Tag Archives: warmth

The Return of The Angry Red Tomato-Face

angry red tomato faceMen in loud-patterned shorts and flip-flops are everywhere, I have a stack of special offer leaflets from supermarkets urging me to stock up on barbecue ingredients and the weather forecasters can barely contain their excitement.

We are having a spell of warm, sunny weather and I am not best pleased. In fact, I am downright grumpy. Two years ago I enjoyed the warm weather as much as anyone, but one day that all changed as my face morphed into an angry red blur, my limbs went weak and I felt faint with fatigue. Since then Uhthoff’s phenomenon, otherwise known as heat intolerance, has made my life a misery.

A tiny spot of sun will add a youthful, flushed glow to my face. Any more than that and I begin to scare small children. I often wish I was born 100 years ago so I could carry a parasol when outdoors and recline on a chaise-lounge, delicately fluttering a fan  and sipping peppermint tea when the heat gets too much. And a bonnet would be ideal for bad hair days.

It’s not just weather that does this – hot radiators in the winter, ‘atmospheric’ log fires in gastropubs and over-heated shops all take their toll. Opening the oven door is a tricky operation. Do it too quickly and I’ve got to lie down for five minutes, pizza sadly forgotten.

I fondly remember giving myself home-made facials by adding lavender to a bowl of boiling water and steaming my face over it. Nowadays that would probably be the best way to make me give up my PIN numbers and passwords.

I am now a semi-vampire, hiding in the house as much as I can and my super-size fan is my new best friend. I have become an expert at judging where any breeze is coming from. I rearrange chairs in cafes when a blast of sun comes through the window.

So this bank holiday weekend, I will mostly be at home. I will not be going to a barbecue – it’s insanity to cook in the heat. I will not be going to the beach. I will not be sitting outside a pub.  I will instead smile through gritted teeth when yet another person says, ‘oooh, lovely weather we’re having!’ Isn’t it just…

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Beat The Heat…

ID-10019970My guest blogger today is Katie Brind’Amour. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and freelance health and wellness writer based in America, and loves learning about natural ways to live well. She enjoys writing for Healthline.com and WomensHealthcareTopics.com:

Perhaps it’s wishful Spring thinking, or perhaps it’s the knowledge that year after year it does eventually get warmer, that makes me turn to thoughts of sun and heat. When fighting MS, however, warm weather is not all good news.

Most people with MS have something in common: myelin sheath that has taken a permanent vacation. This means your nerves are extra sensitive to temperature changes, and flare-ups can happen.

Dealing with MS When It’s HOT (or if you’re in the UK….’a tad warm’)

  1. Make the air conditioner your best friend. Hang out together all the time—whether it’s at your house or the local grocery store, mall, or movie theater. Becoming best mates means lots of quality time in a cool, comfortable climate (and less quality time feeling the burn!).
  2. Invest in ice packs. These frozen heroes can be frozen overnight and taken with you for a day trip, picnic, or even a hot car ride (if your car can’t handle your air conditioner best friend). They are super cheap and stay cold for many hours—wrap them in a towel for long-lasting cold presses. Otherwise, be old-fashioned and just run a washcloth under water to use to cool your skin during walks or outdoor time.
  3. Be cool: use water. This means drink it (cold!), swim in it, and bathe in it wisely. Add ice to beverages to keep your core a bit cooler, enjoy a cool pool for exercise, and take a cool bath. Hot water only tends to aggravate MS symptoms. Although you can sub out other cold liquids for the drinking bit, substituting other liquids for swimming and bathing may not be quite as feasible…
  4. Protect that body! Be smart about your exposure to sun and heat. This goes for clothing (dress lightly and protect your skin from sunburn) as well as for finding shade. Short of investing in one of those giant retractable awnings they show on TV, you might try finding a shady park for morning walks or wearing a super fashionable baseball cap.

Just remember: to beat the heat troubles of MS, it doesn’t take pure genius, just common sense. Enjoy the coming warm breezes with a totally chillaxed mind (and body—MS or no!).

p.s. the totally gratuitous image of a lovely young man cooling down was taken by Graur Razvan Ionut and is available free (the image, not the man) at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10019970

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