Yes, Lucky Me, I Have MS, Too

I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 2005 at the age of 48. However, my neurologist and I believe I had my first MS relapse or “event” at the age of 34. I belonged to a large HMO and I saw numerous physicians over the years, even two neurologists and the doctors told me it was depression, anxiety, stress from my work, menopausal symptoms- you name it.

We moved back home to Texas in 2004 and I was able to get on a different type of insurance through my husband’s place of employment and I was diagnosed in October of 2005. Of course, I was shocked with the diagnosis but at least I finally had a “name” to give to all the symptoms I had been experiencing for over 14 years.I was very angry with the HMO I had for not diagnosing my MS, as I could have started a disease modifying drug much sooner and perhaps my symptoms could have been slowed down years before I started Copaxone in 2005. Over time, I got over that anger, as it served no purpose.

I am 56 now and I have had MS over 20 years, so I deal with difficult symptoms on a daily basis, much like everyone else. I have severe fatigue on a daily basis and if not for my medication specifically for fatigue, I would be a lump on the couch my entire life. I walk into walls and other objects. I have depression and I have extreme heat intolerance. In fact, it is my heat intolerance that keeps me tied to the house about six months out of the year. My husband and I live in central Texas and summers easily last for six months with no break. Towards the middle or end of April, the air conditioner goes on and usually stays on until the middle or end of October. Our days are very hot and very humid and I can get overwhelmed by the heat in a matter of minutes.

Can anyone recommend a really good cooling system/vest? I received, for free, from the MS Society, the blue vests and equipment that you put in water and then ring out but they do not work very well for me. I believe that type of cooling system works best in areas with low humidity, which is NOT central Texas in the summer! I would really appreciate any information someone can give me regarding a company and types of cooling vests that actually work in areas where it is easily 95 degrees or higher with high humidity.Summer is around the corner and I am already getting nervous about my heat intolerance.Thank you for any information you can give me.

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