I got myself a cooling vest a couple of weeks ago. My neurologist strongly recommended that I get one for the trip, to use in hot climates or anywhere that we will be doing a lot of physical activity. People with MS tend to get increased neurological symptoms if they get overheated, as the electrical impulses do not travel through the nerves very well in those conditions. Okay, strike that; they never travel well, but the situation worsens if the person gets too hot.
It took me ages – six months! – to actually order a vest, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to it without the weekly reminders I got from Charles, the guy who works on my leg. Instead, I did what I always do when things make me uncomfortable: I just made jokes about it. (“I’ll be able to carry everyone’s wine coolers!”) Once I ordered it, it sat in the package for weeks. I might not have gotten around to opening it and trying it on without constant reminders from Patti, who was concerned that if it did not fit, I was not leaving myself enough time to return it.
I put “Try on cooling vest” on the to-do list for tonight… and actually did it. Upon opening the package, I noticed that the vest looks strangely like a life jacket.
It has a velcro-and-elastic waist strap, and velcro flaps over the shoulders, to adjust for a one-size-fits-all fit. Which, of course, means it really doesn’t fit anyone well, but it won’t fall off and it will do its job. When you open it, you find four compartments for the cooling packs. The packs can be cooled in ice water – they don’t need a freezer – which seemed very convenient for this trip.
Then I tried it on and we all laughed at how ridiculous I looked. A self-portrait of me in front of Q’s shower curtain of emoticon joy:
Although the cooling vest is designed to wear under a shirt, I think I might just wear it outside my clothes. Yes, I would look like I am wearing a life jacket, but at least I would not look like the incredible inflatable woman. Plus, I figure everyone will be jealous of my awesome coolness while they swelter in the blazing sun. (Hey, a girl’s got to hope.)
- I’m grateful! to my Little Deb for going out with me, going over my checklist with another pair of eyes, and helping me out in so many ways! (and to both Deb and Whitney for buying cookies!)
- I’m lighter! by about 10 tasks from the list. A very productive day.