I can cover two Mama Kat prompts with one story today! “worst winter weather story” and “that scar”. Around the middle of January last year I started having pain between my shoulder blades. It wasn’t unbearable, but it was constant and annoying and nothing seemed to help – not Advil, not the heating pad, not even a massage. I finally went to the doctor and he ordered an MRI of my neck. Within a few hours of sliding out of the MRI machine that Friday I was sitting in a neurosurgeon’s office while he made arrangements for me to have surgery Monday morning. The good thing was I didn’t have time to worry. I had surgery Monday the 26th and came home in the afternoon on Tuesday the 27th. Between the time I got home and midnight that night the ice storm hit. It was a MASSIVE storm, and the weight of the ice pulled down trees and power lines throughout the region. We had no power, no heat, no hot water, no way to cook food. Temperatures were in the twenties and estimates for getting the power back on were 7-10 days. If there’s anything worse that being on bedrest recovering from major surgery it’s being on bedrest recovering from major surgery in a cold, dark house with two bored children and a husband who’s risking his life driving around all day on ice-covered roads. Our power was out for eight days, and I took sponge baths in cold water every day. My throat was sore from the surgery, so I lived on room temperature (cold) liquids and pain pills for a week. I learned two important lessons from this experience. Are you paying attention? 1.) If you are in the hospital and a major storm of some type is expected DO NOT RUSH TO GET HOME. Hospitals have generators, which means they have heat, hot water, and hot food when no one else does. 2.) In certain circumstances, it is perfectly acceptable to take pain pills for a reason other than pain. I think “mental anguish” is the phrase I’m looking for here. Eventually the fallen trees got cut up and hauled away, the smooshed car got fixed, the power came back on, the kids went back to school, and I went back to work. But I’ve still got the scar to remind me of my Ice Storm 2009 adventure.