Support You Can Offer Your Loved One With MS During Summer Heat

A Caregiver’s Tips to Reduce MS Symptoms During Summer Months

Well, it’s me again.  Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.  As we head into the summer months, God I have missed the humidity, we are faced with a whole new set of challenges.

It has finally stopped raining.  I thought I would float away or rust away before I saw the sun again.  Cabin fever had probably set in for everybody.  Now that the sun is out, we all want to get out and enjoy.  You can, if it is not 957with 1000% humidity like we have in the wonderful southern USA.

If the temperature is between 65o and 80o with little or no humidity, my wife thrives.  As the heat and humidity rise, Lisa’s “feel good quotient” goes down proportionately.  So how do you deal with your loved ones’ desire to enjoy the beautiful clear weather without knocking them down for a week?

Here are a few things I have tried:

  • Make sure the air conditioner is working and lock the doors and not let them out of the house.  Wait.  This may be a detriment to YOUR health.  Just ignore this one.
  • If you have to get out, make sure the place has AC.
  • Try to plan short outings either early or later in the day.  The vehicle AC is VERY important.
  • If you have to get out in the heat of the day, drop you loved one off at the front door and park the vehicle and walk yourself.
  • Watch the weather and plan things on the cooler or overcast days.
  • Make sure your loved one has a good cold drink to help keep their body temperature down.
  • Try to eat several lighter meals instead of one or two heavy meals.
  • Take care of the outdoor work yourself, unless they can get out during the cooler part of the day.
  • Keep a positive attitude even if plans change.
  • If your loved one wants to go on a “date”, do it, even if you are home by 9:30 because they get tired.  Make it fun while they have the energy.

Thunder storms cause Lisa to experience migraines.  When the weather starts to change, I encourage her to lie down and not worry about waiting on me.  Be mindful how changes in the weather affect your loved one.   I try to take care of chores, cooking, cleaning, and laundry, to allow her time to rest.

As you have heard me say many times, don’t get mad at your loved one.  IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT, unless they went out last night and drank the bar dry.  If this is the case, you can be a little upset, but not mad unless they do this on a regular occasion and is the reason they do not feel good.

If you really love the person you are caring for, tell them.  Show them.  This does not mean I or you should do something because you feel you have to or when it is expected.  Do something when it is least expected.  You don’t have to go all out.  Do what you can.  Is it picking up food on the way home? Is it their favorite candy bar/ice cream?  Is it their favorite drink? Is it buying a small bouquet of flowers?  Is it a cruise?  Is it a new car?  The answer is yes and no. Big or small, you have to figure out what makes your loved one happy.  With that being said, don’t put yourself on the poor farm trying to show your love.  If you do out of love, they will appreciate whatever you do.

If you start to get stressed yourself, fall back on the support network you have made.  If you have not found/formed a support network, get busy.  Your state of mind is very important to your loved ones health.  If you have trouble connecting with people, there is One who is the greatest support network of all and on call 24/7/365.  You have heard me reference not being alone, so I hope the following can bring you comfort during the trying times:


The Footprints Prayer:  One night I had a dream… I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way; But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, There is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me. The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you. –

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I pray you have a great summer.  I pray you and yours are able to enjoy some time together in the outdoors.  May He bless you with a cure.  If not a cure, more good days than bad.  When you come to the realization that it is His plan, you will find His strength to carry you through the tough times.  He will never ask more of you than you are capable.

I read the following about a young man who was expected to be a top pick in the NBA draft this week.  He found out this weekend that he has Marfan syndrome.  This has caused an enlarged aortic artery.  He will never be able to pursue his dream of playing competitive basketball.  As any of us would do when confronted with the prospect of never doing what we have strived for all our lives, the young man broke down and cried.  He went to another room to compose himself.  When he returned, he gave his younger brother and sister a hug and told them that everything would be fine.  He then said he would finish his education and become a coach and mentor. His mother told him “sometimes God puts trials in your life so you can get through them. God sees you as vessel for Him.”  Tough times reveal character, they don’t just build it.

He has put you in the place where you are today.  How do you handle it?  This is a question that only you can answer.  If you are not sure, HE is the answer.  Until next time, keep the faith and MAY ALL YOU DO BRING HONOR AND PRAISE TO HIM.