MS, MSGladiator, MSLiving, MSWarrior, Tips

Beating the heat

Beating the heat, and keeping your cool can be a challenge this time of year. Throw in a health condition that amplifies with heat and humidity and staying cool becomes a daily, number one goal. It becomes not a comfort issue, but an ability to function.


If a room gets a little stuffy my body starts to misbehave. By misbehaving, I mean parts of my body stop hearing my brain’s “move now!” commands. The commands just stop reaching the target. The hotter or stuffier it gets, or the longer I am exposed, the more targets are affected. It can get to a point where I feel like a bowl of coffee jello. I would much rather feel like tiramisu, or better yet, a coffee milkshake! I need a wand to make the transition and be easily carried away to a cool spot.

Luckily, I have been in this extreme position only a handful of times. Each time I promise those around me to be smarter the next time. My body and determination take this as a challenge to trick me.

Yes, I just fell for it. Coming off of a recent heat victory I decided to have breakfast outside, on my patio, in the sun, before it got hot. I thought my challenge was the 6 inch back step. Ha! I applied many usually good strategies, but then needed rescuing.

Check the temperature, humidity, sun amount and consider your location. I failed to consider how sun light on the back windows would increase the patio’s temperature.


Take cooling precautions like a cold beverage, shade, hat, umbrella, tree, cooling fabrics, a personal fan, and avoid wearing black. I had a hat and my inactivated cooling wristbands.

Keep your phone in reach. Text or call for help as soon as you realize you need help. I speech-to-text contacted my adult daughter and asked for ice water.

Remember to ask for a straw for your ice water. Yes, after a few failed attempts to tip the cup, I sent her in for a straw.

Be realistic about the situation. Drinking ice water, splashing and pouring ice water on you, and activating cooling fabrics may not help enough if the temperature and humidity continue or even increase. I could move a little better. My daughter brought out my transport chair. Then I realized I couldn’t stand even with help. I figured it would take two people and sent my daughter to a neighbor’s for help. 

Once you move to a cooler location give yourself plenty of time to recover. You may be able to move as usual fairly quickly, but your body may take a lot longer to fully recover. Keep up the cold fluids, eat a little something to help balance your systems, and rest. Forget cleaning and think couch bound low energy projects.

When ready, treat this like a project and do an internal recap. What went wrong or did not help? What did help? What can you add or change to prevent and help the next time? Were you wearing a fitness tracker that takes some vitals? If so, what were they? Yeah, my vitals got my attention too. Learn when to involve the rescue squad.

I have to say that I will require shade next time. I will also activate and wear my cooling wristbands. I am glad they were on my rollator with me. I will look into more cooling options. It is also time to include professionals to make my back door wheelchair friendly. Heavy sigh.

Anyone else ready for a coffee milkshake or tiramisu?

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