Posted by Laurel / 10:20 AM /
You know summer has arrived when your hubby is out all morning mowing the lawn! Despite all the long grass, dandelions and other weeds, we've had very little warm weather to show for it. But that's okay by me! Warm weather, the overheating of the body, tends to make anyone with ms feel worse. It is something about the nervous system being impeded by the heat. Of course most animals and humans feel lethargic and weak in hot weather. Just take that feeling and multiply it by 100, and it's ms.
Actually that used to be a medical test to see if someone had ms in the olden days, before MRI, which is now considered a definitive test for ms. They would put a patient in a hot bath to see if their symptoms became more pronounced and if they did, voila, the dx of ms was confirmed. Doesn't sound exactly scientific but hey, if it works...
I wish someone had told me this when I first got ms! Soon after my dx, I did what no one should ever do with ms. We went to the hot Napa Valley in the summer-time for a mini healing-break holiday. We went to a spa for 1)mudbath soaks, 2) saunas, 3) hot herbal wraps 4) hot jacuzzi soaks. Hell, by the time that was all over, I literally could not speak. I mean, I could think of the words, but I just couldn't say them! I believe this is medically called aphasia. Anyway, what was to make me better by driving out all the bad toxins in my system, made me worse.
Usually after an intense warming experience, one slowly regains function. I did, after a few days, but never, ever, fully. I was never again to speak in the self-assured, verbose, way I used to be able to. Now I am better, yet I still have trouble finding words, like it's on the tip of my tongue, but I just can't find them. This is hard for someone who likes to write. Sometimes thinking is just so hard to do, that I just get sort of mute. On other days, for some unknown reason, I feel like all those lost words have suddenly returned. It's a challenge to say the least.
But, I was talking about the weather, one of those really fascinating subjects. Well, yesterday, at least until the weather changed, I was out-of-it due to the warm temperatures. What helps is taking a cool shower or bath, drinking cold things, and wrapping a cool kerchief around your neck, so it cools the blood going to the brain. An air-conditioner helps too, which we got, just for one window in the bedroom. I'll resort to that if nothing else helps.
This reminds me of one of the treatments they did for my stepdad in the hospital after his last heart-attack. They wrapped him in cold towels. The doctor said that this cooling, was thought to allow his nervous system to function better. It was a new discovery, the doctor told me proudly, this cooling of the body. It tended to prevent neurological complications.
Jeeze, I thought, well, I knew that over 30 years ago. If someone had just asked me! Of course, who knew it would help post-heart attack patients recover?
But what I was really going to talk about, other than the hot weather, was our lilacs. I try to find something good in anything awful. Lilacs are my favorite harbinger of summer. We have two lilac bushes with two flowering sprays (there used to be more). I like the way they are almost trying to come in through the window, see above picture. We had a huge purple lilac tree in Wisconsin when I was a child. It was in the backyard, so every time I went out to play I would smell their scent, heavy in the air. It was mixed with the scent of peonies that grew beside our house, and violets. I never quite knew, or cared to know, how these plants got there, for my mother was not one to waste time gardening. I guess my Dad planted them, but I don't remember. Anyway, when I smell them now, they bring my childhood flooding back in all its joys and sorrows. They tend to almost bring back the memory of my dad, whose been gone now, over 40 years.
Summer and lilacs will do that, so it's not all bad.
at 10:20 AM | Labels: ms