Cool as a Cucumber

This post has been worked on for the past 2 weeks, as we've slowly tried it all out. You have no clue what we're talking about, do you? Well, because of the intense heat, or in other words the heat that just could be the end of us all, we thought we would give everyone some tips on how to stay cool! Some of them may seem more obvious than others but somebody may not have thought of them. This post is mainly for people with M.E because it's harder to stay cool for them. Laura finds it extremely hard to regulate her body temperature and being a SAM (Severely affected member) means that she can't do the quick ways to cool down so we've come up with the easiest but most effective for you lot. They are also all things that your carer or family member can do for you too. So lets get cracking!
  • Fans: We have a fan either side of the bed, so there's cool air coming from both sides. As Laura's an eco-freak is was important to her to get an eco-fan, we got ours from Comet but you can get one here which is eco but slightly more expensive, and here for a cheaper non-eco version. The eco cost next to nothing to run so it's a super cheap way to stay cool and even if it is slightly expensive it's worth it if it means you feel better. Sometimes when you've had the fan on for too long, warm air circulates the room so if this happens, turn your fan off for 5-10 minutes and let it all settle, then turn it back on and feel the coooooooooolness. You can also freeze a bottle of water then place it in front of the fan and it will give an extra chill.
Sorry about the mess, we're collecting things for our own home!
  • Hair: This is a massive pain in the arse. All you girls our there know what we're talking about; sweaty, greasy hair, hair stuck to the back of your neck, wanting to shave it off just for the summer. Bit extreme i suppose, but we have some good ideas to help you. Laura's hair has been driving her crazy, it hasn't been doing anything it's told and it's like a wooly scarf around you neck. So, Laura's getting her hair cut tomorrow by a lovely lady who doesn't mind that she's ill and won't be able to do the 'norm'. We will put pictures in a catch up post this week. If you have longer hair and don't want to lose it, put it up in a hairband. Sometimes Laura has trouble with putting her hair up because of the tightness of the hair bobble, giving her a headache. Alas, we've discovered Popband, a great online store that sell special hair bobbles and headbands that won't get tangled in your hair or pull too much. A head scarf is also a perfect way to keep the hair off of your neck, and you can get some really pretty and lightweight ones. We got Laura's from Asos Marketplace, they do really nice vintage ones and a massive range for quite a good price. You could also get someone to look in Charity shops for you, they often have them for really cheap.
  • Water: If you can manage it, a cold shower is by far the best thing to cool your whole body down. But if you're like Laura and can't get in the shower, there are similar methods to try. One of them would be to get a shallow bucket (you could use a washing up bowl) and fill it with cold water, then simply put your feet in and and relax! Below is a picture that shows Laura doing it in bed. Feet are an extremity and generally how your hands and feet feel, is relative to your body temperature, so try to keep them cool. Which is where the next tip comes in, when you go to the bathroom, turn the tap on and wait till it gets really cold, then plunge your wrists into the icy abyss! Basically, put your inner wrists under cold water. When Laura gets so hot that she finds it hard to breath i get a flannel wet and wipe her body with it, continually refreshing it with more cold water when it gets hot. This works very well with the fan because the breeze makes the water on her body even cooler.
  • Materials: You definitely do not want a heavy duvet in summer. And to be honest we don't want a heavy duvet in winter either! So a few months ago we bought a thinner duvet and it works a treat. We got ours from Argos for £10 (yes, i am speaking the truth) and you can buy exactly the same here. If even that's too hot, which it probably is in this heat, just simply use the duvet cover. You can get in a bit of a tangled mess, but at least you'll be cool. You can also put materials in the freezer, ie. bras, pillow cases, socks etc. then when you use them it's an instant burst of cold and loveliness. Also, Laura's just been wearing a crop top and knickers in bed (she'd be naked if there wasn't anybody else in the house), but a bikini would also work well. The material most are made from is designed to stay at a low temperature. It works the sames for guys, just no bikini's please.. unless that's what you like of course..
  • Ice: Vanilla ice ice baby.. Anyway, ice is obviously very cold, freezing in fact and it's a great way to stay chilled. First is a no-brainer, ice in every single one of your drinks and as many ice lollies as you can shake a stick at. It's a good idea to keep ice packs in your freezer at all times so if you're melting they're an easy way to cool down when you hold them to your body. Same goes with a frozen bottle of water, you can snuggle up to it and slurp it while it melts.
We love Vimto pyramids, you can buy them here.
  • Face: I suggest keeping a small flannel to hand so that if you get too hot and start to sweat you can wipe your face. We often use forehead patches which we spoke about in this Tip post, they're meant to cool your head down when you have a headache, however they work well in heat too. A cheaper alternative is to use a wet flannel on your forehead whilst you're led down, we've been doing this for Laura at night (if you can't find a flannel, a thick sock will do). Laura uses LUSH fresh face masks as part of her skin care regime but they come in handy because you need to keep them in the fridge, meaning when you spread it over your face it cools your face down. They also get rid of built up sweat that clog up your pores and stops you cooling down properly.
So that's all our tips for keeping your head in this crazy weather (are we really in Britain?). One more thing, of course we needed a tip to keep the dogs cool so; Get a low salt stock cube, make up a weak stock and freeze it in ice cubes so the dog will be more likely to eat it and cool down, or you can dampen a small towel with cold water and get your dog to lay on it, a bit harder but some dogs will.
We hope this comes in handy over the summer months. Do you have any other tips for keeping cool?

Adios Amigos

Laura       &       Michael

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