How I Stay Cool in the Summer

By Alene Brennan

I used to love summer.

As a Jersey girl, I spent my summers “down the shore.”

But since my MS diagnosis the warmth of the sun is something I avoid… and straight up fear somedays.

I also hate the heat that summer temps bring to my workouts. I get so easily overheated. My danger zone is when it’s hot enough to raise my internal body temperature but not hot enough for me to break a sweat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I can exercise as it’s something that brings me Continue reading

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For the Love of Biking – It Really Can Be for Everyone

By Stacie Prada

In a conversation with coworkers years ago, one person reflected on his summers spent in their backyard pool in California.  I responded with excitement and jealousy that he had his own pool when all I had was a bike!  Another coworker who grew up in Hong Kong, exclaimed with awe, “You had a bike?!?”

Wow.  I laughed at my own ignorance to my privilege.  To think she grew up in a large city and didn’t have a bike at all made me realize just how special it was Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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Summer Travel Tips for Flying With MS – Part 2

By Jeri Burtchell

Most people who have MS take medications. Be sure to keep them in your carry-on bag to prevent mishandling or severe temperature changes. Keep a note in your wallet or purse with your emergency contact, medications, conditions, allergies and medical history in case anything should happen away from home.

Pack a sweater in your carry-on. Even if you are traveling from one hot place to another, airports and planes can be veritable iceboxes. Besides using it for warmth, a cushy sweater can double as a pillow.

Pack your own snack. Fruit or nuts, a sandwich or chips, are all going to be cheaper if you bring your own. Airlines occasionally provide snacks, but not always, and if they have snack boxes for purchase you can expect to pay premium prices. The only thing you can’t bring is a drink but most flights offer a free beverage.

Which to choose, the aisle seat or the window? Windows seats have the added benefit of not only providing a view, but a “wall” on which to lean if you tire easily. Aisle seats make trips to the restroom easier. Middle seats, for most passengers,  are the least desirable.

Pack a wall charger for your smartphone in your carry-on. Your itinerary, email and family may only be an electronic device away, but if your battery dies and the airline lost your luggage, you will be cast adrift in an unfamiliar place, unable to access anything. You can usually find an outlet for your charger in any airport terminal.

If you rent a vehicle at your travel destination, ask for one similar to yours at home. Trying to figure out where the wipers and lights are while navigating a strange place just adds unneeded stress.

If you follow these tips, you can avoid unnecessary stress, leaving you free to enjoy your stay. Don’t overdo it, though! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids so you don’t dehydrate, take naps when you body tells you and pace yourself. Make your visit memorable for all the right reasons. Happy travelling!

*Jeri Burtchell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. She has spoken from a patient perspective at conferences around the country, addressing social media and the role it plays in designing clinical trials. Jeri is a MS blogger, patient activist, and freelance writer for the MS News Beat of Healthline.com. She lives in northeast Florida with her youngest son and elderly mother. When not writing or speaking, she enjoys crafting and photography.

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