Brrr… When Did It Become Winter??

As I write this, it is the last day of October, and that means its Halloween! Growing up, and living in the Midwest has, over the years, really given me the gamut of weather for this holiday. Most years my mom had to make sure that my costume would work with my winter coat and boots because while there was only snow a handful of times, the weather is most often cold and damp. Which is definitely today here in Indiana. All of the kids will have to make sure to layer and wear warm, dry coats because it is raining, with some sleet and it’s colder than usual! Some places pretty nearby will even get snow today, and that can be a real downer to all of those cute, costumed trick-or-treater’s.

For those of us with MS, weather change can be a real downer. I know it is for me. The heat is my bigger problem, by far, and summer is the worst season for my MS symptoms and flares. I think most MS’ers have the same issues with heat; it seems to just ‘pull’ the get-up-and-go right out of us! But winter, and the temperature change from warm to cold can be pretty tough on those of us dealing with MS as well. I think it’s actually pretty misunderstood and we write it off because it shouldn’t be ALL weather changes that bother us, right? Unfortunately, MS does what it wants, when it wants, and any weather change is the perfect time for a flare up of symptoms and possibly even the onset of a flare. We have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves year round, and especially during the in between times like Halloween (late fall, early winter).

Weather changing is tough on everybody, from the healthy to those with MS, arthritis, and more. It’s cold and flu season, and those little icky germs go after everyone, no exceptions. Actually, they seem to go after those with compromised immune systems, (ahem, US again), even more. Which means we have to be extra cautious to keep those yucky, evil flu germs away. I got my flu shot about a month ago, as recommended by my doctor. I wash my hands all the time, and keep hand sanitizer in my purse and truck. Making sure to keep germs at bay can help make the transition from one season to another a lot better for our health and sanity.

I’m getting ready for all of the trick-or-treaters to come by and collect their candy. While I love giving out candy, and seeing all of the adorable costumes each year, part of me is sad that I am not going to be out “in the trenches”. A friend who has a kid going out asked me again this year if I wanted to go, and my legs won’t allow that to be an option for me once again. While that is frustrating and bothers me, I also know to choose my battles, and this is not one that is worth the fight. For me, right now, handing out candy from the comfort of my home, and pajamas, will be the best option on this chilly, rainy Halloween. I’ll still get to have the holiday experience, and interact with the kids. Plus, we like to be one of the cool houses, and give out good candy (more than one piece per kid, I assure you). Choosing your battles can be hard to do, no matter what the situation. I’ve always had a hard time saying no to something I’ve wanted to do just because my body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. But as I’ve spent more time with myself, and my MS, I’ve learned what good it can do for me to make choices that don’t always fit my desires, and stay home when I’d rather go out. It’s supposed to be a cold, wet weekend for us here, and I have some things I have to get done for work, so I know it’s more important to rest and save up the energy tonight instead of spending it on something frivolous.

For now I’m just going to enjoy giving out candy, and the start to one of (in my opinion) the prettiest times of the year. And I’ll put on some warmer socks, because, boy am I chilly!

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