Walking like Frankenstein? Check. Blurred vision? Check. Fatigued to the bone? Double check. Hello summer heat. For many, summer means gathering friends for alfresco dinners of grilled ribs from the barby. However, for those of us suffering from multiple sclerosis, we feel as if we are under attack so we just want to nap. The only positive is that this is temporary and will disappear once we cool down. Therefore, it's best to nip this heat assault in the summer blooming bud.
What follows are my top four tips for surviving the summer heat, three of which are my favorite cooling products.
Amazingly, when wet, these simple bandanas expand into cooling wraps. Just tie one around your hot sweaty neck and experience instant cooling relief. Filled with nifty little crystals, these tubed bandanas become cold when soaked. Once dry, which takes hours, the bandana can be stored anywhere. No refrigeration necessary.
These are also great tools to instantly combat hot flashes and to cool-down overly hot children.
Also activated by cool water, an evaporative cooling hat keeps me cool for nearly eight hours! Sewn into the hat's crown is a pocket that contains those special expanding cooling crystals. This requires the hat to be soaked in water for a few minutes. However, once the material of the hat has dried, it feels dry to the touch. Nevertheless, it feels cool on your head--brilliant.
Patio misters or a spray bottle
Patio misters are a great product for cooling a large area using a plastic tube segmented with tiny misters at various intervals. Once attached to the outside water faucet and turned on, a fine mist cools the area quite nicely. I find this to be very effective. However, since I'm usually the only one who is suffering from the heat, a simple spray bottle works just fine. I fill it with cold water and ice and spray myself liberally as needed.
Final tip includes a cost savings bonus.
All three products work well and are relatively inexpensive, especially if choosing the $1 spray bottle over the $28 patio mister. However, the main point is that those with autoimmune diseases, such as MS, must endeavor to stay cool during the summer heat. Therefore, beyond purchasing clever cooling items, it's best to perform outside chores early in the day when it is cool. Rejuvenate by taking short naps in the hottest part of the afternoon. Enjoy the patio in the evening when it's cooler. If you have a pool, take a cool refreshing dip.
Unfortunately, for those of us who frequently see our thermometers soar over the century mark, our only option is to stay inside sheltered by our air conditioners. This leads me to an additional savings tip. Some utility companies offer medical discounts for those who rely on their air conditioners and heaters. Check with yours to find out if you qualify!