Summer is coming! I still can’t believe it when I venture outside without a jacket or any cover wear on. Summer can be a glorious time of beaches, heat, sun, socializing… I can’t help feeling a little lighter as I think of the upcoming months. And yet — I also feel a sense of dread. As a spoonie, summertime can also be tough. It’s a time of, well, beaches, heat, sun, socializing — all just as taxing as they are relaxing. While I do want to fling myself into the season, I also don’t want to leave reason and reality behind. But years of living Mighty Well have taught me that the difference between a lovely summer and a terrible summer is often preparedness. So grab your favorite cover wear, and get ready!
Cover wear is crucial, whether for medical hygiene, temperature control, or sun protection. Here are some tips for creatively keeping your cool this season:
1. Finding the right PICC Line Cover
Summer can be a messy business. With the added time outdoors, you’ve got to make sure your PICC line is clean. Yet, it’s also a time to wear short sleeves and express your personal style! Mighty Well’s PICCPerfect PICC Line Covers have got you covered — the antimicrobial and moisture-wicking fabric will keep you safe, dry, and comfortable, with fun patterns and colors to accessorize your summer wardrobe!
2. Staying cool
Temperature control is a challenge for many chronic illnesses. Heat has kept me from participating in too many fun events, but I’ve learned hacks along the way:
Strappy ice packs — I used to stuff bags of ice or frozen peas in my clothes. Then I discovered ice packs like these! I strap them to my neck, chest, stomach, and anywhere else that gets too hot. I also love ice hats, like this one (made by a migraine patient).
Cooling towels — For a less intense freeze, this magical towel stays cool for hours, (yet dry to the touch) even in the hottest, sunniest weather! Flip it over from time to time; the exposure to air makes the fabric nice and cool.
Personal fan — It’s not always convenient (or inconspicuous) to wear ice packs and fluorescent towels all over your body. But personal fans like these are subtle, super effective, and small enough to fit in your bag. I use fans year-round, for sudden hot flashes or in excessively heated buildings. I particularly like fans like this that can be hands-free, although it can be challenging when my neck instability is on the fritz.
Spray bottles — It may seem like a duh, but staying wet helps regulate temperature. I’ve bought a variety of spray bottles. Before I head out, I try to guess whether I’ll need more of a soaking or misting. I’ve also had fun giving my toddler niece and nephews the bottles to spray me. They think it’s just a game, but it makes me feel great!
3. Protecting yourself from the sun
Whether you’re a Friend in the Fight or just trying to keep your skin healthy, sun protection is always important! I have myriad reactions to the sun — rashes, dry skin, migraines, fatigue… I keep a good pair of sunglasses (in a protective case) in my car, as well as in my going out bags. That way, even with the worst brain fog, I’ll likely have some available. Sun hats are wonderful as well. The game changer for me, though, was the beach tent. I love going to the beach but ruining the rest of my day feeling sick just wasn’t worth it. With a beach tent, I can still be at the beach, feel the sand and hear the water, but without the sun beating down on me. Better yet, the tent blocks the mobs of people from my view (and some of the noise), so I don’t overwhelm as easily.
4. Keeping your spoons covered
Let’s face it, one of the challenges of summer festivities is over-exertion. The constant activities; barbecues, beach time, pool parties, picnics… it’s tough to say no to such fun social activities, but it may not be worth the crash. Letting friends and family know ahead of time that you need to pace yourself may help them understand when you need to say no. Consider hosting people in an environment that works for you! Don’t be afraid to actually schedule spoon-generating self care time into your week.
Got a sweet summer hack? We’d love to hear it!