Hot and Hotter

“Stay cool and hydrate.” This is what I often add to my National MS Society emails during the summer months. “Stay cool and hydrate.” I tried.

I can’t exactly say what went wrong, or where it went wrong. Nonetheless, the combination of the summer heat and my MS almost got the better of me. Had I not been doing things right, I shudder to think.

Sandy and I love our home. Over the years we have tried to take care of it. It got a new kitchen 5 years ago and new bathrooms last year. Small projects we do ourselves. The current project involves stuff, things we possess that actually possess us. A great deal of it was in the garage. For unknown reasons, we decided to paint the interior. I followed the hydration advice given to us by a professional tennis player who has MS. Electrolyte water to start the day, and frequent water. I rested inside to cool down and supplemented the water with an occasional sports drink. I tried not to push too long.

I failed. By evening my core temperature was up, my energy level down. My face felt hot, my body felt cold. I was in the beginnings of heat exhaustion. Thankfully I had hydrated well and was not dehydrated. It’s been a little rough, as that triggered an MS exacerbation. (An increase in already existing symptoms or damage, not new symptoms.)

So what does this tell us? MS or not, “stay cool and hydrate.” Summer is here, the sun is at its most direct, the days are long. Follow the basics and look for signs of possible road blocks. Have a great summer!

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