I love the summer. I also live at the beach. So, I’m just asking for trouble.
I can’t help it. Being out in the sun is one of my greatest pleasures, followed by hanging around in the swimming pool at our condo. Note that I said in the pool. Staying in the cool water helps offset the problems that summertime temperatures create for those of us with MS.
Even if you don’t have a pool handy, there are still ways of staying cool in the heat.
The national MS Society has lots of good hot weather hints on its online magazine.
And there’s a great review of thirteen cooling vests on the web site www.activemsers.org. Some of these vests, of course, can be expensive but the MS Society suggests that you try seeing if your insurance will cover the cost as an item of Durable Medical Equipment. The insurance code for that is E-1399. If your claim is denied the Society also has instructions on their web site for filing a health insurance appeal.
For me, a simple and inexpensive neck bandana has worked well. When I exercise in the heat I like to use it around my neck. It only costs a few bucks and it usually keeps its cool for a few hours.
Have you wanted to get onto the beach but walking though the sand is impossible? Most beaches are accessible, one way or another. Ocean City, MD, where I live, has several beach wheelchairs which you can borrow. Many other beaches have the same set-up. The beach patrol usually coordinates the chairs. At some beaches you can reserve a chair while at others it’s first-come, first-served. Of course, you need to have someone to push you. If you fly solo, or if you spend a lot of time on the beach, you might want to consider buying something similar to what I use. (Obviously, this isn’t a summer picture but it’s all that I have). This beach buggy was made by a fellow in California who’s a quad. It was expensive, and it took him forever to build and ship it, but it gets me out on the sand, it’s loads of fun, and it’s fast!. I don’t want to make a recommendation but you can find several folks who make these if you search on-line. In San Diego, California you can reserve a power beach chair like mine, to use free of charge, at several beaches. For more info, check with Accessible San Diego at: 619-325-7550.
Some beaches, like a few in New York City, even roll out a blue carpet to make your access easier.
Here’s a look at some accessible beaches, near and far.
At the beach I can walk into the water if a couple of people help me and the surf is light. The undertow makes getting out more difficult. But if you’re not that mobile Adam Lloyd, who writes the Gimp on the Go web site, has come up with a unique idea.