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February 20, 2011

Shivering: How Can Americans Live When Heating Aid is Cut Off?

By Mary MacElveen

While I was able to escape my freezing nightmare, I thought to myself; what do those who have no heat or are forced to live in cars or on the street do? They suffer. They do not have someone to call to make them feel warmer.

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We have all heard of the mean and nasty cuts that will face many Americans if the GOP and the compliant White House have their way.   The cuts that are the meanest to me are cuts to aid the poor and middle class stay warm in these cold winter months.   This is a slap across the face by an uncaring government.

When I first read this particular cut, I felt like putting out a tweet on Twitter.com asking folks to turn off their heat for one day to see how it will feel to those who can't escape the cold.   Perhaps now I will or rather report on how it feels.

Upon waking up this morning, the house felt extremely cold to me.   Apparently, the oil tank ran out of oil during the night and the furnace turned off.   For someone like me, the logical thing to do is to call the oil company to restart the furnace and deliver an emergency shipment of oil which I did.

With this winter being one of the coldest on records, I knew I was in for a long wait.   So, I threw on a robe, and made some steaming hot coffee, but since the air was extremely cold, the coffee did not stay hot for that long.

I felt myself becoming colder and threw over my robe a heavy blanket, but still the cold invaded my body.

Then I began to uncontrollably shiver where each muscle was beginning to move.   I felt the cold invade my bones and my head began to ache.

After those symptoms, I also became extremely nauseous and not having had anything to eat yet, the mere thought of eating made me feel increasingly sick.

The one thing I did also notice is that I became very sleepy due to my body using up so much energy due to the symptoms above.   It was then I realized this is how many die due to extreme cold.

Now these symptoms were caused by being without heat for only four hours, but given the temperature in the thirties outside, it is no wonder why.   I could even see my breath come out of my mouth.

The emotional symptoms I was feeling was one of high frustration that I did not have heat.   I also felt anxious where the only thing I wanted to do was flee my home.

Thankfully the service man showed up to restart the furnace and deliver that much needed oil that will last me till I get my tank filled in two days.   But, it takes time for a home that cold to warm up and I just had to bear it.

Even at this hour which is late at night with my home toasty warm, my body still aches from the muscles shivering uncontrollably.

While I was able to escape my freezing nightmare, I thought to myself; what do those who have no heat or are forced to live in cars or on the street do?   They suffer.   They do not have someone to call to make them feel warmer.

Many whose bodies are not able to get warm will feel the tiredness and ultimately fall asleep where someone will find their frozen body.   I ask those who read this column and ponder how a person dies a miserable death like that.

To some, America is the greatest country, but I do question that when the U.S. Government will allow so many to freeze by cutting this heating aid.   What are they supposed to do?   Die?

I ask of my readers if they do not feel like going without heat for a few hours to feel the symptoms; call your elected leaders and yes, the White House and demand no cuts to home heating assistance.



Authors Bio:
I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have appeared on CNN.  I have done numerous web broadcasts for sites such as RadioLeft.com, TVNewsLies.org and FranklySpeakingRadio.com.

Please take time to visit my Facebook.com page as well as my Twitter page.

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