Summer Tip: As those of you living with MS know, summer can be a particularly tough time of year. Overheating is a real concern. Staying cool is difficult if you do not have access to a fan or air conditioner. There are many products out that athletes, walkers and runners use, one of these is called a “cooling towel.” There is a variety to choose from and are very convenient to take with you.
Tips for September: Stress is unhealthy for all of us but particularly for those living with MS. Some suggestions for relieving stress: Yoga - we have a wonderful book in our lending library, “Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis,” - by Loren M. Fishman, MD, and Eric L. Small, that is geared toward those with MS.
Another stress reliever: Meditation - The researchers say people who took the meditation training managed to reduce fatigue, depression, and anxiety and report improvements in overall life quality, compared to people who received usual medical care. - Hendrick, Bill (WebMD).
Tips for October: Some people with MS notice that symptoms, particularly spasticity, become worse in cold weather. It is generally recommended that people with MS who are sensitive to temperature try to avoid extremes of either hot or cold, and that people who are considering a move to a "better" climate try to visit first to see if the climate change is, indeed, beneficial.
Wrap up warm! Extra layers, such as thermal underwear, can help keep the heat in. When out and about keep your hands and feet warm with socks and gloves, and wear a winter coat, hat and scarf.
Hot water bottles and portable heat pads can be useful for extra warmth – and if you’re going on a journey, bring a flask of hot drink.
Make sure you are eating and drinking properly, as this will keep your energy levels up and help your body to cope with the colder temperatures. Eat hot meals and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
If you can, stay active – moving about will improve your circulation, generate heat and make you feel better.
November Tip: With the holiday travel season upon us, we would like to share some tips for getting through this stressful time from the book, “Multiple Sclerosis 300 Tips for Making Life Easier” by Shelley Peterman Schwarz (a book we have available in our lending library).
To obtain information about an unfamiliar destination, do research online, and/or contact agencies (Department of Tourism, Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, Chamber of Commerce) for places you wish to visit; these office can send you brochures and provide information on accessibility, attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and so on.
Be sure to find a motel or hotel that is centrally located to the areas you plan to visit; you don’t want to waste time and energy traveling from one side of town to another.
The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers is a nonprofit organization that provides important information to travelers with medical concerns. Travelers can obtain a directory of English speaking doctors in foreign countries.
Call the travel and tourist information bureau of the state you are planning to visit for information on accessibility. You can call the tourism office of the country or city of your destination to find accessible attractions and lodgings. Be persistent.
The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality is a nonprofit organization that acts as a clearinghouse for accessible tourism information. They are in contact with organizations in many countries to promote the development of facilities for people with disabilities. They publish a quarterly magazine, Access to Travel.
If you are still apprehensive about leaving familiar surroundings, become a member of Travelin’ Talk Network. It is a valuable resource for travelers with special needs. Members of the network share knowledge of their hometowns and/or extend a multitude of services to travelers who need help. Whether your wheelchair breaks down or you are trying to locate an accessible vegetarian restaurant, Travelin’ Talk members are “your friends away from home.”
Conserve energy and you will see more sights and have more new adventures. If you tire easily, you may want to rent a wheelchair to take with you or to be available when you arrive. Rental wheelchairs are available from pharmacies, medical supply companies or rental stores. Check and compare their prices and services.
There are many more helpful travel tips in this book. Please feel free to stop by and check it out!