Multiple Sclerosis and cold weather

Cold weather is not my friend. My muscles and joints choose to stop working the colder it gets thus making moving any body part especially difficult. If you were to ever see a snowman walking (or is it snowperson? I never get those things right.), I think I would be what that looks like. I can totally understand why bears choose to hibernate in the winter. I need to take a long vacation to the Caribbean right about now…or find a way to sleep until summer gets here. I’m open to options.

Between my hands having trouble holding onto things and my muscles freezing up, I’m a bit of a sight during the cold weather months. Every part of me seems to get weaker as the cold settles in. Yes, I also have trouble with hot temperatures. I need to find some place with even temperatures all year long. I’m definitely not looking forward to having snow. Have you ever tried maneuvering a wheelchair through a foot of snow? Talk about stressful.

Thankfully I’ve moved further south and snow is not as much of an issue for me any more. Just the act of putting on warm layers of clothing is difficult for me. I fall over putting on socks so I’m sure you can imagine the difficulties I have with long-johns, sweaters and gloves.

Because so many people with multiple sclerosis choose to remain indoors during winter, it’s a time when depression has a tendency to creep in. Parties are in the making, gatherings are happening and get togethers are more frequent among friends because of the upcoming holiday’s. For me, I give a lot of “maybe” replies to any invitation I get and those maybe’s turn into canceled plans more often than not.

Sadly, those invitations are becoming less frequent as the years go by. I think people just assume I won’t be able to come so they don’t even bother to ask anymore. Talk about painful. I’d rather be invited and given the choice as to whether or not I can attend then to not be invited at all.

Although this time of year can be difficult, don’t let depression walk in the front door…or sneaky in through the back door for that matter. I know that’s easier said than done, but try to keep the gloomies out. Find something you enjoy doing and stock up on all the supplies needed to keep you going for awhile whether that’s knitting, drawing, coloring, jigsaw puzzle building or movie watching.

I have a box filled with thing to keep me busy. In mine there are coloring books, 3D puzzles, building blocks and even a set of legos. Lately though, I’m finding it easier to use some of the apps on my tablet than the real items. I can just point and tap to fill coloring pages with my finger instead of trying to hold onto colored pencils and stay within the lines, and I can complete puzzles by tapping and dragging the pieces in place.

Get creative and make your own fun. The warmer weather will be back before you know it.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

49 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    As usual you’re spot on! I’m the same lately this cold and it ain’t that cold here in GA but I’m stiffer and having difficulty.
    My tablet gamen, puzzles, etc here for me …THANK GOD

    Reply
  2. M. Wilkerson
    M. Wilkerson says:

    I use a space heater to help at work. A heating pad at my couch at home, and I take a least one Epsom salt bath a week during the winter. Once my back get a chill in it, I can’t get it out. No amount of blankets, shawls, etc. will help. I also have a wheat filled thingy I put in the Microwave to heat up and lay on my neck and shoulder. I grew up in Massachusetts and love the snow, but as I get old I have learned cold is not my friend. I know South American, especially the northern part up around Panama has really great temps year round. But I am fair skinned and burn within 5 minutes of being outside. So I am caught in a catch 22. God Bless You all.

    Reply
  3. Karen Newsome says:

    It’s hard to find a place.
    Midwest- hot and tornadoes.
    Texas, Florida and gulf, too hot and humid.
    Upper northwest, less heat, more cold.
    They say there are places in California that are warm and cool year round. But then there are earthquakes. Arizona is hot, but no humidity.
    I guess you have to decide what’s the least you can tolerate. I’ll always go cold.

    Reply
  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I can see your problem Penelope weather changes can be annoying. But you know in New Zealand the further south you go (and it gets colder there) the more relevant MS is greater. Which made me think just now there is a lot more people with a link to the central European (that it has been reckoned to be the site of the start area of MS) down there so that may also be the reason. But as you write cold weather is just as bad as warm and we need a more balanced weather pattern to make it easier to live with.

    Reply
  5. Adrian Horne says:

    I’m the same. I’m desperate for the winter all summer then desperate for the summer all winter.
    The sun and heat turns me into a vampire, unable to do much of anything and wind and cold sees me bundled up like an eskimo trying to grab every few extra degrees !!! It’s definitely worsening as time goes by and I can’t help believe there’ll be a time when the two extremes meet and then I’m……… 🙁 xx

    Reply
  6. Stephanie Redden
    Stephanie Redden says:

    I do really bad in heat. I noticed once I stopped saying the cold was hard on me I could handle it better. I have noticed this year the cold is bothering me a little bit. Winter has not really started yet for us in WV. Only snowed twice so far.

    Reply
  7. Monique Gauthier
    Monique Gauthier says:

    It just goes to show you that this disease is remarkable in its individuality! The heat kicks my butt!! The one thing this disease cannot steal from us is our beautiful and unique sense of self!!!

    Reply
  8. Jo Sandeman says:

    I hear you, I’m exactly the same. It seems that I can’t do extremes of temperatures. So a temperate climate is needed. We, my husband and I, now live in beautiful Wales, It rains A LOT here but I guess that’s why Wales is so green and beautiful. But winter is pretty cold and whenever the sun does come out its hot!

    Reply
  9. Martina Reck says:

    Yup, I also have big problems with the heat in summer but this year I realised I have also problems with the damp coldness. It’s horrible. It seems there is no ideal weather for me

    Reply
  10. Joe Metiva says:

    This is one of the main reasons I moved back to Southern California from Michigan. I could not function in the extreme heat and humidity and I could no longer deal with the extreme cold.

    Reply
  11. Brian Chris Wegner says:

    I love your suggestion of having a box of things to keep us entertained! I have a cart with wheels that has books, coloring books, crayons & paper. The cart can come to any room I’m in without caring several items. Here’s to a fun winter! Oh, invite others over bringing dishes to share so to are still being social.

    Reply
  12. Jessica Urban says:

    I was newly diagnosed rrms this July. Everyone told me the heat was a problem, no one mentioned cold weather but i am having more problems now than before, i always have had in winter.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *