What I Learned About My MS While on Vacation

What I Learned About My MS While on Vacation

What was the result of these two simple things I did nearly all of the nine days we were there?

  • Better bladder control. Less urgency. Less frequency. Several nights of being able to sleep six or seven hours without having to get up to make a pee trip. I’m guessing that my water-walking may have helped my core muscles, which play a part in controlling urine flow. But, I think even more likely is that more water equaled less. I remember a doctor telling me, years ago, that limiting my water intake was actually making my urgency and frequency worse, because that resulted in my urine becoming highly concentrated. Highly concentrated urine can irritate the bladder and, in turn, result in that frequent gotta-go feeling. Doing a little research after returning from my trip, I found an article that confirmed my memory.
  • Better bowel regularity. It’s not unusual for me to go a day or two without a good sit-down. On this trip, I was almost once-a-day regular. Water and exercise seem to have both played a role here. An article on the U.S. News and World Report website says it’s actually water, aerobic exercise plus relaxation.
  • No overnight dry mouth. I’d been having this problem for more than a month, possibly because of a change in one of my meds. Staying better hydrated during the day helped eliminate that problem at night.
  • More energy. There have been studies that marry hydration with energy. And, of course, nearly everyone who exercises regularly will tell you it helps their overall energy level.

Now, I don’t claim that I’ve found any magical cures during a nine-day vacation, but it seems as if the vacation did help. The question is whether I can keep this water and exercise thing going when I’m not on a warm, sunny island where a big swimming pool is just a few steps from my room. I’ll let ya know.

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  1. Phil Longford says:

    Interesting observations!
    Certainly, everyone recommends drinking lots of water, but my reckoning has always been, drinking less means less journeys to the loo. Always an adventure, with MS.
    Swimming in this country, lacks a certain appeal. Might have to make the effort. Or go somewhere warm (not too hot!!)

    • Cathy says:

      Not disagreeing with any of the author’s observations. Just wondering if the high end mattressess present in a lot of hotels may have had something to do with sleeping thru a little longer. I’m sleeping much deeper, and my bathroom trips are down from 3-4 to 1.

  2. Harvey Connors says:

    I am unable to go into a pool to do water walking. do to I have an Illeostmoy (bag no colon). But I drink often and plenty and I can say it is healthier and I have more energy for sure. I also make better food choices because of it. Try it or Pedilyte type product is good too.

  3. Anitta Harkonen says:

    Hi! Waterwalking is only and best way to training walking to wheelchair patient like me. I have had MS sinse 1990, 7 years in a wheelchair so that I´m walking is a wonderfull feeling !!!!!
    Anitta Härkönen

  4. Barbara Dalziel says:

    I have always thought that swimming or at least walking round the side of the pool which I can do in the pool,is of great benefit to me drinking lots of water as well is good as it flushes out your bladder and makes going to the toilet more regularly better water is the most understated thing that we all can do to improve our wellbeing. I know some people who gain great benefit from going to a hydro therapy pool but your local swimming pool can have the same results as well. Boosts your mood as well.

  5. Karen says:

    I live in a hot, humid climate in Queensland Australia with a backyard pool. I tend to go for a swim irregularly but maybe I should try walking in the water more regularly to see if it helps my balance. I was diagnosed in 1993, am still mobile but getting less so.

  6. Juel says:

    I live in North Queensland and my daughter has a backyard pool.Easy to get in but don’t know how I would get out.I’m a bit like Karen still slightly mobile but yes there is no improvement.I am going to have to organize something to do more water exercise.Thanks for reminding me as summer is here.

    • Ed Tobias says:

      Hi Juel,

      I wish that summer was here in Maryland. We had 1 or 2 inches of snow fall yesterday.

      I also have trouble getting out of the pool but I’m able to do it if there are steps and a hand rail that I can use. There are also seats that can be installed that can be used to life a swimmer from the water onto the pool deck. Any pool company should be able to provide information about them.

      Good luck,


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