I wish that title described my femme fatale attraction; however, I’m referring to the real heat. Anyone with MS knows that heat can play havoc on our nervous systems, but its approach is very stealthy. Yesterday, we had the second of some hotter days – the temps went into the 80s. I can stay comfortable and symptom-free in 70° weather, but after that, let the baking begin.
The problem with me, though, is that I don’t always recognize what is happening until it’s too late. On Sunday, while I was outside, it wasn’t that warm; I wore a light dress jacket, and I was very comfortable. During the day, however, the temperature kept rising without my realizing it. By evening, I felt weak, but I placed the blame on trying to do too much. There was a breeze outside, and we never turned on the AC. Wouldn’t you think by now that I’d immediately recognize my heat symptoms and try to wage a counter attack? I guess I’m a dummy.
Yesterday, the heat was noticeable, even indoors. But with the ceiling fans whirring, it doesn’t feel that hot. My husband had to go out last evening, and I fended for myself. When I went to the kitchen to get my dinner, I noticed that my gait was wonkier than normal, and my energy level was low. I still didn’t connect it to heat, though. As I said, I’m a dummy. By the time my husband got home, it was dark, and, therefore, cooler. Unfortunately, though, the damage was done.
When I went to stand, I couldn’t get up. My husband rushed to help me get up, and he was concerned. Then the light bulb went on. “I think I’m hot,” I murmured. My husband said it was cooler, but I knew differently. My blood had begun to boil, and it had already turned my legs into molten lava. Even with the walker, I had trouble walking the short distance to the powder room. At bedtime, my husband got the wheelchair to get me to the stairs. Then he quickly turned on the AC to full blast.
That’s when I realized even more how bad I was. It was impossible to lift my foot onto the step. My husband began the long tedious process of helping me to lift each foot onto a stair. I clung to the banister to hold me upright. I have an upstairs walker, which I used to edge down the hallway. I was too weak to even get changed, and I decided to just go to bed fully dressed. My husband eased my feet onto the mattress, and I just lay there soaking in the coolness of the AC.
I eventually fell asleep, and when I awoke in the middle of the night, I felt fine. I was able to walk again, and I finally got changed into my nightshirt. Once again, I was able to be revived. This morning I felt none of the symptoms from last night, and after a cool shower, I felt very refreshed. However, I learned (again) that I just cannot mess around with the heat. I have to remember, at the very first sign, to get cooled quickly. It will be hot again today, and I’m taking no chances. The AC is on, and I’ll move around cautiously.
I suppose I’ve learned another valuable lesson. If only I’d retain that knowledge for the next time.