MS can make you heat intolerant. The slightest ray of sunshine can render you weak, trembling and vampire-like, seeking out dark, shady places. Now, I was slowly getting to grips with this. Until recently. It seems you can also be cold intolerant. MS, you crafty little joker, you.
The heat intolerance crept up on me, slowly dropping hints. I would feel unusually tired, unsteady on my feet and stressed when I was out in the sun. One day, though, it decided to clobber me over the head. I was sitting in the sun for about five minutes when a friend came rushing over, her face a picture of horror. ‘What the hell’s happened to you?’ she yelled, dragging me out my chair. Huh? She was gesturing at my face and thrusting a little mirror into my hands.
I grabbed it and looked. In place of my normal face, there was a huge, throbbing bright red mess. My make up was sliding south, I looked like a hyped-up tomato and I suddenly wanted to lie down, then and there. From that moment on, any heat was a nightmare. It would leave me weak and sapped of energy and I had to carry little mini-fans at all times. I also invested in a huge fan for my house, which got me so hot and bothered putting it together that I had to lie down in front of it for an hour to recover.
So, when the cold season approached, I was ecstatic. At last, I could do normal things again. Go for long walks, sit at an outdoor cafe people-watching, do a bit of gardening. But that’s when the chills started. I began trembling with the cold, my teeth would chatter and I could barely function. How?? My central heating doesn’t know if it’s coming or going. I put it on to get rid of the bone-numbing cold, then whack it off again and open all the doors when it gets too hot. I checked with the MS nurse, and yup, it’s true – you can be heat and cold intolerant.
I’ve spent the last three hours huddled on the sofa, freezing cold to my very core, the heating up full. Now I’m getting too hot again. The heating’s going off and I’m going to find some gin to add to the ice cubes I found in the freezer…