Syndrome”. (If the democrats and Obama win the election I am going to apply for aid and support as a “victim” of this dreaded disease. If the McCain/Palin juggernaut prevails,….well like all good Republican Reformers I’ll just suck it up and move on, (sigh).

     So what is “HW Syndrome”, what are the “symptoms of this scourge? Well it’s a seasonal affliction initially. It usually manifests itself in mid-May and ebbs and flow until just before Christmas. Tightening in the chest, growing anxiety, loss of appetite from slight to severe depending on the surrounding meteorlogical conditions, propensity to go to bed early, slip into “escape naps”, and a significant heightening in anxieties, about everything.

     The syndrome is subject to brief six to fourteen day cataclysmic cycles which become evident in a “squirreling” pattern, whereby batteries, bottled water, canned vegatables, fruits, etc. are purchased and stockpiled in garages and pantries. Cordless drill batteries are all kept fully charged, and tested often, plywood is checked for deterioration and quantity and stroked lovingly (with the grain of course) each time you go by it, leaning there in the garage or storage shed, ready to serve you at a minutes notice. A minimumm of two or three hundred 1 1/2″ Phillips head screws are on hand and ready as well. (Don’t EVEN think of re-arranging or hiding any of these “security blankets” from a “HW” victim, even as a prank, albeit well intended. They may visibly begin to shake, redness of the face, bulging veins in the neck and profuse sweating will ensue.)

     Another symptom is an autonomic reflex to “click-in” on the weather channel while otherwise enjoying a relaxing evening at home watching television. (This condition is usually accompanied by repeated requests to dine in the living room or den, within easy reach of the channel changer and in line of sight to the television.) Television watching patterns will change considerably. Police and Medical emergency programs will become more prevalent, even sixth time re-runs. Episodes of “The world’s deadliest Jobs” will become more frequently watched, and the “Weather Channel” click-in will intensify, particularly at twenty minutes before the hour during any approaching storm. (This insures the “HW” patient that they are totally aware of the conditions. And if the old bald “Dr. Somebody” appears at that time to provide the storm briefing,  the syndrome rachets up into a full scale anxiety episode, and the only thing an onlooker can do is stay out of the way, and be as calm as possible.

      In the event that a severe storm or Hurricane subsides or is projected to go elseware there is a cautionary reprieve of anxiety symptoms, but a “maximum alert status”, tracking chart and grease pencil, and never less than five cases of beer on hand level is still monitered closely unitl the National announcement is made that the storm has made landfall somewhere else and FEMA( Federal Emergency Management Agency) is already on the ground and doing their thing.

     If the storm does not go somewhere else the “HW” patient tends to go into long periods of absolute silence, minimal communication with anybody, and continuous and constant scanning of the skies and judging of wind speed and direction. There will be no other Television station allowed on the TV but “The Weather Channel”, and at some point as the syndrom intensifies to an apex, the victim will exhibit an uneerie calmness, produce a huge long, sigh, and exit for the garage or shed. There will be a flurry of activity, a number of orders barked at everyone within earshot, and the plywood will go up over the windows and the doors. The home will now more resemble an early human cave dwelling, with no outdoor light inside, and a period of silence and acceptance of the imminent arrival of the storm, all this is usually ten to fifteen hours in advance of the predicted arrival.

      The syndrome stays at this pitch and intensity for about 24 hours, or until the worst of the storm passes, then there is a collapse and total exhaustion evidenced in the victim and they must be prodded to remove the plywood, and inspect the area for damages. Generally at this time the victim will exhibit strong urges, even compelling actions to leave the home, “go for a ride”, inspect the conditions outside “Ground Zero”. As a primary care giver to an “HW” victim allow the victim to go out into the world. First of all if they are wandering where they should not be the law enforcement authorities will turn them around and send them back, and as a therapeutic action this will allow the current phase anxiety to radically decline and be replaced with an inner peace and “Phew, we got off easy this time” attitude.

       Upon the victims return you will noticed a marked decrease in all symptomology, and even a gradual return of a sense of humor. But this will take several days to completely subside so be very careful not to try and force the victim back into the normal flow of life too quickly, (sigh)

       (I feel much better now that I got that off my chest!)

-30-


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