Tuesday, 31 May 2016

MS and Heat Intolerance

Here is a good article, tips on dealing with heat intolerance when you have MS. This is a particular problem for me.

Hot baths are out, and I so loved to soak and read a book. Also shopping in winter, wearing my winter coat inside is an issue. But then the biggie, the heat and humidity of summer. It's the end of May and already we've had a week of higher than normal temperatures.

I hate that the heat bothers me so much. I sometimes feel like a prisoner in my own home, as all my MS symptoms worsen when I get overheated, so I stay indoors and out of  the sun.


Stay cool, and stay safe.

Summertime Sun

I seem to have acquired an allergy to the sun. If I go out without my sunscreen, my face breaks out in a rash. Even on a sunny winter's day I would find my skin red and itchy.

I bought some sunscreen...50 MPF...and I still get the rash. So the next step was a hat.

Last year my daughter bought me a garden hat, a straw creation worthy of Miss Scarlett. Needless to say, I never wore it, just didn't feel I could pull it off. And for sure, (sorry, Kiddo), I would never have worn it away from the garden.

Yesterday I bought a black ball cap, with a great design in grey and red that says Canada. I like it, and with my new shorter hair do, it looks not bad. It must be a large size, though it is adjustable, and fits nicely down on my head, covering my forehead and shielding my nose from the sun.

It suits me better than the floppy brimmed straw deal. What can I say, I'm more of a beer and ball game kind of girl than mint juleps on the porch.

Already did a test run, out to water the pots on my patio.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Stove Stupidity

I'm sitting here, on this hot and humid day, with all my windows and drapes closed against the heat. As the warm weather is a particular problem for me, I have no plans for anything that will require energy. I already watered my flower pots, before it got too hot to go out.

This is salad weather, no cooking, no standing by the stove, no oven. I decided early, after watering the plants, that an egg salad might be nice, to go with the other salads and cold meat in my fridge. I grabbed three eggs and put them on the stove to boil. And forgot all about them.

A minute ago I could smell something, and wondered what it could be, as I wasn't cooking, was I?

Foolish, foolish woman. Eggs! The brain finally kicked in and I checked the pot on the stove. The water had completely boiled away and the eggs were scorched, along with the bottom of the pan.

My taste for egg salad will have to be put on hold for a few days, at least until the smell of burnt eggs is gone.

It's a good warning for me. Hot weather and all my systems slow down, the brain fog is worse and my energy is nonexistent.

I remember buying a cute little lady bug kitchen timer, with a louder dinger than the timer on the stove. I need to dig it out of the drawer and keep it handy. And notes, notes are good. I could be enjoying a nice egg salad for my lunch had I set the timer and a note "EGGS" on the table beside me.

And it's still May, so much more of the summer yet to come.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Positive Thinking

I was reminded after the workshop about my..ha ha...positive experience with positive thinking, and continue to strive for the positive in life.

I'm making more of an effort to get out, had lunch out of town with my brother, watched my grandson for a day and revisited the feeling of being Mom, the taxi driver, when I assisted family members who needed a drive.

I also had lunch, in town with a friend, and have been working on my art project.

Yesterday I spent the early part of the day touring town with my granddaughter. She'd had a rough night the evening before, and I thought she needed some of my positive thinking. I handed her my camera and told her she had to take 100 pictures, of bright and beautiful things.

We started at the park, then went to the beach. We found flowering trees and other blooms and by the afternoon had hit the 105 mark. The last picture was of her Nana, who we found sitting on her porch with her mother, the GreatNana so to speak.

We've promised each other to do this again. I like how the grandkids are accepting of my limitations. They don't question when I say I'll wait in the car. My grandson always jumps to carry things and will offer me his arm, as he has seen his Dad do it, to help me over a step or walk on uneven ground.

Maybe that's a plus of having MS. My kids and, subsequently, their kids, are much more understanding and tolerant of those with a disability. It's made these very good people even better.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Heavy Feet

I was talking to one of my fellow workshop attendees at the break, and the topic of conversation was the weather, as it seems to be a common topic for people who are pretty well strangers.

It was a beautiful sunny day though there was still a bit of chill in the air. I said how wonderful it would be to have the warmer weather, to be back in sandals. Or, I laughed, crocs, as I had worn my crocs all winter instead of boots.

I commented that the running shoes I'd worn for years in lieu of boots had come apart at the seam, leaking something awful. I just couldn't replace them with boots, as they make my feet feel so heavy, and then I get so fatigued.

He gave me a surprised look, and laughed. "You're right," he said. "Walking in heavy boots is harder than most people would think or consider."

I don't know if winter boots, or any heavy footwear, are on a list of those things that cause fatigue, but they should be.

Right along with my brown winter coat. It's made of Melton cloth, a wool fabric, I think, and it's long, mid calf length. That coat is so heavy to wear, it tires me out, especially if I were to wear the winter boots at the same time.

Knowing the coat is an issue, I avoid wearing it on a daily basis, tell myself it's my 'good' coat, and save it for special occasions.

That's one thing I really liked about the workshop, that instant bond of understanding and the shared challenges. I was not alone in my appreciation that warmer weather had arrived, and for a few months,  we won't have to suffer the pain and fatigue of 'heavy feet'.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

End of the Workshop

I just had my morning coffee out on my small patio, the sun warm on my face, the sounds of birds in the trees and the breeze making my wind chime sing. I feel good, happy, and full of positive thoughts.

I'm going to finish up some projects today, looking forward to a day out with my friend tomorrow.

I know this sense of well being may pass, and that's okay, I'm just going to make the best of it while it lasts.

There is really something to be said for the power of positive thinking.

Yesterday was the last of my 6 week workshop on living with chronic pain. I'm sorry to see it end. I enjoyed the social aspect of it, realize I do spend too much time alone. One woman, a fellow artist, and I are going to stay in touch.

I learned a lot more from these sessions than how to cope and deal with chronic pain, and for that I'm grateful.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Comfort of Chronic Pain

I don't know what is going on with my shoulders. The pain in my right shoulder has eased off, so maybe rest was all it needed. I just realized it was better when the left shoulder started up, again.

Maybe this is part of the travelling Fibromyalgia pain show. You never know where the pain will hit next.

It's a comfort, in a weird way, to have chronic pain. At least then you know what hurts and why, Like I know my left knee is shot and bending, walking (especially on uneven ground) will cause me pain. Same goes for my back, wrists and hands. I do an activity and I'll feel some discomfort.

When I get a new pain that is more than a fleeting twinge, I have to wonder why, and what is causing it.

Like last night. I got a pain in my right rib cage, something new, that persisted all evening and into the night. Today...gone. At the same time, my left shoulder started aching, but not the same kind of pain as I have in the right. This pain extends up into my neck and causes numbness in my hand.

I'm sure HEART ATTACK may have crossed your mind, as it did mine, for just a second. I went that route a year ago, finally diagnosed with anxiety related chest pain. Meds had taken care of that, so I'm back to the Fibromyalgia.

Old pains, the chronic ones, are...a pain...but at least you know where you stand.