I think it is going to be one of those summers. The temperature is supposed to be in the mid-90s most of the week. I am not sure I am ready for this. I know I don’t have a choice.
It really bothers me that there is no way to explain to someone what the heat does to me………..and I am not talking about 90s, I am talking about 70s. If the sun is bright, the 60s are sometimes hard to deal with.
I was sitting with Mother in the waiting room at the hospital the other day and started talking with the lady on the other side of me. She commented on the fact that I would pick up a magazine and fan once in a while. She said she knew how I felt because she had hot flashes for many years. She was over them now and was so grateful. I told her that I have MS and getting overheated is a constant problem. She looked at me like I was a visitor from Mars.
I don’t seem to be able to get across to anyone that MS heat lasts practically all the time. It is not night sweats, day sweats or in-between sweats. It is heat that radiates from your insides and nearly takes your breath away. It makes my head pound, my legs and arms weak, my vision blurry and my thoughts turn to mush. If it goes away it is only because I am in front of the a/c or it is freezing outside. And, sometimes, it is still there even then.
The tingling sensation that most of us feel intensifies. There are millions of little shockwaves running up and down my legs and arms, feet and fingers and sometimes my face. Although it is not exactly what one would call a painful sensation, it is highly unpleasant.
Per the MS website: “Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather is very hot or humid or they run a fever, sunbathe, get overheated from exercise, or take very hot showers or baths. For example, some people notice that their vision becomes blurred when they get overheated—a phenomenon known as Uhthoff's sign. These temporary changes can result from even a very slight elevation in core body temperature (one-quarter to one-half of a degree) because an elevated temperature further impairs the ability of a demyelinated nerve to conduct electrical impulses. For many years, the “Hot Bath” test was used to diagnose MS. A person suspected of having MS was immersed in a hot tub of water, and the appearance of neurologic symptoms or their worsening was taken as evidence that the person had MS.” I don’t know about you, but I am very thankful that this is no longer used as a method of making a determination of MS!
My husband probably gets tired of me asking if my face is flushed. To me, my face sometimes feels like it is radiating (kind of like a bad sunburn feels) and should be beet red. Sometimes it feels like my arms or legs feel like that also. One of the worst places that burn and tingle is my back…….especially down my spine. He often rubs a pain cream on it which usually helps. It is hard to let him do this since it is so sensitive to the touch when having a flare up. The cream is cooling, though, and worth the initial pain.
I have talked with several people who are so excited about going to the beach this summer. I listen and smile, cringing on the inside at the thought. I am happy that this will make them happy and hope that it comes to pass and they have a wonderful time. As for me, I will stay at home in the coolness of the a/c, wave bye to them and wish them well!