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It sucks. Trying to deal with multiple sclerosis in the summer heat is bad enough. And lately for Australian summers those have been pretty darn hot (many times the past few summers we’ve had far too many days of over 40 degrees Celsius, and often in a heatwave for 3 days duration). Trying to deal with having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas when relatives are reveling in the heat is utterly awful. It never turns out to the lovely holiday celebration that you hope for.
If you go outside in the heat your day doesn’t go well. Brain function slows right down, so you can’t keep track of conversations properly. I find that if I’m in any situation since diagnosis with a lot of people talking, that I have to focus so hard on listening to the conversation, which in turn makes my fatigue (another typical MS symptom) more pronounced. Movement slows down and you worry about accidentally knocking things over…like your precious Christmas drink. Your body starts to ache deep in the muscles and you know it is very likely to have you seeking out pain killers to be able to sleep though the night.
How you feel with fatigue when having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas
If you stay inside you choose to be socially isolated, as you miss out on interacting with relatives you rarely see all year. Christmas for me is the time to catch up with all those relatives. I really look forward to catching up with my aunts and cousins that I barely see through the year and find out what is new in their lives. Or just chill out in their company. But not many people want to stay inside unless it’s extremely hot. (Just a regular hot day with multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas can make life tough).
Missing out on those social interactions can bring on feelings of depression. Why me? Why do I have this stupid disease that stops me enjoying Australian summer like the rest of my family? Why should I go out to an event, if I can’t be around where all the people are? This negative self-talk also aggravates your fatigue.
To help combat these feelings and symptoms from having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas here are a few suggestions I have used to try to make your day better and a more enjoyable experience for you as an MSer (person with multiple sclerosis).
- Arrange for Christmas to be at your (hopefully air-conditioned) house. It’s easier to arrange where tables and chairs will be for visitors and you can situate them in the coolest part of the house. Fans also help move the air around which can help make you feel cooler too.
- If you have to go elsewhere, keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your day to conserve energy/spoons for social interactions. Rest when you can. Ask to lie down in a quiet room for a few minutes to recharge through the day.
- Sip iced water regularly. Current research shows that doing that can help reduce the effect of heat on your body pretty efficiently. Using a water bottle that keeps it chilled saves you filling up so frequently too if out and about.
- Invest in quality cooling garments such as cooling vests, scarves and headbands. Wear for any outdoor activity but also cool when indoors.
- Be kind to your self. Realise that you have to look after yourself before others and if you can’t deal with some Christmas activities, then so be it. Your well-being comes first! Having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas
So although having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas can be difficult, it’s not all bad! Know your limits of what your body can deal with in the summer heat. Learn the best way for you to look after yourself in the heat with some of these tips and still enjoy the Christmas season. HaHaving multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmasving
Let me know in the comments below how you go dealing with your Multiple Sclerosis during the heat of summer.m Having multiple sclerosis at Australian Christmasultiple sclerosis at Australian Christmas