The sun is out and it’s hot outside. Most people love this weather but the average MSer groans inwardly at the prospect of summer.
Heat intolerance makes all my symptoms worse. My limbs feel like they’re swelling up from the inside. I drop things and trip more easily, my legs feel heavy and unable to hold me up, fatigue is more pronounced and everything is that much harder.
MSers all over the world retreat indoors when it’s hot, turning into vampire-like creatures who end up paler than in winter! They shy away from sunlight and huddle in the shade eating ice-lollies by the bucket load and dreaming of cold showers.
The irony is that we all know how essential and beneficial vitamin D is for MS. It’s still thought to be part of the complex reason people develop MS and is seen as essential for treatment and prevention. Arguably the best way to ingest vitamin D is to sit in the sun so what cruel irony that most of us can’t tolerate it!
What to do then?
The other day I spent all day in the garden, coming in to cool off every hour or so then forcing myself back outside. My kids were in the paddling pool so I had to supervise otherwise I would have festered in the living room in a puddle of sweat and misery! Anyway, the following day I felt amazing! I could feel the strength in my legs and couldn’t help wondering if the vitamin D binge the day before had contributed.
Since that revelation I’ve tried to force myself to sit in the sun whenever I can. I can only manage this with my scooter though and have recently had decking erected outside so I can drive from the sunshine to the loo otherwise I’d be a mess in minutes, festering in a different kind of puddle!
I still have to come in to cool off but it’s so much easier with my scooter! All I have to worry about is transferring myself from the chair to the scooter without falling off which is actually harder than it sounds when heat intolerance has stolen my mobility and turned me into plasticine!
What are your tips for tolerating the sun to get that all important Vitamin D fix?