Helpful Tips for MS and Cold Weather (Cold Sensitivity!)

We get a lot of information about how many of us that are diagnosed with MS have heat sensitivity issues. During the summer especially we hear about where to get cooling vests and what different methods those of us who do experience heat sensitivity use to cool off. Less attention is paid to the other end of the spectrum…which is the sensitivity to COLD. Personally I am a lot more comfortable in warm climates than cold. I often have very cold hands and feet and feel like I really tense up all over when the weather gets colder. Here are some of the things I do to try and keep warm this time of year, no guarantees or anything but these things help me!:

Layers:
Mom was right! Layers absolutely help. Recently I’ve been making sure I have a pair of long underwear or leggings on under my pants, just about always. To make sure they don’t get awkwardly pulled up when putting on my jeans or boots I pull my socks over the leggings too.

Drink Hot Stuff!:
I love my coffee in the morning, personally though I try and stop drinking caffeine by noon. I switch my drink of choice to tea or what I call my “ginger water” which is just a few slices of ginger either put into my teapot with hot water or boiling the water on the stove with some ginger in it. Sometimes I add a little bit of turmeric as well but that is to help with inflammation more than temperature.

Heating Pads:
I absolutely love heating pads…I don’t currently have one but in the past I have used an actual electric blanket at times and at other times a heating pad. They help a ton for me when I’m really cold, especially when I am trying to go to sleep and the coldness is keeping me from relaxing. I’m also a fan of the hand warmers that are little packets of warmth that can be used on occasion.

My Family:
As a mother of three that participates in our version of “Attachment Parenting” I very much appreciate the little warm bodies that tend to surround me. I co-sleep with my kids and most nights have anywhere from 1-3 little people surrounding me. It definitely affects the quality of sleep (they seem to have a hard time holding still!) but they also improve it since they are like little furnaces temperature-wise. My husband of course is also wonderful when it comes to warming me up but at night the kids are usually occupying the both of us.

Hot Shower/Bath:
Might be obvious but sometimes I am very happy to remember that we do have hot water in the house. If I take a warm enough shower I definitely feel warm to the core and if I can dry my self fast enough and put some lotion on (I use coconut oil) I am super warm. It helps if I start the shower warm and slowly ease the temperature higher since with my cold feet the warm water can feel almost scalding!

What do you do? I’m always looking for more tips to add to my toolbox…I’d consider adding a treadmill to this list but since I have to go to a gym to do that it is less than convenient…anything you recommend?

It’s Getting Hot Out! How Are You Handling It?

I am fortunate enough to be living in Seattle, which right now seems to be one of the most temperate areas, at least compared to the other states it is. It is getting way hotter than usual though! We started with a winter with dramatically less snow than we usually do and now I’m thinking it is time to get an air conditioner! I don’t know of any friends that have an air conditioner but I’m going back to my days in NYC when the summers were scorching, and I know that having one made a world of difference. I was shopping on Amazon and decided to add a few of the things I found that had great ratings and high power to a widget, I’ll add them to the Moms with MS Store too to make it easier to browse, but this is what I have so far:

We are also working on getting some other cooling gear that we’ll be selling soon on the site, but more on that later!

Stay cool and share your tips so we can cool off too please! I know I’m making lots and lots of ice cubes for iced tea…and I’m considering brewing my coffee at night so I can have it iced in the morning too!

Did You Know There Is Panties for Periods? (+ Incontinence?)

Incontinence is something that can affect just about everyone, be it from pregnancy, MS, or other reasons. I felt like I had to share what I found which is panties that are meant to be “Period Panties” and protect your clothes during that time of the month. The ones pictured below caught my attention because they don’t look like training pants!! It looks like pretty regular underwear!

Period Panty

I’m curious to know if anyone has tried these or the SheThinx ones that I’ve seen advertised on Facebook recently that also donate to women/girls who need it in other parts of the world…I’d love to see some Moms with MS reviews!!

My Mommy Has MS – Awesome Book For Explaining MS to Kids!

MyMommyHasMSI spent some time on Twitter the other day and stumbled across this find, Rebecca Clary was inspired to write this book and to create a website to support Parents with MS because (as we know!!) there doesn’t seem to be enough of that.

It is exciting to see her books (there are four now I believe?) and I bet there is more to come! You can see her site at MyMommyHasMS.com as well as follow her on Twitter @MyMommyHasMS and /or Facebook and support her efforts to inform the kids in a way that they can understand that isn’t scary. I think the more we do things like this and talk about our experience the less scary it will be for all of us. You are an inspiration Rebecca!! We’ve been trying to find was to talk to the kids about MS and can absolutely see you are filling a need. Thank you!!

Origins Movie

I’m not sure how much longer it will be available online so I had to share while I had the chance! They are discussion myelin and much more about brains through out the whole thing. Fabulous movie I’m definitely getting the DVD copy.

It interviews a number of people who I have read books by and who I respect highly in the world of wellness of ourselves, our children, and our mother, planet earth.

Talking to Kids about Multiple Sclerosis


As moms who are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis this is something that we all deal with. There are of course variances in how and what we share of course too because we are all different. Some tips are published by various Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Organizations as well and will be linked to in this post. Here are some stories and resources compiled from moms on and off our site:

When my daughter asked me what MS was around age 4 I explained to her mommy has little squiggles in her brain that make her do funny things sometimes. She asked if they hurt, I said no and I could tell how much more at ease she was from then on when I was struggling.
Heather

Another mom spoke of a program offered once where there was an informational session called MS Journey that had therapists and activities to talk to the kids about it in one room, and the caregivers/spouses/partners were in another room. There was a lot of advice and tips for talking to kids given and the adults were able to voice their fears and frustrations. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were offered regularly for all of us families dealing with MS?

Some places have some camps for kids too, if you are interested in this contact your local chapters of NMSS, MSAA, and MSF for information.

Pharmaceutical companies have some advice too, for example on MSLifeLines (Pfizer).

Here is one book that is available, written by a mom, Stefanie Lazai to help other moms talk to their kids. You can go to Benjamin and see the book online, and either listen to it, or read it aloud to your child.

Some other books available online as .pdf’s or to order:
Mommy’s Story (from MSAA)
Daddy’s Story (from MSAA)

For older kids they can read about MS and other conditions on this site:
http://kidshealth.org/kid/grownup/conditions/ms.html

Personally I don’t like utilizing these resources, mostly because I have very few symptoms and when I do they don’t usually last very long. I don’t want my children to worry. If anything does come up, I explain to my kids (who are pretty young) that my body is simply not working right, and that hopefully I will feel better the next day. – Kristin

Another great resource is from DoingWheelies.com by Jenn about Tips for Talking to Kids about Disabilities. It is not specific to MS but it is very very relevant for all of us to talk to our kids about this because whether they see it at home or not, it can help them understand.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society has this page set up for families as well: Family Matters.

Please share any tips or resources you have to share in the comments!

MyMommyHasMS