Life's a Beach
When you’ve got an annoyingly pesky disease like multiple sclerosis, some of life’s pleasures become a touch more complicated to enjoy properly. Take, for instance, the beach.
Walking aids like canes and forearm crutches suffer in the deep sand. Wheelchairs and walkers? Verboten. And then there’s the heat—hot days, hot sand, hot sun. Even the water can be paralyzing. Literally, at least for me. If it’s cold and I dip a foot in, my whole body violently convulses. So if I were to wade willy-nilly into the ocean, my last words to Mother Nature would almost certainly be something along the lines of “don’t tase me, bro” before I thrash, collapse and then vanish under the froth of two-foot surf.
But there are things one can do to make a beach excursion a bit more enjoyable. For starters, go on a cooler day, or at least go during a cooler part of the day (mornings are good). Always tote shade. Icy drinks and a cooling vest are standard weapons. If you use walking aids like forearm crutches, trekking poles and canes, tips that can handle sand are quite helpful. And coolest of all, borrow a beach-friendly wheelchair. Yes, they exist. Lifeguard stations at popular beaches may have one or two, just ask. That’s what I did on a recent San Diego trip and was surprised to find that the city’s best beaches had both manual chairs (you need a pusher) and motorized chairs available on a first-come, first-served basis.
With huge inflatable wheels that look like doughnuts the size of Homer Simpson’s belly, these chairs just bounce over the sand, inspiring finger-points of envy from every child under the age of 12. To up the awesome factor, aim for the water and you’ll find it floats! (Much to my chagrin, the motorized chairs do not feature a propeller—I’m smelling a marketing idea here.)
Nice to read. My biggest problems are my thimble sized bladder (no drinks, icy or otherwise) and I'm photosensitive because of my MS medication, and even all my melanin doesn't keep the sun out enough :(
I should start drinking more, then. I mean, in the name of science..
Good reading. Keep on trucking!
We were at the beach in Florida last month and I lamented the need for a big wheeled buggy to get around the soft sand - now I know what's available.
They recommend two canes -- one for each hand. They are called: SandPad All Terrain Stabilizer Cane Tips. You just pop them on when you want to walk on the beach. they are available lots of places online:)