First the Basics: LDN 101

"LDN" (low dose naltrexone) is an "alternative" medication used with surprising success in treating immune disorders, both autoimmune and immune deficient. Taken orally at bedtime, LDN works by briefly blocking opiate receptors, thereby "tricking" the body into increasing endorphin production. Endorphins being a central part of the immune system, increasing their production has been shown to help correct immune defects.


Coping with a Long Hot Summer

Eight years ago when I was diagnosed with MS, I was living about a half hour west of Austin on 10 acres with a beautiful view, lots of wildlife, wildflowers, woods, fresh air and quiet....but no running water and no a/c or heat. 

I was 52 and roughing it was getting old, MS or no MS. I dealt with the summer heat and the ongoing lack of running water partly by showering at my gym every day. And swimming in Barton Springs Pool, a sacred swimming hole in Austin that's a brisk 68F year around- very refreshing. I was still rehabbing myself from a back injury, and was a fanatic about working out and swimming laps. My exertions were slow and steady, never intense (a turtle literally passed me in the pool one day), but it felt so good and kept me moving, and cooled me down very effectively.
Out-of-towners tend to shriek when that icy cold spring water hits 'em...

Elevated body heat - sometimes even a fraction of a degree- can be a real  problem for MS patients. Most of us do best when kept cool.

Here in Austin we're experiencing the hottest summer on record, as well as a truly brutal drought. The average high temp in August was 105, 9 degrees above normal.

Personally I suspect we're being punished for electing Rick Perry, the phony-baloney jerk....

I check the National Hurricane Center every day, looking for signs to hope that something might improve; this time of year we look to the tropics....

And the parents lived through the Dust Bowl and my own childhood memories are set against the Drought of the '50's; "drought" was the first grown up word I remember hearing and fearing .....

....but it was nowhere near this hot back then. Temps have reached as high as 112 this summer, and it's been 106F almost every week, sometimes hotter, and over 100F almost every single day.

If this is the new norm, we're screwed.
Desperation brings a grey fox to South Austin backyard for a drink; cat wisely decides to share

As I count down the days to October (25 days, 5 hours, 15 minutes and counting) when the 3-digit highs will surely be gone for a few months, I have my little strategies; they're not much, but it's all I got...

First, I stay inside (duh). Between 9am and 10pm, unless I have no choice, I stay inside where the climate is controlled to about 75 degrees or less. The cooler it is, the better and smarter I feel, but I can't afford to fully indulge my love of frost

You know, this Thanksgiving when we go around the table listing what we're thankful for, I really must remember to mention air conditioning, ever though the holiday season makes it easy to forget. I really am truly thankful that I have the luxury of living in a house with air conditioning. Now if I can only think of the right Lotto numbers, I'll move about 1,000 miles north in a New York minute. Seriously. It's not only too hot here, but Texas gets stupider with every election. 

Second, I use ice packs (I keep several in the freezer) and drink a lot of icy cold water. Popsicles are a major food group for me this time of year too, and I have a little snow-cone machine for the shaved ice. Love that shaved ice!

Third, I NEVER get into a hot car. That takes planning and sometimes sacrifice (in that I have to decline invitations that would involve my melting.) Sounds silly I guess but it's a good rule for me.

Fourth, I inspire myself with images of cold things. My computer wallpaper features icebergs and glaciers.  Hey, it can't hurt.

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