Tag Archives: Uhthoff’s phenomenon

A Pow Wow and a Lobster

It all started yesterday when my boss found me slumped against the plasterboard, eyes glazed. We had a quick pow wow and we’ve agreed I just can’t work two days in a row. It’s too much and far too physically demanding when I’m trying to cope with the MS symptoms.

He was brilliant and we now have a new plan. I will work single days with him, with time off for rest in between and if I’m just not up to it, he will let me loose on updating his website from home. Excellent. I could have cried in gratitude but my eyes were all gritty with brick dust.

I got back home a happy bunny. Exhausted but happy. So there was nothing I wanted more in the world than a nice, hot, steaming, bubbly bath. Mr Matey was lined up, the cat was out and I had the house to myself. Bliss. Just one thing I forgot – since having MS, I can’t have hot baths any more.

This is a sneaky symptom of MS. I am completely heat intolerant – Uhthoff’s phenomenon to give it it’s posh name. My last ever bath (hey, I do shower!), was a disaster. I had a slight inkling before and would have shorter and shorter baths without realising quite what was going on. But this final time, I ran a lovely bath, eased myself into it, let out a long sigh and lay back.

Wonderful. Except it wasn’t. As if a switch had gone off, I was suddenly completely drained of energy, my limbs wouldn’t move properly and my whole body was throbbing and tingling in pain.¬†When I finally managed to clamber out, I looked like a demented lobster. My face was bright red and I looked ill. I staggered downstairs and lay on the sofa for an hour or so until I recovered.

So, sadly, I am resigned to a life of showers. It’s just not the same, is it? Nobody relaxes in a shower. Unless it’s one of those hi-tec ones with an in-built telly and water jets firing at you from every direction, massaging you into submission. And where can you keep a rubber duck in a shower?

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