All About the “h”

By Doug Ankerman

There are two sides to every issue. You have the pros & the cons, the agree & disagree and the ever-popular for & against.

Summer is one of those issues that is widely split. Some love it while others can’t stand the thought. As I will explain, the big difference between the two sides is all about the “h.”

Picture of a blue Etch A Sketch saying Ah Summer and Ahhhh Summer drawn by guest blogger Doug Ankerman

“Ah Summer!” people. They thrive during this season. Basking in the warmth. Soaking up the sun in all vitamin D glory. Energy & vitality all day long.

Meanwhile, “Ahhhh Summer!” people do their best to avoid the season’s amenities. Lurking in the shadows away from direct sun. Never straying far from AC or a powerful fan.

Unfortunately, those of us with multiple sclerosis tend to be in the “Ahhhh Summer!” group. The harsh sun drains our energy like a V-8 engine uses gas driving up a mountain. Plus, summer’s high temps and thick humidity soak us further into a wretched pile of human goo. But no need to suffer my friend as there are ways to make your summer pleasant & comfortable.  Here are a few of my favs…

Get a hat!

Picture of a wide brimmed hanging on a chair by guest blogger Doug Ankerman to show his Ah Summer theory

Not just a ball cap, but something with a wide-brim. A wide-brimmed hat keeps your noggin cool but also keeps the sun off your ears, shoulders & neck. Wearing mine, I channel my inner Crocodile Dundee…”G’day Mate!”

Get some chilly gear!

Like a cooling vest to wear when you are out & about. Did you know you can get a free cooling vest from the good folks right here at MSAA? For details and an application, visit mymsaa.org/cooling or call (800) 532-7667.  I got mine and I love it! Cooling wraps can also keep you chill for the summer.

I use cooling wraps called Frog Toggs. You just soak them in water and they remain cool for hours! Frog Toggs are inexpensive, sold online or available at many major retailers.

Hit the shower!

(Thankfully, no picture provided)

After a lukewarm shower, I turn the water temp down for a cool, cooler, coolest final rinse. Just a minute or so revives my weary MS body. Give it a try and emerge not only clean, but refreshed!

Even with MS, you can participate and enjoy this season of fun. Lots of simple things you can do to change your feelings about summer from “Ahhhh!” to Ah!” Because really, it’s all about the “h.”

Doug writes goofy stuff about MS & other topics on his humor blog at myoddsock.com

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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