How I Beat the Summer Heat with Relapsing MS By Kimberly, Texas Gal, Born and Raised • July 17, 2018
If you have relapsing MS, you probably know that MS heat sensitivity can be a problem. And living in Texas, I face this problem pretty often, especially in the summer! So how do I handle the heat? Well, I have a few strategies.
I like to begin with a game plan. I call it Kimberly’s Plan of Attack! I’m a morning person, so I start my summer days by waking up at 5:00 am and heading to the gym. The sun isn’t up, so it’s cooler at that time. Then I’ll head home. Once I get home, I take a minute to rest, cook breakfast, and then gather everyone around so we can go over our day. One child has basketball, one child has summer camp, and another has to go to the barn where we both ride horses. So we discuss as a family to make sure EVERYONE has what they need.
The barn where we ride is great. All of the horses have fans in their stalls, plus there is an air-conditioned facility on site, so I can always go in there if the heat is too much. Depending on the day, I might have a riding lesson after my daughter. In order to stay cool, I’ll throw on my cooling vest and both my horse and I will take regular water breaks. Sometimes it can get very hard, but my trainer is very good at asking me questions to make sure I’m feeling okay. After my lesson, I sit in the shade, drink more water, and have my fan going.
One thing that I’ve found very helpful for MS heat intolerance is always traveling with a cooler. I fill it with ice, water, fruit, granola bars—things that keep me energized and moving throughout the day. It’s hot in Texas, so when I’m driving my kids around, the sun coming through the windows takes a toll. My kids are really good at gauging how I’m feeling. My oldest is a stickler about staying hydrated. But if I still need to cool off more, that’s when we put our heads together and decide what to do next.
One of our favorite ways to cool down is heading to the grocery store for an “ice cream hunt,” where I can stand in front of the freezer and cool down! One local store even has a walk-in freezer section, so I’ll stand in there for a few minutes while I decide on a flavor—our favorites are mint chocolate chip and vanilla bean. My kids will pick their ice creams and then debate how many frozen pizzas they think I’ll buy while I’m in there! It sounds silly, but it works for us!
And it doesn’t always have to be ice cream. Sometimes we get slushies, or a frozen lemonade!
After the long day, we head home and rest. I make sure to spend some time with my husband, and maybe get him a scoop of ice cream so he doesn’t feel left out. :) By then it’s nighttime, so we go to bed and get ready for the next day!
What tips do you have for beating the heat? I’d love to hear them!
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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