MS and Heat... not good partners!
Our summer temps here play havoc with my MS... hands, arms, feet and legs are buzzing / jelly-like / rubbery like crazy! Thankfully, it all settles down again after it cools down in the early morning - phew! Wipes me out, tho.
During a daytime jazz band gig I was playing at in March 2017, it slowly became very hot and humid in the room we were performing in. For the first set, my MS hands were fine playing guitar (as can be expected, that is!) As the temperature and humidity started to rise during the second set, my hands became very uncooperative! I had to take some 'private alone time' during the break after the second set, just to regather my wits. My hands felt like rubber or jelly for the third set... I could not play accurately at all (for my standards), tho I soldiered on.
It was a real shock for me, to experience this so profoundly when exposed to a sudden change in both temperature and humidity.
When I got home afterwards, and "cooled down" - all was normal with my hands again! Go figure!
Though the drive home after the gig was 'interesting" (all OK, tho), I felt absolutely fatigued as a result of the whole experience.
In the summer of January 2018, we had a long spell of temps in the mid-to-high 30c's, that went on for weeks (much longer than normal)!
As fellow MS Twitter Cindy aptly described the after-effects of heat and MS, we are "Left to Roam the Earth like a Retarded Zombie" afterwards.
Staying Cool with MS When It's Hot
- Stay indoors out of direct heat.
- Visit a local public space with air conditioning. ie. library, theatre, club etc.
- Use things to cool yourself down: cooling vest, neck wraps, wet bandannas, a wet hat, wear a wet towel around your neck.
- Pour cold water over my head... once my hair starts to dry, I will repeat this process.
- An icy cool drink - keep hydrated.
- Freeze bottles of water and sip on the water as it melts throughout the day.
- Chew on ice cubes.
- Cool in a pool - or use a cool bath or shower, or sit under the sprinkler.
- Plug in the fan - airflow is important if you don't have air conditioning available.
- Use a spray bottle to lightly spray yourself with water
- Wear light clothing
- Keep bathing water cooler rather than warmer.
- Hold ice cubes, ice packs, or anything frozen against the inside of the wrists, back of the neck, or top of the head (ie. 'pulse points') to provide quick relief.
- Ice under the arches of my feet.
- Place a cool, damp cloth on your skin where the blood vessels are (inside your wrists, around your neck, back of knees/elbows, etc).
- Rather than preparing/eating hot foods, snack on frozen bite-sized pieces of fruit, such as pineapple chunks, banana slices, blueberries, or grapes.
- Mix and match different things, to see what works best for you.
- Know your limits!
► Article: The Effects of Temperature on MS (pdf)
► Article: Best Hacks for Staying Cool with MS
► Article: Heat and MS: An Impaired Ability to Regulate Temperatures
► Article: Tips on How to Manage Your MS in Hot Weather
► Article: The Power of Keeping Cool
► Blog Repost: "This Heat"
► Article: "Beat the Heat"
► Article: MS and Heat: What You Need To Know
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Peas be with ewe