HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!
I am currently composing this because Las Vegas has currently reached triple-digit degree weather today... 111 degrees to be exact. The joys of living in a desert!
I wanted to address this because many people are unaware that MS patients are heat intolerant, meaning our body does not do well in hot temperatures. However, this does account for cold weather & humidity as well.. when our bodies experience drastic weather change, it goes into a shock & may experience flare-ups. This being my first Summer being diagnosed with MS I am still learning what my body can tolerate in terms of different weather..
- Why are MS patients sensitive to temperatures?
Our nerves, which is covered by myelin sheaths is what protects our nerves from functioning properly such as sending electrical impulses/information to our brain that controls our cognitive ability, movement & all aspects of functional living. Heat, humidity & drastic weather affects damaged nerves (damaged myelin) because of its harsh conditions. The best explanation that helped me when learning about this topic is using the metaphor of an electrical chord.
For example, an electrical chord is our nerve, the covering that protects the chord is our myelin sheath, when the covering of that chord is broken the electrical wires are exposed same goes for a damaged nerve, when water is spilled on the electrical source it will no longer work properly.. same goes for drastic temperatures affecting a damaged nerve.
- Mild headaches
- Tingling in my lower limbs.
TIPS TO STAY COOl
The best thing to do is to cool down right away to avoid any symptom flare-ups/ exacerbation.
- Stay indoors— the best way to avoid heat & hope that your AC does not break.
- Hydration— drink plenty of water & try best to avoid caffeine.
- Taking a cool shower—helps bring body temperature down.
- Resting — being sure not to over exert yourself makes a big difference.
- Use cooling devices— I sometimes use a mini hand-held fan, cooling scarf & vest. You can also seek assistance from foundations.
- Clothing — wear loose clothing, avoid dark colors, use sunglasses & hats.
- Plan days ahead— For me, I look at my weather app to better prepare myself for days where it maybe be too hot or too windy.
- My most effective way to get me through the heat outdoors is—simply packing a small cooler in my car filled with water bottles & ice-packs. Frozen water bottles can also be used as a cooling device along as hydration source.
I am still discovering other types of weather but so far...
- Eye redness
- Take Benedryl
- Take a nap/get rest.
Cold weather -- I hate cold & am also sensitive to cold weather.
- My muscles become sore.
- I have experienced a burning sensation in my low back.
- Same as heat; I try to warm myself up as quick as possible.
In general, chronic illness or not.. How do you keep cool in the Summer?