No Summer Lovin

An MS dirge

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                                                  Summer lovin, had me a blast

(NOT!  Unless it was a nice big blast of cool air from my A/C)

Summer lovin, happened so fast

(Don’t I wish!   These days are dragging already and July’s not even here yet)

….Tell me more, tell me more

Well, since you asked….

(Italicized words are lyrics from “Summer Nights” from the musical Grease.)

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Vitamin D sparkling directly from the sun is supposed to do wonders for people living with MS.

(There’s a reason orange is the official MS color.  Well, that reason and the fact that all the other cool colors were taken by other important causes.)

Despite this, summer and I are not friends.

The fact that I don’t like summer (and really, really don’t like spring because it’s a long drawn out time where the rest of the world is getting ready for summer,) is unpopular.  For most people, July and August are their favorite months of the year.

Please allow me to state my case on why I disagree.

First of all, summer is hot. Only in the insanity that is life with a chronic illness would something that is ultimately good for you, (ie natural vitamin D,) also make you feel miserable.  And heat does make me miserable my friends, trust me.

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If you don’t believe me, ask the cute UPS driver who remarked what a nice afternoon it was when he dropped off my monthly meds.  My vicious reply so frightened him he hasn’t been back in days!

Of course, he’s not due back until next week but still, I was pretty scary that 78 degree day when he stopped by.

Then there are the bugs.  I try to stay out of their way, “you stay out of my house and I’ll stay inside and let you wreak havoc on my yard.”

But they refuse to cooperate and it’s hideous.

Earlier this month I went to a graduation party where everything was covered by these furry, disgusting caterpillars. I guess this is a prevalent year for them and we only have to wait for a bit and then these horrifically gross creatures will turn into gypsy moths- oh the joy.

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Not long after that I went to remove the change in my pocket and I felt something squishy.  I pulled my hand out and saw that the fingernail of my middle finger had impaled a small green bug that had managed to squeeze his way into my pocket.  The head part of it’s body was on one side of my fingernail and the rest of him on the other.  I’m still cringing about that little foray into the blissful days of summer.

And then there are the mornings where we should delight in waking up to cool breezes from windows left open all night.  That MIGHT be lovely except that this is also the time of year that people get yard work done. But, they also want to enjoy the beach and so the yard work must be done super early.

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Hence it was that the lovely sunny morning turned into a headache and then a body ache of ultimate proportions.  It was 6:45AM when my neighbor’s landscaping crew arrived.  Right outside my window one guy started the mower and the other guy started the weed wacker.

(Weed wacker would be a funny name if it’s screeching noise wasn’t so dreadfully painful to my super sensitive ears.)

Both guys had headphones.  I did not and the motor sounds pierced directly to my brain.

When the landscapers woke me up it was the middle of the night still. Due to my bladder issues I had only gotten five of my needed 10-12 hours of sleep and the day was expected to be a busy one.   I closed the window and covered my head with a pillow.  Right away it got hot and added additional misery. ID-100224548

I thought of calling the police as there must be an ordinance against that type of work so early but I worried about being THAT neighbor.  You know the one-Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched or Mr. Roper from Three’s Company.  Or even Millie from my own childhood neighborhood; the cranky lady who kept all of our balls and Frisbees if they landed in her yard.

Of course I keep ear plugs for times of travel as airplane noise is also painful.  And of course I was out of them.  I tried cotton balls but they didn’t work.

The best solution was a brilliant one.  Turn on my A/C and that steady sound will help drown out the horrific racket outside as well as cool me off.  But since my head had already been affected so badly, I didn’t think up that idea until twenty minutes after the landscapers had finally stopped, over an hour later.

And just like that, my summer day sucked and was complete with pain in the brain, no thinking skills to speak of and just over all extreme fatigue-riddled, summer induced grouchiness.ID-100174457

All of the above just reinforces my dislike of the season. And it bothers me as I remember how much I enjoyed summers past.  It used to be that I could function on only a few hours of sleep, hit the beach, work at night, go out drinking with my friends and repeat it all the next day.

I miss that.

I miss the days when I wouldn’t dream of missing fireworks- bright colors in the sky with explosive sounds, cool!  Now I could care less.   And that just doesn’t feel so good.

Yes my friends, only a condition like multiple sclerosis can turn a fun song from a popular, campy musical into a ditty of misery.

Sure I could lament how the bad things of summer have started to beat me up in recent years and that is true.   But what I’m really struggling with is the mourning of fabulous summers past.

Even while I want to skip the fun invites I don’t want to skip them.  I feel guilty for skipping them, and get mad at myself over and over again.

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It’s a vicious cycle.

And so, with all things multiple sclerosis, I try to balance.

Maybe I’ll skip some invites but take part in others.

Maybe I’ll get extra strength bug spray and venture out once in a while.

I do live near lots of beaches- maybe I’ll go to one and cool off by jumping into the ocean, even if it means that is all I do that day.

I’ll weather (get it, weather,) these months as best as I can even if I do enjoy changing the lyrics to songs about summer and get irritable every once in a while.

Seems like that’s what MS is for….

But I’m definitely getting noise reduction ear muffs!

Happy Independence Day my friends! 

May you have a bug free, fun filled holiday!

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10 thoughts on “No Summer Lovin

  1. Well I am NOT a summer fan either…. first the heat wipes me out too, second I DREAD driving with all the traffic, and am NOT a beach person( thanks to my mom for taking me to the drive in to see JAWS when I was a small kid)… I too miss the fun times we used to enjoy like when we always would get together the weekend of the Blessing of the Fleet and have some cocktails chat with other locals( or some cute strangers)… We may not be able to handle the fun times like we used to but when we get together for our ladies nights we always have a lot of fun and that is all that matters….

    • That’s true my friend- our girl’s nights help keep me social. To quote The Breakfast Club, demented and sad, but social! Kidding, our girl’s nights are a freaking blast! When’s the next one? And Jaws only kept me out of the water when one of my sister’s or one the older kids started to hum the music….

  2. I used to live at the Jersey Shore as a teen (after we got our licenses and my friends with cars would arrive at 5 AM so we could get a space on the St. and a nice spot at the beach.) I loved the summer and sun and being tan. Heck I used Crisco as “sunscreen” but now I too stay indoors with those pesky bugs called “no see ems” which I SEE even with my distorted MS eyesight and they bite and make me itch. Even with the stupid looking cooling vest I HATE going outside. I have a nice pool but the biting flies from the nearby river are here as are the mosquitos (and what is it I pay these bug people for every month?) just kill me. So it is not bad enough I live in a strange town where I know no one, I can’t even go out to the grocery store (my only source of speaking to real people albeit grocery clerks – hey any port in a storm) so I am home bound until whenever or until I put on all kinds of sprays and lotions just to go a mile away. Summer was my favorite time of year and now – not so much. As for the lawn people – my yard is so overgrown as my lawn guy doesn’t work if it even looks like rain and when he came the last time (after skipping 3 weeks) he failed to do most of the tasks he usually does so now I have to find a new one and if you don’t think that is daunting – well no time to go into that. So this once summer thriver thinks Oregon is looking really good this year.

    • Yes, Oregon! I bet the Pacific Northwest is lovely. I might lean towards Alaska though for an extra coolness factor but still… When I first stopped working I dabbled with the idea of moving to Alaska and working on a fishing boat- I was really into Deadliest Catch at the time. Like the extreme fatigue, balance issues, bladder issues and germ-a-phobia would work well on a crab boat! Must have been a hot day when I came up with that one. Anyway my friend, I’m sorry you feel this too but glad I’m not the only crazy one on this issue.

  3. I can so relate to your annoyance when the landscape crew arrives with noisy machines at the crack of dawn. My PTSD gets triggered by loud, abrupt noise and I feel like screaming ‘ have you ever heard of rakes. Leafblowers are evil and loud. It’s hot. The traffic sucks. I try to get my day done early and hide out at home. September, I love you..

    • September loves you too Carol! Personally, I can’t wait! And my summer loving friends don’t believe me but I think the best time to beach it is in September!

  4. As you well know, Yvonne, we disagree on a few things, summer and The Stones above all. However, I will agree that September is the best month of the year for most activities, going to the beach chief among them. We also agree that lawn mowers are the bane of suburban existence, especially before 10 AM. I miss the gentle whirrrr of the hand mowers of my youth. Yeah, I’m that old.

    • Ahhhhh….. September. Less humidity, more room on the beach, and Bruins pre-season. Don’t want to wish the days away but that is truly my happy place….

  5. Right there with you, dear. During the summer, I’m like a cicada emerging from a 17 year hibernation. I don’t venture out much about 80 degrees.
    Good to have you back in the blog-saddle. Keep cool & keep cranking’em out!

    • Thank you so much my friend!! I don’t blame you for sticking close to home. It can’t be easy for a sock in the summer season! Hope you are staying cool!

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