You’re Invited: Girls Night in the Hot Tub (with a Heat Sensitivity)
Imagine getting an invitation to a girls' night out with your closest friends, where you all planned to catch up on life, have some snacks, and unwind in a hot tub. It sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it?
Well, that was the situation I found myself in not too long ago.
But there was a catch. I have a heat intolerance due to multiple sclerosis, which meant that getting into a hot tub wasn't an option for me. However, I was determined to find a way to still participate in the night, and I want to share my experience with you.
Needing to get creative
As a working momma, I craved time with my girlfriends, so I refused to do two things. I refused to miss this night, and I also refused to have them change the plans because of me only. I knew it would be a fun atmosphere that I could still participate in. I just had to get a little creative.
Let’s first take a minute to chat about heat intolerance. With MS, the body can be less able to regulate its temperature, leading to an increase in symptoms when exposed to heat. This means that even a few minutes in a hot tub can cause a flare-up of symptoms, leaving me feeling exhausted and weak.1
Knowing this, I didn’t even consider the hot tub as an option.
Yet, I didn't want my friends to change their plans because of me. However, I had to be honest about my limitations and find a way to participate without putting my health at risk. So, I decided to reach out to my friend hosting the night and explain the situation.
Coming up with a plan
I didn’t try to overexplain or even go into great detail. I simply stated the fact that because of MS, I have a heat intolerance that prevents me from going into a hot tub, even for a few minutes. However, I wanted to reach out in advance to see if we could get a little creative in still being part of the conversations.
My friend was, to no surprise, understanding and supportive. She assured me that she wanted me to be a part of the night, regardless of whether or not I could get into the hot tub.
We brainstormed some ideas for how I could still participate, and eventually came up with a plan.
This or That
Have the people in your life been supportive throughout your MS journey?
Connecting with each other
I arrived at my friend's house early, before anyone else, so that I could set up a spot for me to sit outside the hot tub. I brought along some snacks and drinks so that I could still enjoy the party atmosphere. I also made sure to dress in lightweight clothing, as even being in the heat outside could trigger symptoms.
When the rest of our friends arrived, I didn’t make a big announcement about me sitting outside the hot tub. I simply got comfortable and settled in for a night of girl talk.
Even though I wasn't in the hot tub, I still felt like I was a part of the group. We chatted, laughed, and caught up on each other's lives. It was a truly special night, because let’s not forget, connection with others is important for our healing, too!
It's okay to ask for help
Looking back on that night, I realize that it was a valuable lesson for me. It taught me that it's okay to ask for help and to be honest about my limitations. It also showed me that true friends are those who are willing to adapt and accommodate to make sure everyone feels included.
MS can be a challenging and isolating disease, but with a supportive community around you, it's possible to still enjoy the things you love.
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?