Staying Cool

By Ashley Ringstaff

It’s getting to be ‘that time of year’ for most of us, where it is getting warmer and warmer. For myself and many others, the heat is very difficult to manage when you have MS. Being in Central Texas, I wanted to share some tips/tricks that I’ve learned over the years, on how to ‘beat the heat’ so to day.

  • Cooling Packs: Yes, these are very helpful. Especially if you get the ones that you can place on your ‘temperature regulation’ areas. For example, your wrists and the back of your neck/top middle of your back. These have really helped me deal with the mid-summer heat here in Texas, when it can get to over 100 degrees.
    • Here is a company I have used: Polar Products
    • Hint: I will even get a small towel and soak it in ice water, then lay it on the back of my neck. I’ve even used the “Frog Togs Chill Pad”
    • Hack: If you want to make an ice pack that doesn’t get ‘hard’. Use one part rubbing alcohol to three parts of water. It will freeze, but won’t get hard.
    • You can also try and see if you are eligible for the MSAA Cooling Program. Click here for more info.
  • Staying hydrated: That’s a given, right? But sometimes, you really need something COLD to drink. I’ve found that the insulated cups/bottles really help with this. That way my water isn’t getting too hot while dealing with heat.
  • Appliances: I found this mist/fan at my local hardware store (Home Depot), that you place on top of a 5-gallon bucket filled with ice water. You sit the hose inside the bucket, and the fan on top, then you can choose if you want just the fan on, or the mist and fan at the same time.
    • Here is the one I have: Artic Cove Misting Bucket Fan
      • You can also buy a hand held Bottle that has a Fan & Sprayer, for cheap also. I just use the Artic Cove Bucket when I’m outside at home, for a long period of time.
    • If you’re going to be outside at home a lot, you can also look into a ‘mister system’ that can be hung up on your porch, and then screwed into the water hose. Example: Misting System
  • Light Clothing: This, I have found, is very crucial in helping me ‘beat the heat’. I’ve been buying the dry-fit clothing in the sports/athletic clothing. They are so much lighter than regular pants/jeans/shorts/shirts. It also allows a breeze to go through, if there is a breeze outside.
  • Plan Ahead: Be sure to keep an eye on your local weather, so that you know what to prepare for. If you’re going ‘out’ in the heat, try to plan to have a place to cool off at.
  • Multiple Fans: Using multiple fans, from my experience, is cheaper than running the AC at very cold temps.

These are just a few things that I have found out that really help me out during the warmer months.