I’m writing this blog to help navigate the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. At this stage of my disease, it has become imperative that family and friends (the inner circle) have some understanding of what TF will happen when I get too hot or cold. Throughout my social media groups, there are questions and conversations about which environment or climate is best for MS. Warm or cold? Has anyone experienced this *insert description of affliction*? MS is known as the snowflake disease because the symptoms are so numerous that no 2 patients are alike. Sure, we may experience similar symptoms; like over 60% of us have difficulty walking but, the degree of difficulty walking is different for each of us. MY struggles with temperature sensitivity may not mirror yours or the person you know with MS but I guarantee there are others like me. #WeRideAtDawn 😉😎
When I’m too DAMN cold
Number one, this is the most painful for me! Ohhhhhh noooooo. I am NOT down with the whole too cold vibe. In general, being cold causes shivering. You know that. Well, combine shivering with daily muscle spasms and BOOM, pain. Need more? Cool beans, I’m patient. 😉 There’s this thing called tremors. Tremors look like seizures, hard shaking, eyes roll, choking, difficulty breathing, heavy pain. When I get too cold, the innocent, little shaking turns into full blown, whole body tremors. A single tremor can last seconds or sometimes a full minute but everything is complicated because tremors can happen consecutively. 😭😭😭 I’ve been in some bad spots, in my own home, family sleeping due to tremors. One time, tremors hit me on my morning sabbatical to cannabicate. I don’t know how long I laid under a table before my wife found me. Another time, tremors hit me while I was alone upstairs in a rental home, yup, stuck again. Cold weather affects my breathing negatively too, definitely harder to breathe sucking in cold air. Now, all the basic stuff with colder environments kicks in. I have Spondylosis, degeneration of the spinal column, and multiple herniated discs and bulging discs. Cold weather locks up those joints and since I’m bundled up COLD, my joints stay locked cold. I’m a “cannabis medicator”, cold weather amplifies coughing, smoking causes coughing, I’m hurting, you get it.
Too HOT ain’t fun either
The heat is no walk in the park but starting off, it’s much less physically painful. That’s a good and bad thing. Good because well, less pain. 🤓😉 Bad because I’m unable to monitor myself without pain. Confused? I gotcha. When I’m hot, I pass out. It’s taken some years to pinpoint the indicators but yup, da lil handicapped homie will smooooooth overheat and pass out. First, I notice my hearing going out. A light ringing at first and then the world goes mute, silent. That’s when I actually know KNOW that I’m in trouble. Sometimes, I get naseaus but that particular symptom is associated with everything and nothing. Rarely do I notice much else until I’m about to actually go blank. That’s the bad. Once, on vacation in Belize, I almost fell out of a moving golf cart by passing out. Luckily, my wife was able to swing HARD left, keeping me in the passenger seat while dude-in-the-back held me inside until we could stop. I’ve been in the water, just chillin, relaxing and BOOM, pass out hits me. The heat is NOT fun-fun-run-play-chat-fun suddenly pass out. Nope. Hot temperatures bring extreme exhaustion and lethargic behavior. On a daily basis, I struggle moving with painful spasticity, legs shaking, tightness around the chest and imbalance. In the heat, I’m too exhausted to attempt movement. I don’t eat. I force myself to sip water. I quickly get stuck in temperatures over 82°. Sure, I’ll perk up for alcohol and cannabis (sativa because it’s an upper) but without something, I’m not moving. Not only am I stuck but I can’t even voice my own needs because I’m that freaking exhausted.
So, which is better? Which would I take? Where would I live? Easy. I’m taking the BEACH weather, exhaustion and passing out. Why? Come on maaaaaaaaan, less pain! If I’m living alone, I need the cold climate because the pain keeps me alert and hyper aware of my own needs. In cold climates, I self care my ass off. In hotter places & seasons, I get downright neglectful because I don’t have energy to perform self care routines. All that being said, I prefer a warmer climate. 🖤💪🏾🙏🏾