The Texas Heat is My Arch Nemesis

I hate to love summertime. I have loved everything about being outside, especially in the summer, since I was young. I love the sun, I love laying out and getting a good tan, but mostly I love being outside with my family. I have a husband and almost one year old who could practically live outside in the summer. Sadly, the summertime heat does NOT love me. In fact, each summer I have hopes that it won't be so dreadfully hot, just so I can be outside more. It's really ironic, because I actually live in one of the hottest and most humid places around-the Dallas, TX area. The heat is brutal. I walk outside somedays and it's almost as if the heat is a hidden weight that just hits me out of nowhere. I will begin to feel weaker, and my arms and legs feel heavier. The heat can literally weigh me down and plain suck the life right out of me. Heck, I don't even have to go outside! I can be in the comfort of my air conditioned home and the effects of the horrid heat still come creeping over my body. Just the other day, I was doing my daily workout INSIDE and could feel my body weakening because of the heat. My arms and legs did not want to hold the weight of my body. Then, I saw the temperature outside and it all made sense. Heat is the trigger for my MS, and it plain stinks when you enjoy summertime so much.

The worst symptom of all is what I like to call heat induced fatigue. As you know, if you also have MS, then you most likely suffer from fatigue too. Fatigue is my biggest symptom. MS fatigue is tough to begin with, it's like when everyone else gets extremely tired--but that tired feeling on steroids! It doesn't matter how much you rest or how much you sleep-every morning you still wake up feeling like you haven't slept a wink. But, the dreaded heat induced fatigue is the absolute worst, in my opinion. I know I've been in the heat too much when days later I can't figure out why I can't get going, and why I severely lack energy and motivation. Then, it becomes clear--your body got too hot, so now you suffer. This kind of fatigue seems to drag on the longest. It's a cycle in the summer really-you get too hot, you get overly fatigued, you then think you're better and go outside thinking you can spend a little bit longer in the heat-and it begins all over again.

I really don't have too much to complain about with my MS. I was diagnosed at the age of fourteen, so they were able to get me on treatment and get the progression of my disease under control early. However, the biggest pain of it all is the fact that it is the small things that have such a huge impact on my body, like simply being outside in the heat. Don't get me wrong, I still go outside in the summertime daily. I play with my little boy and watch him enjoy every single second of being in the great outdoors. While he's enjoying the sun, I just stay in the shade and make sure to keep cool. I've had to learn the hard way that I can't always do what I want outside when it's hot-I have to listen to my body and limit myself. Does it suck sometimes? Sure, but it's worth every second of being healthy and happy with my family!

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