Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cool As A Cucumber!

Yes, yes! I have ordered and received two shirts that are made with a relatively new material that activates a cooling sensation when moistened. I am super excited to try them!

In the meantime however I have discovered a wonderful little "evaporation towel" called Chilly Pad by Frogg Toggs. It is pretty terrific and as a matter of fact I am using one right this minute!

Today we are attending a soccer event. I didn't wear one of my new cooling shirts because this one is at an indoor facility. As an afterthought though, I did grab my new Chilly Pad as we walked out the door this morning. I am so glad that I did!

As the day has worn on and the hot Texas sun has beat down on this place it has warmed up inside. I have my Chilly Pad draped across the back of my chair and it is perfect for keeping me cool while watching the kids work on their skills!

I discovered my exciting new find based on a tip from a new acquaintance I met at a recent MS program hosted by Shared Solutions. She had one and passed it around for all to feel. She uses hers draped across the back of her wheelchair to help her keep cool.

I found mine at Wal-Mart in the hunting section.  I couldn't find it on my own but when I asked the young lady working in the department, she took me right to them. 

They are also available online on a number of sites or
 you can get one by clicking here -->   

I definitely recommend them!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How am I going to pay all these medical bills? Some practical advice.

After the initial shock of a diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis wears off you realize that this is a very expensive disease.  If you are lucky you have good insurance and a healthy savings to help with the expenses associated with diagnosis and treatment.  If the previous sentence describes you, you can stop reading now.....this post is not for you.

You may also be behind on other bills as a result of trying to maintain your medical coverage.   If you are still reading you have already probably begun to wonder what to do with the mounting medical bills that are flooding your mailbox.   Kindling?  No, just kidding.  The answers are going to vary depending on your situation which can include but likely are not limited to the following:

  • No insurance.
  • Medical insurance with high deductible.
  • Medical insurance but still just finding it hard to cover all of the bills.
  • Medical insurance with prescription drug limitations.
Over the course of the next few weeks I am going to share tips for each of the above scenarios. 

If you know of additional ways to help please feel free to add comments or helpful advice as appropriate!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

MS Family Discovery Camp at Camp For All is drawing near!

I got a notice on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that MS Family Discovery Camp registration would soon be taking place.  I am super excited to see some of the folks we met last year and make new friends as well!  Last year was our first year to go and it was a pretty fun, educational and enlightening experience for our entire family.  Yes even the teenagers enjoyed themselves! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hot Days and Cooling.....Vests, Tops, Tanks?! What's A Girl To Do?

The dog days of summer are upon us.  I have always been a summertime girl.  I like the outdoors, water sports and sunshine; and in the past, yes, even the heat.  Now, not so much and August heat in Texas, even in my better days, could prove rough.  

Heat intolerance plagues many of us with Multiple Sclerosis.  I was not really sure that I was susceptible to this particular symptom until pretty recently.  Last year’s excessive heat and drought in our area kept me, and everyone else with a choice, in the nice comfy air conditioning (and possibly in denial) more than I realized. 

This year when I have ventured out I have noticed the symptoms set in that I have never recognized before.  Symptoms that I had however experienced with hot tubs (yes, I have avoided those for years – I like the bubbles but leave OFF the heat please!). 

  • I become physically drained or “heavy”.
  • I become dizzy
  • My vision becomes “narrowed”.
  • I feel just overall yucky! 

Thankfully these symptoms abate after I am able to cool off and return to a normal temperature!

So my goal now is to figure out how to deal with the heat without having to become a hermit and hide inside during what formerly was my favorite time of the year.  One thing I have heard of was wearing a cooling vest to keep your core body temperature down while outside.  Last night I Googled “cooling vest” and received a long list of results featuring a myriad of colors in the latest in what I am have begun calling “road crew construction fashion”! 

Now, I am not really a slave to fashion but I am hunting for something a little more feminine that I can walk around downtown on The Square and peruse the windows in the antique stores without feeling like I am going to fall out.  After what seems like hours of searching online I have found the following few options that I am going to give a try.    

This one for sure
and one of these too only in women's, of course.......
and while I'm at it maybe a dress or two......   :)

They have special material that produces a cooling effect when moistened (aka you sweat in them).   They don’t promise the same results as the cooling vests but they do seem like a viable option for most of what I am looking for. 

I will let you know how they work and if you have any suggestions or have already tried some of them please let me know! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

You mean not every health issue I have is related to MS?

When I start to feel "not right", I automatically assume that I am experiencing a relapse or an exacerbation of existing symptoms.  But guess what?  Sometimes I have the flu or a cold or low blood sugar, or high blood pressure.  Or better yet, (and the one I like the least) is I am just aging!?  

The truth is that people with MS have just as much likelihood of catching the same bugs that everyone else does.  They also have the same odds of having coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. as the general population.  

So what does that mean?  It means that MS is not responsible for everything that goes wrong with your health!  Here is what you need to do: 
  • If you have a new symptom, no matter what it may be, let your doctor know.  
  • Maintain a good relationship with not only your neurologist, but also your General Practitioner.  Visit them when you are well so they have a baseline for your overall health.  
  • Get yearly health screenings just like you should, including physicals and blood work.  
  • If you are a woman don't forget (or avoid) your annual well woman exam.  

Keeping a handle on your overall general health will be beneficial in your maintenance of your Multiple Sclerosis as well.