As one of the approximately 12,000 people in the USA with Fibromyalgia, I can personally attest to the need for accessible places. Most of the time, I'm pretty able-bodied and can get around fine, but not everyone is, and frankly, when my symptoms start acting up fatigue and muscle weakness become very serious issues, and my abilities to walk, carry things, etc. need to be ascertained/addressed from moment to moment in times like this. Now for me, walking isn't always easy or reliable when my symptoms flare, but staying home and binging Netflix isn't always what you want to do (or the healthy choice). Having accessible places that you know you can go is really important when you may not necessarily be as able-bodied as other people or don't know how you'll feel from one moment to the next, and fun fact: not knowing places that are accessible for you can be SUPER depressing.
Now personally, I love nature. I love a garden, a nature walk, a hike, etc- but these types of places are not always great when you're symptoms are flaring, walking is difficult, or if you rely on a mobility aid- which is, as you can imagine, just a total bummer (to put it lightly). Now, being a Star Wars fan, I wanted to see where they filmed Endor, so I definitely wanted to go to Muir Woods, a national park about an hour away from me, so you can imagine how happy I was when I saw that Muir Woods was totally wheelchair accessible as they had a boardwalk path serving as the main path of the park.
This meant, no matter how I was feeling, I could enjoy a pretty epic National Park- and this isn't always the case, so I was super stoked! Gardens, a lot of the time, will have some paved/firm paths, lots of benches and fairly close parking, but nature reserves/national parks and hiking trails are not always the most welcome let alone the safest choice when you're flaring or don't know how you'll feel from one moment to the next but NEED to get out of the house, and a set-up like this park had totally gave me the warm and fuzzies.
This week, there was a great member discussion about what weather is best for Fibro-Fighters that really stuck with me that I want to talk about.
It all started because, while I live in the Bay area of California (Northern California) now, I used to live in Orange County, California (Southern California), and last weekend I went back for a baby shower- and man did my body feel different when I got there! I knew that the cold wet winter that lingered until early this week in the Bay area (we're finally getting some good weather this weekend!) has added to my aches and pains, but it was so nice to go to a hot, dry place for a weekend because I definitely felt a little better!
And that got me thinking, did any other Spoonies have a climate they felt best in? So I asked the question in our Mighty Network, then expanded the discussion to our other Social Sites as from the responses, it really did seem like Spoonies did feel better in a certain type of weather!
How good does it feel to avoid a catastrophe? Catching yourself before you fall, finding something you thought you lost- relief is a wonderful and overlooked emotion from where I’m sitting today, so let’s talk about it!
Last night, I was feeling pretty good so we went to a bar for a drink after dinner- and my purse was lost. Of course by lost, I mean it seems like someone grabbed my purse, then dumped it when they realized it wasn’t theirs, because I hung my purse on a bar hook, walked away for a minute, and it was gone when we went back to grab it and leave. Whole purse gone- total bummer. My keys (so I had no way to get in my house at that time of night so I had to leave my car and couldn’t go home), my wallet (guess I wasn’t paying- sorry!), a newly refilled Rx, and so much more- a woman's whole life is in her bag, and mine was gone.
I knew someone on the security team and apparently the hooks got doubled up and the assumption was my purse got grabbed by mistake, and we hoped it would be returned when the mistake was realized.
Fast forward to the next morning: my friend drives me home, I get in my house, grab my spare car key, and pray my car is still where I left it last night. It is! And a few hours later, I got a call from a cop who found my bag, and y'all- all contents were intact! No cards used, not money or prescriptions stolen- what a relief! I'm so grateful because I really don't know who the recovery process would have gone. I would have had to take days off work to get my ID and bank cards all taken care of, and get new keys- thank god I had a passport at home or it would have really been a situation with no way to prove who I was. And the idea of having to get a prescription refilled- they just wouldn't have done it and I'd have been out of luck!
My relief is palpable, thank goodness it was all returned! Close calls are crazy, but the gratitude and relief I feel in the recovery feels really, really good. So take a moment to be grateful for something that happend this week, maybe it was a close call, and maybe it wasn't, but a little gratitude is a great way to end a week! So go forth and practice some gratitude, Spoonies!
-FSC Founder and Fabulous Fibro-Fighter-