Finding Confidence to Travel with Multiple Sclerosis

Thank you Arctic Cool for this opportunity to find better and more effective tools for MS patients!   We appreciate your continued support of our blog and MS community. originally posted in 2017, I still wear my Arctic Cool gear all the time and now it’s 2023!

Traveling with MS is  never easy.  But there are some tips and tricks to make things easier.  With a good-size adventure on the horizon I've been testing some new gear and getting psyched.  One of the biggest concerns with traveling is not knowing how one's body is going to react.  Will the MS subside?  or will it roar its ugly face in mine?

Heat sensitivity can affect many of those with MS.  It will take me down faster than a nano second. SO, I'm getting out the defensive gear and cooling off!

I'm trying out a new cooling shirt to prep for possible hot weather.  We are traveling form Jackson Hole, Wyoming, (Grand Teton National Park) to Yellowstone National Park to Crazy Horse Memorial then Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota on a tour by Tauck Bridges tour aptly called "Cowboy Country".

Here I am trying out my new shirt from Arctic Cool:

And here I am after climbing a really big hill to get to the local teepee.  Yes, we have a teepee nearby.  Local people own it and hike there often.  It's a treat to visit and this day was no different.

Sporting my Arctic Cool shirt
- for when the sun decides to come out!

Caroline Craven at top of Bee Teepee Hill - 6.4 miles Rountrip


Looking out over La Canada, the 210 freeway, and downtown Los Angeles off in the distant.  What a beautiful day!  Cloudy and cool but that's great for many of us who suffer from heat sensitivity.  I had my Arctic Cool cooling shirt on and several times had to take off my wraps and cool off.  Then, when the clouds and breeze came back, simply put my over shirts on my back.  Love the fact the cooling shirt had it's cooling technology.  It definitely gave me a small boost of confidence on ths hike and sometimes that's all one really needs to make a big difference in their life.  A little bit of confidence.

Feeling primed and ready - Here we come Rocky Mountains!

Cowboy Country - The Trip

The weather forecast was for blue skies and mid to high 70's.  Pretty darn perfect but that sun can be sneaky and warm one of up faster than appreciated, especially if that person has a malfunctioning thermostat in their body, such as many an MS patient who suffer from heat sensitivity.

So, despite the cool forecast, my go-to shirt throughout this 10 day trip was my trusty, short sleeved Arctic Cool in Navy Blue.  Here are some pics of me throughout my trip sporting this cooling device.  And there were times that my gratitude for this shirt was overwhelming.  One day in Jackson the temps were nearing 90F, which for this girlwithms can be detrimental.  It's one thing to be in warm temps but another to be walking around, outside, watching over young people and old people, with little escape in sight.

Our trip began with a beautiful two day stay at the Jackson Lake Lodge.  Out for our morning stroll before getting the day started, I'm sporting my tank top from Arctic Cool.  The morning was still brisk but the tank and the yoga pants made for great clothing during my stretching routine.

We saw beautiful wildlife on our tour of the Grand Teton NP as well as in Yellowstone NP.  

One of our bison...

Old Faithful.  hot just thinking about it.  The ground is hot. The energy is hot. The atmosphere is hot.  let's just say, the cooling shirt was worn every day and put on with a big sigh of relief.  

One thing I noticed though was the stench that comes from wearing a shirt like this everyday.  SO, easy fix - just hand wash it in the bathroom sink with gentle soap and hang to dry.  Easily dry by morning.  Mine was washed everyday - and trust me, it needed it!

We took a rest outside of Yellowstone National Park to check out a hunting lodge in Pahaska owned by Buffalo Bill Cody.  So cool.   The sun came out and boy was I glad that my navy blue Arctic Cool shirt was there to keep me cool.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife throughout the trip.  Some was difficult to shoot while others were easy as pie.  Easier than pie really.  

This little elk was close by but driving and behind glass makes for not the best photo. But at least the memory was captured and sometimes that's the best part of a photograph.   

We took a river float trip on the Snake with the Grand Teton Lodge Rafting Company and saw a variety of birds including this bald eagle.  

The trip was great and our guide was excellent.  Just happens that our guide, Wayne Johnson, is a local writer and knows quite a bit of history about the area.  Our raft was full of information and insightful thought.  Fascinating, really.  

Again, the morning started out brisk and cool, but we knew the sun was coming.  Sporting my Arctic Cool cooling shirt, another shirt and a fleece started out the morning on the water.  Come afternoon the shirts were off the cooling shirt was doing its job - keeping me cool.  

My Arctic Cool cooling shirts have become my new trusty stand-by.  Especially as temperatures are starting to rise for the coming summer months, the tank is put on when yoga or activities are involved.  Navy blue short sleeved cooling shirt used for almost every other event.  

How do they work?  There are tons of little, tiny microns that sense your rising body temperatures and activate a "cooling" technique within the fabric.  Well, maybe not exactly like this but that is my interpretation from a layman's standpoint. The point is, it works, and that is all that really matters to me.  

I just heard that they have come out with a long-sleeve version.  Thank you Arctic Cool!   Can not wait to try the long sleeve white shirt for the coming summer months.  Talk about hiding from the sun and saying:  #TakeTHATms!   

Click Here for more info about Arctic Cool and Cooling Shirts.  Thank you!

The trip didn't end with the wildlife.  We ventured on into South Dakota and took on Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore.  And, once again, my cooling shirt saved the day.  

Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota
It was a gorgeous day, but go to a memorial, with tons of people and lots of stairs and add a few museums, walks and bookstores and you have one tired puppy.  Yep, this puppy was hot and tired.  But the few degrees that the cooling shirt kept me, under the sun protection of a long sleeve blouse, kept this photographer very happy.  In fact, I felt a bit too confident... maybe.  But that's OK. 

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

Considering I used to freak out and be scared to leave the house if temperatures went over 80F, the fact I can now explore memorials, spend time with my nephews and see the world with confidence?  I'll take that all day long!   


 This blog post was originally posted in 2017 and was sponsored by Arctic Cool and rightly so.  They make a great product designed to help us live better with MS.  Thank you Arctic Cool for all you are doing to help our MS community.   

Click Here for more info about Arctic Cool and Cooling Shirts.  Thank you!  

MS is like an iPhone Battery...and I need a recharge!

Keeping ones battery charged with MS can be as tricky as keeping an iPhone going all day. Remembering to turn off location services and programs running in the background is vital to keep an iPhone chugging along. But how do we do this with MS?

How do we turn off those programs running in the background. That constant chatter of energy being wasted. Do we meditate? Medicate? Or both. 

And when it comes to our location services, how do we unplug ourselves from those wanting our energy? Do we withdraw? Or de we become strong and set boundaries?

So much in life has changed with my MS. Every decision, every thought is focused on how it will effect my mind, body and soul. While this is a good thing in the long run sometimes one really just wants to kick down a loaded cappuccino, go for a hike, enjoy a pipe on a cold and rainy day while reading Harrison, drink a glass of wine or two with good friends, tie some flies, hop in the car and drive...just drive. A certain since of freedom is stripped when a disabling disease like MS hits. Freedom in so many ways. Once a road warrior. I am now a shuttling sissy.

It started with a panic attack on the LA freeway amongst heavy traffic. No escape. Panic stricken, batteries faded fast. Eyesight diminished rapidly. Then the convulsions and dry heaving that would randomly hit never made it safe. Let cramps, not good for driving either. While these issues don't happen all the time, they've occurred enough for me not to trust my body, understanding now that my batteries could crash at anytime. Knowing this makes me feel vulnerable and vulnerability creates fear. Too much fear can strip us of our lives.

To a point we can quick charge our batteries: caffeine, tobacco, provigil, sativa, sugar, etc. But how long can we quick charge before the battery won't take a charge? And when we are left stranded there is no back up battery. No way to plug into the wall and recharge. We have only one battery. We must take care of it.

So how do we turn off those extra programs running? Visually I imagine the blinders on horses. Those eye guards that keep the horse looking ahead and not distracted. "Put your blinders on Caroline" and get to work. Focus on one project. Or one meditation. One walk in the rose garden. The point is to have just this one program running. And turn off all others. Blinders. This works for me, most of the time.

But there are those times when it doesn't work. When I need a distraction. And another distraction. And again and again until I have six programs running and my battery bar is slipping fast. "Put those blinders on." But sometimes it just doesn't work.

Then, finally, I stop everything and go lie down in a nice cool place that's not to bright. Closing my eyes and just being quiet. Recharging. Ahhhh. It takes strength to keep our batteries charged. To know what we need to do to take care of ourselves. To unplug from others when we are on low battery and turn off our location services.

For me this meant learning a lot about boundary setting. Rules. My rules for my health. This can be hard on friends and family. Setting boundaries can take a lot of explanation, patience and communications. But it's essential for defining our needs to keeping us alive and void of fear. To live life on a full battery. That's my goal. To manage my software and take care of this battery before it won't hold a charge.

Let's do this. Let's keep our batteries charged. Let's rid ourselves of fears and vulnerability. It's time. It's time to take charge and recharge.