Since the groundhog didn’t see his shadow last week, we don’t have too much longer to deal with this cold weather. But the warmth can’t come soon enough (especially for me) for many of us with spinal cord injury since we have trouble regulating our body temperature.
For non-injured people, the brain communicates with the spinal cord to warm or cool the body. However, paralysis in our spinal cords results in the lack of communication throughout the body. I like to say I’m similar to a cold-blooded animal; I have difficulty warming up in the winter and cooling off in the summer.
Since it’s nearly impossible for me to put on and take off a jacket by myself, I dress in layers. I can remain warm without worrying about getting someone to help me remove the coat. I also keep with me a toboggan hat and scarf. A personal heater comes in handy, but be sure that it’s not too close to anything that is flammable.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it doesn’t hurt to have that special someone to snuggle with for these last few weeks of winter. But if you don’t have a cuddle buddy, here are some additional tips from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to keep warm.