Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tribulations of the Heat

The heat hit Columbus today... This is a big deal to the runner who has Multiple Sclerosis.

First, I have to admit that had a video been taken during this run, that video could have been placed next to the word whiny in the dictionary to demonstrate the meaning of the word. I tried wearing cooling bands on my wrists to keep me cold, but they were warm within the first two miles. I also announced two miles into the run that I was only going to run five miles instead of the intended six... To say I was a pleasant running buddy is an understatement!

Here are a couple of interesting facts about heat and multiple sclerosis:

1) In the early days, people were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by taking a bath. I'm not kidding either!!! The idea was, submerge a person in a hot bath and track their neurological symptoms, and if they worsen, the person probably has MS. This explains a lot!!! When I take baths, the chapters of the book I was reading often have to be re-read after the fact, because I can't remember a darn thing that happened during bath time. Yes I read during bath time because I do use it to procrastinate. So, unless I'm going to dump 40 lbs of ice in my bathtub, baths are now off limits. Oh, and I do know that the 40 lbs of ice in a bath tub is a bad idea... I've tried it!!!

2) Symptoms of heat are only temporary! Ask my best buddy and she will tell you the first 30 minutes after a run are the worst. I look like a drunkard, and do the airplane move (I still don't know what this looks like, but I hear it is funny) to maintain my balance. None of my efforts are all the successful, but I try!!! Once I have cooled down a bit via air conditioning in my car, or ice, or whatever, my symptoms subside and I can move bags of dirt, build garden boxes, take walks, and generally function at my normal, which is still very clumsy... Basically, if you need housework done and you have some dollars hanging around, I am out for hire... Just know I will likely fall into your freshly painted walls while I'm at it. Yes, I also know this from experience!

3) Heat does NOT worsen Multiple Sclerosis, meaning it does NOT cause more damage... It just makes you look like a drunken fool for a little while. See point two. So, one piece of advise, or recommendation I would NEVER offer to a person with Multiple Sclerosis, is to quit the activity that is making them clumsy, because chances are if they are willing to embarrass themselves for a little while just to do an activity, it must mean they like it and really don't plan to quit, unless their trusted medical professional told them they have to... This advice stems from an experience in which a person told me that eating only lettuce for the rest of my life would cure my MS (slight exaggeration but illustrated the point); my response  to said person was, 'I didn't realize you were cured from MS by using that treatment method.' I realize people give advice out of concern and I truly appreciate honesty, even when it doesn't feel good, but advice from undocumented sources really isn't all that helpful.

So, today, I went out and persevered!!! I made it through six miles, yes I lost the battle of the miles... And although I whined through 5 of the 6 miles, I walked away knowing more about varieties of food and with a very close friend still in tact (xylitol is a food, by the way). How lucky am I!!!

I'll make sure to take a picture of a sweat angel to share in the future!!!

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