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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Too Hot For....most anything!

I'd like  to report that my blog has been  in disrepair  and ignored so long because I've been away on some great  vacation - some stupendous event that you are all dying to hear about. Sadly - that isn't the case, unless you are really interested in my Camille act that involves mostly lying about in a darkened room with an air conditioner going full tilt along with a fan blowing directly on me. Sighing a lot.

It's hot here - heck it's hot everywhere this summer and for those of us who live with MS it's an especially difficult time.

Suffice it to say I need a new wiring harness and have a great many shorts in my system thanks to the demyelinating effects of Multiple Sclerosis. There's something abut an increase in body temperature - even as much as a half of degree that sets things into a tizzy. In my case, (all MS'rs are a little different) it begins with a slightly drunken looking sway to my gate, my words begin to slur, I develop double vision, and before you know it - I look and sound like someone who's been on three day drunk. Even swallowing becomes difficult.

Most generally once I get my temperature back down to a reasonable  place the worst of those symptoms disappear. Then comes the fun part - the constant spastic muscle cramps and movements. and I do mean constant - I swear I could time the contractions in my "Big" muscles with a metronome. Cooling off doesn't help with those - and about the only option I have is to load up on pain killers and muscle relaxers and head to the dark cold bedroom.

I literally lose days in weather like this. It doesn't take a prolonged exposure either. A simple walk down the drive way to the mailbox can leave me unable to get up the porch steps without the dogs' assistance.
Since this summers heat has been so relentless and so wide spread I've put together a few tips to help everyone mange in the heat  not just those with heat intolerance.

1. Plan your activities outdoors in the cooler parts of the day - essentially - don't head to the fishing hole at high noon on a day when the heat index is 105 - the fish probably aren't going to be biting any way.

2. Enlist in the aid of cooling devices such a hats, cooling vests, wrist and neck wraps. If you don't have any of these  available, simply wetting a bandanna in the water in your cooler can  help via evaporation.

3. Stay hydrated - CDC recommends 16-32 oz of fluid replacement every hour of outdoor activity in excessive heat - while water is always a good choice it helps to to also use sports drinks to help replace lost electrolytes.

4. Plan as many activities in shady areas as possible. Often temps can be 5-10 degrees cooler in the shade.

5. If you a planning an outdoor activity alone, be sure to let a trusted friend or family member know where you are going and when you anticipate you will return. Remember to call them upon your return!

6. If you begin to feel overheated find shade and a water source, be it a hydrant at a picnic area , a pool or lake or stream. Drenching oneself with cool water will help via the evaporation  process to lower your body temperature.

Best bet - if you have heat intolerance issues - stay inside where it is air conditioned until evening  or nightfall when generally the heat should be subsiding somewhat. Learn to enjoy night fishing, frog gigging and star gazing.

Here's a quick recipe for a home made sports drink type formulation that can save you a bundle during these dog days of summer -

1/2 cup orange juice
9 tbs. Sugar
3/8 tsp Salt
2 liters water.

This makes enough to fill two  recycled 1 liter sports drink bottles. If orange isn't you most favorite flavor, substitute any other type of juice such lime, lemon, grape etc. that you have on hand.

This gives, per an 8 oz serving:
14.4 grams carb (6.1%)
104 mg sodium
28.4 mg Potassium

Stay cool friends - I'm retiring back to the frigid arctic den that is my bedroom these days!

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