On thin ice with MS – sound familiar? (This post is actually about clothing.)

For some reason my office at work has been unusually hot this summer. Even in the same office suite, mine is much hotter than the other offices. Therefore, I’m dreaming of ice in August.

I began to mention my physical discomfort to the department manager when temperatures routinely went over 75 Fahrenheit. After the office was peaking above 80 with a matching humidity level, I suggested that this situation was not ideal for a person with MS. Then, I lost the use of one leg, followed by a forearm, and finally had to take a week of sick leave until I could walk again.

At long last, I’m getting some supplemental cooling equipment from building services, as my physical deterioration was pretty hard to ignore. (So much for the “you don’t look like you’re sick” attitude of co-workers. I don’t LOOK sick, owing to a lot of effort, many medicines, and frequent doctor visits.)

For those of you who have MS, or know someone who does, you know that a few degrees of temperature one way or another can be life-changing. It’s a very fine line between comfort and a hospital visit– in other words, you can be skating on thin ice.

Since my recent episode may have been the worst I experienced in several years, I was very interested to hear about an Indiegogo campaign, Thin Ice, offering a weight-loss clothing line that claims to work because it makes your body think it is colder than it actually is.

As I’ve tried more unlikely things, I decided to back the campaign:

The product is not out until December 2015, but I’m very much looking forward, at least to the hope that I can dial down my core temperature using a smart phone. It would be nice to lose some weight, but I really would rather have  control over how  heat can trigger the worst MS symptoms for me.

If you’ve seen the made-for-MS cooling vests on the market, you might understand why the format and idea behind this campaign is appealing.

If you haven’t — the cheap cooling vests look like fishing or camera gear–think POCKETS!!– in which you put the kind of plastic gel packs you use in a picnic cooler.

The expensive ones are thin, but still need to be put in the freezer to refresh.

In both cases, there may be dripping, wetness, or shivering.

The Thin Ice version uses a rechargeable battery and a cell-phone app. It promises no shivers. When I get mine, I will report. I got the combo-pack with vest and insole. The web site says both fit unobtrusively under your usual clothing or footwear.

Hopeful. I also hope the batteries can be replaced, or that you can buy some backup to get through the day.

(I’ve nothing to do with the Thin Ice clothing line, and have gotten nothing in return for writing this post. Except, perhaps, the opportunity to complain about how hard it is to get people to take you seriously when you have an invisible disease.)


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