867582 tn?1311627397

Beach vacation - Do MSers walk better in sand?

Hey, MSers/Limbolanders,

Lately, I am feeling weaker and weaker as my "first-real-vacation-in-decades" approaches and my son thinks I should cancel the trip because he doesn't think I'm going to be able to make it energy-wise.  It may be that just making all the arrangements for the trip, packing, etc. is wearing me out - the stress of air travel.

Feeling so landlocked here in Utah and craving fresh seafood, I've elected to stay on a cold-water beach in our neighboring state of Oregon!  If I feel too hot, I'll just jump into the cold water - won't need my cooling vest.

After researching a little, I read a couple of testimonials that MSers seem to walk better in sand.  Is there anyone here who agrees with that?  Does anyone here walk better on a beach than on regular surfaces????  Please let me know if you do or don't.  

However, I think I'm still going to go on the trip even if I can't walk well on the beach because our room is supposed to have a terrific view of the beach and the amazing volcanic monolith known as "Haystack Rock" so at least I'll be able to smell the salt air and sit on our patio taking in a panoramic view of the beach!!  Also, our plane tickets are nonrefundable and there is a hefty charge for a change in plans.  Also, my MD gave me a month's supply of Nuvigil (which appears on the list of the top 100 riskiest drugs) and I'm not afraid to use it, if needed, to help me get down the beach.  

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions about whether or not it is easier for MSers to walk in sand.  Thanks!!!

18 Responses
911669 tn?1294099188
I am not yet diagnosed, but I can tell you from my own experience "NO."

It was a terrible feeling to me.  I felt as though I wasn't getting anywhere.  It was a huge, huge struggle and exhausting.  I have been to the beach twice in the last 7 years and it was the same both times.

(I would think that if you have trouble walking on a flat surface, you would definitely have a tougher time walking in the sand).

I would try to walk on the more flat areas down by the water if you walk the beach.


1253197 tn?1331209110
I have no idea about whether MSers walk better in sand but just thought I would makie the following comment. You have the opportunity to have a wonderful holiday and enjoy some qualty time away...even if you are not feeling great...I bet you would feel miserable if you did not go.

So live in the present, be brave and go and enjoy the holiday you deserve..it sounds wonderful.

Best wishes


PS You can find out for yourself how you walk on sand and let us know...don't let the thought of "will I manage to get to the beach" get in the way...if you want it badly enough I am sure you will manage it..but just go at a time that suits your body heatwise..perhaps first thing in the morning after a good night's sleep?
1318483 tn?1318347182

I am undiagnosed, too.  I can't walk in the sand.  I have been to the beach several times in the last couple years and it has never been an easy experience for me.  I am sorry.  ;0(

But, that doesn't mean that you cannot enjoy your mini vacation in many others ways.  So go and enjoy yourself!

1045086 tn?1332126422
....easier than what?  
...walking on other surfaces?  (because your feet get anchored in the sand?)
...than it is for non-MSers?  (because we are used to that unsteady feeling under our feet?)

You will just have to test the theory for yourself.  If you need more research assistants, I'm perfectly willing to come with.  I understand that the experiment may need repeated at a latter date to verify results.  I will clear my schedule!  Perhaps several beaches need to be included in the project?

Sorry, I got carried away.  GO!!!  Just make sure you take the necessary safety precautions to be safe.  Nuvigil may keep you from falling asleep and getting a sunburn but it won't help you move any better.

Nuvigil is on the list of 100 riskiest drugs?  Who made the list?  What kind of risk?

Avatar universal
How well you do on sand depends entirely on what's wrong with your walking. If it's your legs, you might have more trouble than if vertigo and balance are the chief issue.

But you'll never know till you try. I agree--- Go, enjoy yourself, and forget about illness to the extent you can. You'll adapt.

As to Nuvigil, I'm just guessing it's considered risky because it has the potential for abuse. So does Provigil, for that matter. People who are prone to drug abuse can find lots of things to abuse, but others will have no trouble at all.

Avatar universal
I have to say that walking in sand tires me out.  So crawl if you have to :) but get to that beach and enjoy.  Even if getting there wears you out, you have the beach to sit on and relax and regain that energy.

Oh and I am with Mary, I also think (if you would include me in the project) that we need to see if Hawaiian beaches and Caribean beaches are similar to pacific coast beaches.  This really need some serious documentation.  Doesn't the gov't pay for people to research these things?!?

Have a great time
1230912 tn?1273492770
I just got back from a mini vacation at the lake and as much trouble as the fatigue was from the packing and the hassle of packing all the drugs and syringes as well as remembering everything that goes along with having this horrid disease I will say this...

I had a WONDERFUL time!

The fresh air must do something to refresh because I felt better than I have in months. I got out on the boat (5 x at that!) which I didn't think I would be able to do because of my recent motion sickness problems, walked around with my 3-1/2 year old while he rode his bike all over king dome come, we went swimming, shopping, you name it! When the 90+ weather hit I started feeling it a bit more and had to take it easy. I just made hubby take me out on the boat for the breeze from the lake and we went swimming in the pool until the evening hit and it cooled off more.

I will say I had trouble in the sand, I could walk - don't get me wrong, it was just weird walking in it like I was way more off balance than I normally am. So in my opinion it was not easier, maybe it depends on the type of sand?

Either way - who cares about the sand! Go on your vacation and have a great time!

867582 tn?1311627397
Sheesh - No one here can walk better in sand here than on regular flooring, sidewalks/pavement??  Not an encouraging thought - but thanks to all of you for responding honestly to my question!!  Now I'll be prepared for the worst.  If I walk better in sand it will just be a bonus - not an expectation.  And I will get back to you about how well I do on sand. At least when it comes to falling, I think sand will be a far better surface to land on than pavement!   I say this after having unexpectedly hit my face to pavement a couple of years ago - major ouch!!

I came so close to canceling the trip this morning - but that picture of the beach that I have used to get me through my work shifts for weeks spoke the truth: I'd forever be too sick-at-heart if I canceled now and never ever experienced this amazing beach.  Also, deep down, I get the sinking feeling that this may be my last chance to take a beach vacation.  Sparkysarah and Ess are right - I would feel miserable staying here and wondering how that beach would have been.  You all are right: We've got to do what we can do while we can still do it!!  If I have to, Zacksmomi, I will crawl down the beach!!  

And I'm excited about the possibility of seeing puffins!!  As a bird lover, I always enjoyed seeing puffins depicted on clothing etc. and always had thought, because of their appearance, that they were fruit-eating tropical birds.  Not so!! They can be seen in Oregon - and I'm hoping to see some - am taking my bird binoculars.

Anyway, thanks to all for your comments and encouragement!!  I just finalized my land transportation options and feel for sure I'm doing the right thing!  Even if I only sit on the beach or in the cold water, it will have been worth it!!!  Life has to be about more than just work/sleep/eat/sleep!!

911669 tn?1294099188
Go and enjoy your vacation....  It will do you wonders.....

Don't worry about the sand or anything else....and relax!  

We all wish we were going too....

1045086 tn?1332126422
Kids are so conservative and careful.  I wish they could relax and feel good about giving their parents a little freedom to make their own choices :)

572651 tn?1530999357
WAF - I was on a beach two weeks ago - it was up at Lake Erie - and my only regret was that I didn't have a solid pair of shoes (sandals/flip-flops) with me to wear on the sand.  The right foot gear makes beach walking much more manageable. Regular shoes trap too much sand inside them and have to be cleaned out regularly.  

Get yourself a pair with straps over the top of your foot and NOT the ones with those floppy things that are between your great toe and your other toes.  

You don't have to go far on the beach to enjoy the sights and sounds.  Savor every moment and be sure to report in when you come back.

You will have a great time.

738075 tn?1330575844
GO, GO, GO!!  Do what you can, rest, relax, read a good book, drink lots of water and lemonade...have fun!!
867582 tn?1311627397
Yes, we're going!!  Twopack, my careful, conservative son may not like that verdict (when he finally gets up today - he thinks we're not going) but we're really going!!  And, Lulu, we recently already each got "beach/water shoes" that are rubber and fit snugly.  They'll help protect against foot injury!  Thanks for the vote of confidence Guitar_grrrl!

Thanks all for your terrific support!!  Will let you know how it goes!


Avatar universal
dear WAF,

as someonee grew up on thhe beach strolls are uplifting for my  soul:)
if you find it too difficult andwiith out knowing  type of acesss, i would look into see if the town has beach  wheeelcahirs
i have a a couple vacations and  they were able to  me on long walks.
one beach   had them for loan, another rental, but oooh so worth it!
enjoy the sea breeze!
293157 tn?1285873439
I've never heard about beach wheelchairs...good to know.  I'm hoping to go to the beach soon myself..

WAF, have a good time and let us know how thing go.

take care
560501 tn?1383612740

   While I personally think it varies from person to person.......At least no one will notice that much becasue everyone walks a bit awkward in the sand...Don't They??

    AND.......I too will have to clear my schedule along w/ Mary so that we can help to do vigorous (sp) studying on this topic :0    Have a great time!

   REMEMBER THOUGH, Do Not Get Over Heated...Stay as Cool as Possible or the walking on sand may be the least of your worries. No one wants a Pseudo-exacerbation while on vacation!

Be Safe,
1312898 tn?1314568133
I walked in the sand alot growing up in California.  I always found it hard to walk in deep sand---I wouldn't dare try it now.  Not only from the risk of falling, I wouldn't be able to pull my feet out of the sand.  I can't imagine doing that and I haven't been diagnosed either

Please be careful
667078 tn?1316000935
Carpe Diem! My last vacation I went in a hot air balloon which was a trick climbing into, rode a horse and hiked the Apalachian trail. When I was tired I rested.

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