Summer Hostage

By Lauren Kovacs

Let me see, MS has pretty much taken summer hostage for many MSers.  Some things we can in fact re-claim, with modifications.  We have to learn to put our own spin on things.

Plan, plan, plan. You kind of have to go into a situation knowing all your options and the “what if.”  The “Last-minute Lucy” folks won’t like this.  Know your own body.

With three Boy Scouts at home, the moto of “Always Be Prepared” rings true for most MS folks.  Remember the heat is usually not our friend. Summer means heat.  Heat means different things for every MSer.

For me, weakness is huge in heat. My body goes on sabbatical.  Cooling items help. I have also found, if my feet are cool, I am better off.  I get very fatigued, but caffeine is a product that makes me have to pee.  So, no caffeinated soda.

I stay away from caffeine drinks and try to be alert by doing other things.  Cold non-alcoholic drinks help. For me slushees are best.  Stay in the shade and embrace having hat-head.

Wear bug spray. We have enough mystery itches without being a bug buffet to add to itches.  Many of us put a lot of effort into shaving and we don’t need ugly red bug bites to ruin our smoothly shaven legs.  Although, if you are like me, my dough-white skin would blind you before you saw my bug bite covered legs.

Going to BBQs is fun, but many of us have changed our diet.  I am not thinking liver and onions is an option at any BBQ.  Do the best you can.  Eat before you go.

Plan ahead.  Even if you don’t use that extra pair of undies in your purse, you were prepared. Plan for your needs.  You know your own body.   For me, heat is my enemy.  I have learned what its ransom is.

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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 or call (800) 532-7667.

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