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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.


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,

Laura

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • itasara
    5 years ago

    We all talk about the weather even though we cannot do anything about it! It does affect much of our lives, to be sure. I spent a good time of my life in Cols. Ohio. It was or used to be warmer than my current home. At least the winters seemed to end earlier. The last two winters (here in Rochester, NY) were very difficult, more than I can remember in the past 30 odd years because of the below 0 temps that didn’t let up for weeks. Yes we had more snow this year. I am waiting for Spring and it is already April 8th, still chilled to the bone! As for summer, even with MS, the heat does not seem to bother me. Humidity which we haven’t had a whole lot of in the past couple years or so is annoying for anyone. I live with the cold wearing lots of layers and using my gas fireplaces to warm up the house (without running electricity) or the room I am in. Regardless of the weather, I don’t get much exercize because I am basically lazy and connected too much to the computer. This past couple months I have been plagued with overactive bladder which hasn’t been a huge problem in the past couple years, but is now and for the past month or so it is. It could be MS or post years of pregnancy or old age – hard to say. But I worry about going out or traveling for that matter a bit for fear I won’t find a bathroom in time! Most of the time it’s at night, but even so…a couple of my kids are in Arizona, and my husband spent a few weeks there last year and this year.. He really hates the winter now and plans to go next year to visit. I may join him this time (couldn’t before because of aging pets who have since passed away) but traveling isn’t easy either! We have to make decisions as they arrive! Nice article, Laura; thanks for sharing! Hopefully the flowers will bud soon and the colors will return. I just hope next winter will not be so difficult for any of us!

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    5 years ago

    Rochester can be a tough place to live in the winter – MS or not. If that bladder is really causing you fits, be sure to see a urologist (urogynecologist is best!) – they have a few tricks that can help, including botox for the bladder. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Laura

  • Teri
    5 years ago

    I lived near Buffalo NY for almost 27 years; by the time I was forced to retire, I was pretty much house bound. I had a beautiful new dog who loved walking but from late Oct on, I would lose my footing. I rarely feel bad in the summer but changes are difficult—rain, temperature drops. Moved to southern Alabama—not cured but I get around so much better and have less mobility issues. My back cramps up but water helps. Makes me feel better to not be the weird one; most of my NY MS friends were bothered by summer.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    5 years ago

    Teri, you make a good point in that walking during that time could be hazardous and also it is exhausting to always be concerned about taking that next step. Southern Alabama has its crazy heat, but I do know people with MS who thrive in it and can’t take the cold weather. This crazy disease makes up its own rules, obviously. be well, Laura

  • L Grah
    5 years ago

    I love your articles. I live in Texas over by San Antonio. I think the weather affects everyone and it is what you are used to. I know, my spasticity was really bad this year, and I had lots of MS hugs. I mentioned that to my dr, and she said that the cold weather causes our body to contract and that causes the MS hugs and such. Now, the heat gets to me, also. But, at least with the heat, I can cool off by swimming. I am thankful I don’t live where it is really cold. But, I do enjoy reading what you write, thank you,
    Lisa

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    5 years ago

    L Grah, Thanks for the kind comments. Cooling off in a pool always feels good to me, too. In your part of the country I imagine you use that a lot in your hot summers. best, Laura

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