Kids, as you  may or may not know, I am a person who has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I have Relapsing/Remitting MS, which means that most of the time I'm pretty healthy. I only have occasional symptoms, and very rarely do I have what they call a "relapse" or "attack."

Relapsing/Remitting is the least aggressive form of MS, and it's the most common.  The majority of people are slated in this group when they're first diagnosed.  If you're lucky, you don't have any problems for quite a time between your actual exacerbation periods.

Here's a quick run down of basically what MS is and does to you, just so you know what I'm talking about.  Basically what happens is, for an unknown reason, your immune system begins attacking a substance in your body called Myelin. Myelin is the stuff that protects your central nervous system.  It's not unlike the plastic that covers an electrical wire.

If that plastic gets broken, the wires can possibly be exposed.  So in the case of the central nervous system, if your nerves are exposed, they're unprotected, so they can cause little plaques, aka, sclerosises.  So, if you have more than one of those.... that means you have MS.  And depending on what gets exposed when and where, it can affect your body in different ways. That's why it's so hard to diagnose, and why it's different for each person.  Some people have physical symptoms, which I've had before.  But for me, generally it only affects little things for me, but they are on a day to day basis.  I get a little forgetful, or I'll say a word wrong, or I'll misread something when I'm giving the news, stuff like that.

But, thanks to the MS Society and the pharmaceutical company that works with them and my insurance, I get a weekly muscle injection that basically restores the Myelin back into my body, simply put.  So it helps to cut down on attacks and doesn't let me get out of commission.  I haven't had a serious attack in at least two years.

One thing that does get to me with MS is that when I get too hot, it's not good.  The summertime can be pretty bad for me.  What happens with me when I get too hot is that I get easily confused or disoriented.  Sometimes I get physically weak very quickly.  On a live broadcast, for example - we have equipment that we load in and out of the location with us.  If it's too hot, at the start of the remote I might feel fine, everything gets loaded in and out with ease.  But... then I get hot.  And then it becomes vastly more difficult for me to get that stuff in and out again.

So, you can probably tell that someone like me needs some help to get through stuff like The Missouri State Fair.  It can be brutally hot out there, and when you're there all day long multiple times like we are..... yeah.  It gets bad.

So, thanks to the MSAA, they have programs to help people like me. They offer a variety of products, often for free, to help keep us cool. I recently got a new cooling vest and cooling equipment helps, and I thought I'd share the photos with you. Now next time I'm on a hot outdoor broadcast... you'll know I'm not wearing a flack jacket, ha.

And then, they also included a sort of belt thing.  It looks like a cummerbund, if I'm honest. But the advantage to this one is, it can be worn under your clothes.  And, it's not as heavy or cumbersome as my old one, so that'll be great.

I know a lot of people often have questions about MS and what living with it is like.  Well, here's one way we get through the hotter months.  But, if you have any other questions or just any curiosity about things, feel free to ask me.  I'm no expert, but I've lived with this quite well since about 2004, so I know my basic way around the ropes.

Cool-ily yours,