Sunday, June 29, 2014

Damn, It's Hot

Ah, summer. A time to bask in the sun, sit by the side of the pool, get outside to play and run around. Well, in theory that sounds about right. But unfortunately, for those of us with MS, the reaction is more like, "Ugh, Summer." You see, MS and heat are not simpatico, even though Vitamin D has proven to be beneficial. See the quandary? Heat tends to temporarily worsen symptoms--whatever they may be. For me, that means bone-crushing fatigue and the entire right side of my face going numb. It's kind of a built in alarm symptom: Warning heat alert! So, no, summer is not one of my favorite times.

Because I can not hide in my house and grow even paler than I already am, I have tried to find ways to counter my heat intolerance. But, unfortunately, the options for keeping cool are not cheap, not stylish, and not comfortable.

What are my options? Well, the easiest is probably the cooling bandana. Yes, I said bandana. As in the thing cowboys wear around their necks. It's bad enough I have this damn disease. I don't want to look like I'm wearing an ascot borrowed from Freddy Jones to combat it. No thanks, I think I'll  keep looking.

Yo, Adrienne. How do I look?!
What about cooling towels? I recently bought one and it works well. The only problem is, I still can't quite figure out how to wear it without looking like Rocky Balboa. You know, when he had the towel wrapped around his neck. Now, go ahead and imagine my children's horror when I walk into the pool looking like this: 

The priciest of the cooling options that I have found is the cooling vest. It is exactly what the name implies. It is a vest that you wear under your clothes to keep your body temperature down. You fill the compartments with ice packs. You know, kind of an MS bulletproof vest. Of course, I could choose to wear it on the outside of my shirt, leaving me to look somewhat like this guy. Pretty badass, huh? Except I'm a girl, and I would definitely wear a shirt underneath and wash my hair. Well, you get the picture.

Of course, there are easy things I can do to keep cool. But even those are not always all that easy. For instance, I drink plenty of water to make sure I stay hydrated. But that's not always easy, either, considering that my kids continually ask for a drink of said water. Or, a lot of times I'll bring a misting fan with me. For the most part, these fans do a good job--except for the fact that mine are usually out of water or broken. Apparently misting fans are simply a code name to my kids for water guns, and they also have some unwritten requirement that one must grab the fan while it's spinning to make sure that it can stop and then spin again. News flash, kids. They won't keep spinning if you keep sticking your fingers in them  Sigh.

So, while I guess there are a lot of options to help me beat the heat, I still haven't found the one that's right for me. Until I do, you can find me at home. I'll be the translucent creature in the corner.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Sometimes you have to trickle down through a whole lot of messy to make it to brave. And sometimes that's a very slow and scary process--not knowing where the messy's going or how it's going to play out. Sometimes it seems like it would be a whole lot easier if it was the other way around; starting off brave enough to deal with the things that follow. But life isn't like that. So, I guess all you can do is wait for the brave.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Going it Alone

The other day I registered for the Run MS race. Seeing as I've done lots of races in the last two years--wow, that sounds really weird--it should have seemed like just one more. But as I filled in the registration it didn't.

I got to the section that asked me to indicate whether I was forming a team, was part of a team, or running as an individual. I thought about it for a second, and then marked the box for individual. It was the first time I'd checked that box since I started this whole running adventure. It wasn't because I didn't want to run with any of my partners-in-crime. They are the best part of my running. No, it was about something bigger than that.

One of the things about MS that has always bothered me is the fact that it often makes me rely on other people. I don't like that. I'm independent--always have been. I don't want to admit that I can't do something. I don't want to ask for help. Some would say I'm a bullhead.

So this race in particular is about proving something to myself. A kind of big up yours to this disease. It was me and MS. Head to head. Mano a mano. So you are all welcome to come cheer me on, but this time I'll be out there alone. This time it's personal.