Here are some great articles from the National Fibromyalgia Association on outdoor therapy for those with Fibromyalgia.
- Living in a house can be very difficult for those of us who suffer from fibromyalgia. Living in a 36-foot Winnebago and traveling around the United States can be even more challenging at times. That’s what I do with my husband, Kerry. We began our journey April first, 2007, about six weeks after I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Thankfully, once the kidney was removed, I was able to travel.
- Those of us with fibromyalgia know the conflicting emotions when planning a trip or vacation. We are excited about getting to see family and new places and having new experiences. We dread the thought of hotel mattresses, having to sit for long periods of time, and not getting enough rest—all of which can create a terrible fibro flare, and all that while away from home.
- Thoughts of a vacation should conjure up feelings of excitement and anticipation—but when you have fibromyalgia, the idea of spending time in an unknown environment can cause feelings of anxiety and trepidation instead. Your head can fill with questions like: Will the food agree with me? Will the bed be comfortable? How many stairs will there be? Will I be able to manage the flight without too much pain?
- About five years ago, I developed an interest in gardening. I’d never done it before, but thought, How hard could it be?” Well, I hadn’t taken into consideration the fact that trying to plant 250 bulbs into pure clay, or transporting 50 perennials from the store to my garden, would leave me in pain for days. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t 250 bulbs, and maybe the soil wasn’t pure clay, but by the time I had finished planting what I did have, it sure felt like it.)
- I was 21 when it all started: pain and stiffness, stomach upset and other digestive problems. Married too young and with a baby, I wasn’t prepared for life, never mind a diagnosis of osteoarthritis—and questions about my mental health. It didn’t make sense, especially at my age, but the drugs helped with the pain and besides, who was I to question a doctor? But the NSAIDs hurt my stomach, and didn’t really work all that well anyway, so I kept looking for answers. By the late 80s I had a new diagnosis: fibromyalgia. At least my myriad symptoms now had a name!
- I’ve been a rider at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center since 2003. I got started riding as my exercise for fibromyalgia. The benefits have been far-reaching. I believe therapeutic riding rescued me from a downward spiral I found myself in after trying to work after I graduated from college. I couldn’t work because of chemical sensitivity and fibromyalgia.
- All of us know the journey to get the diagnosis, and to try to learn to deal with it. I will not dwell on that. But I want to share with you how I regained part of my life. Fibromyalgia is all about loss. I lost my job, many of my skills, my hobbies, and the person that I once was. In the haze of my emotional pain and anger, I found something else.
- I have suffered with fibromyalgia for 12 years and have endured depression, muscle pain, joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more health issues which are too numerous to write about. Depression hurts as much as the pain, because a person suffering from depression pulls away from everything they once loved. I was a former veterinarian assistant, and I know how much dogs can help people because they love you unconditionally. I went to a local animal shelter and brought home an adorable 8-week old Lab mix whom I named Lexus and now call Lexi, my baby girl.
- Two events have changed my life. The first was when I answered an ad for a class through a local Wild Birds Unlimited to become a Habitat Steward for National Wildlife Federation. The second was being diagnosed with FM. These events came together, but I did not know that at the time.