Seasons Come, Seasons Go

This winter season coming to an end couldn’t arrive soon enough for the majority of people in the US. Judging from some pictures I’ve seen posted on Facebook from family and friends on the east coast, as of the official first day of spring, winter was still holding on and had brought more snow to their area. My region in Ohio didn’t have a particularly harsh winter until we flipped the calendar for the month of February. Then we paid for the mild winter with extreme sub-zero temperatures and a lot of snow.

Cold affects my spasticity

Winter kicked my tail end – between the dark shortened days and the cold, I was so over the excitement of seeing fresh snow and the possibility of snow days that would close my place of work. The cold made the MS spasticity tighter than usual and it was all too easy to not do anything extra in my day except come home and sit and sleep. I heard the same complaint from others with MS and friends with arthritis – the brutal cold made moving more of a challenge than usual. If only there was a way to allow us to live in a year-round friendly climate.

Escape from the cold

I had the opportunity to speak at a conference in mid-March about MS research efforts, and as luck had it this conference was held in Tampa, Florida, and allowed me to escape the cold. My husband indulged me and we took some extra vacation time and spent a week on the shores of the Gulf Coast, where it was sunny and 80 degrees every day. It was the perfect weather for me, thanks to the breeze coming off the water. The warmth of the sun was just right and I took advantage of soaking in as much natural Vitamin D as possible. Honestly, I felt rejuvenated within the first day. I know summer in Florida becomes unbearably hot, but at this time of year, it felt pretty close to that perfect, friendly climate.

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Spring and fall have always been my favorite seasons of the year and I didn’t dread the return home, since looking at the weather forecast told me I was coming home to spring-like temperatures and the calendar proclaimed spring is here. But honestly, I would not have objected to a few more days beachside, feeling stronger and having a better attitude.

A renewed sense of energy

It was a startling contrast from the lush vegetation of Florida to fly over the still brownfields and leafless trees of Ohio, but I know that will change soon. It brings me back to that question of climate and how much it affects living with MS, both physically and mentally. The temperatures were warmer, the sun was brighter, and the tropical world contained so much more color; I would credit the combination of those to make me feel better and have a renewed sense of energy.

Welcoming spring

As the days grow longer, and the temperatures rise (and the snow melts), see if my thoughts are right and let me know if you feel that same improvement. Seasons come, seasons go, and after this winter our current season should feel wonderful. I’m sure I’ll be ready to complain about the heat of summer in a few more months, but for now I welcome spring.

Wishing you well,


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