Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tcpolchies, Apr 4, 2008.
Seeking Fibro/CFS/APS support
Hi! I was born and raised in Albuquerque! My parents still live there, and I still have friends there, although I now live in Long Beach, California. I'm here to talk to, if you'd like, even though I'm not in NM currently. My stepmother who lives in Albuquerque has CFS, and I know it's hard for her to find support there too.
Hope you're doing okay!
I live in Florida, but the weather is horrible. I was considering checking out Albuquerque, would like some feedback on the pros and cons. I know that is not what you asked, but would really appreciate the help.
It would be a huge move for me and/or vacation to even check it out. Would love to check out Southern CA but to expensive. So looks like Albuquerque and Tucson or if you might have any other suggestions. Thanks very much.
Your now in CA., thats my home state! I relocated from CA., when I was ill stricken with FMS/CFS initially. I was told a dryer climate may benefit me. I miss CA., grew up in LA., back in the 70's through 80's. And your right their is no FMS or CFS support here in Abq., Been here since 96 and only met one person from Abq., who had FMS. She did not look very well. We lost touch.
How is CA life treating you? Do yo notice a differecne in FMS/CFS flare up's in either state?
PS for the other response Albuquerque has two seasons. It's basically a retirement state the economy is not good however, depends on what you do for a living. Not a lot to do around here, but then again I'm comparing to CA., where I was bred and raised, lol!
Nice to meet you both!
Hi! Imagine my surprise to see Albuquerque on the topic line!!
I have lived in Alb. all but 7 years of my life, and have extended family here. I am 61, tho' people say i don't act it! One sister-in-law has FM. I have CFS but wondering about FM.
I looked for a support group thru United Way and did not find one. I may try again, poss. through my doctor. Perhaps we could start one??
How did you happen to come to Albuquerque?
Comapred to CA there may not be much to do, but I think there is a lot. We have skiing and snow sports in the winter, either right on the near-by mountains or a few hours (2-3) away. We have lots of hiking, camping options and some lakes. We have a great live production theater, as well as venues for ice hockey, popular concerts, a baseball team, and the University has football and basketball. There are a growing number of "cafes", many movie theaters, golf and putt-putt, and roller skating.
Anyway, I'd be glad to answer questions if anyone wants.
I think i replied when you wrote about 2 months ago.
I think Albuquerque has 4 seasons, unlike tcpolchies statement. Between Albuquerque and Tucson, I have not been to Tucson rectly. Here is what my impressions are -
Alb. has a large airport so that it may be easier for people to come see you or for you to go places.
Alb. is higher altitude, so the summers are not as hot as Tucson. That is important to me. In winter, our high is seldom below freezing, though nights can be. We get snow on the Sandias (we are at the base of them) but seldom in the City. When we do get snow, it is usually melted by 10am.
the one thing I wish were better is public transportation. But i have a friend who has limited sight, who says the routes are improving and she gets around quite well on them.
I'll answer questions if I can.
I'm a native of northern CA w/ FM/CFS/SAD. We moved to Las Cruces, NM 2 years ago to hopefully improve my health. I was in need of a dryer climate and more year round sunshine. Las Cruces is about 4 hours south of Albquerque, 120,000 in pop and growing. It has a southern CA feel to the weather although it is much higher in altitude. If you are interested in moving to NM for health benefits let me give you some insight to what I've experienced.
The change in altitude (LC about 3800 ft, Alb about 5000 ft) is an added strain with both CFS & FM. I'm more tired, sluggish, and it's harder to get around. When I go back to CA for a visit, I find immediate relief to the point of feeling like I've had an expresso! After 2 years it has not improved.
In CA I would feel worse w/ FM during the winter months but no real clear changes in pain when a storm would come. BUT, the changes in the barometric pressure in NM are so quick and extreme (I've done alot of research on this) I get extreme pain hours before a wind storm or rain storm arrives. Shortly after it passes the flare-up is over, pain gone. If it was just one season of 3-4 months I guess I could call it a wash compared to CA weather and it's affects. But NM has about 6 weeks of windy (wind storms) weather in the spring (usually part of March and all of April). Then there is the Monsoon Season; 6 weeks of rain storms (usually July & part of August.) These pass over very quickly but can drop inches of rain in a short period of time. Then you have the winter weather (Nov thru Feb) that has it's regular rain and sometimes snow. Because of the altitude and the quick drop in the barometric pressure due to the storms moving across the flat land so easily and quickly, impact to the body of someone w/ FM or CFS can be quite overwhelming and intense.
I have found complete relief from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) being that it is sunny and bright almost every day. Even when it's cloudy you need your sunglasses!
In comparing my symptoms and the severity of them now in NM and before in CA, it's much, much worse for me here. I really hate to say that because I really do love it here. Unfortunately, we just finished building a house and must stay in it for some time before we can sell. But we are seriously considering moving back to CA because of the worsening of my health.
I personal advise, and I will do this if I ever consider moving somewhere new, is to live somewhere for at least 6 months to a year (experience all the seasons) before locking into by buying a house. This gives you the time to truly know if your health is improved, is unaffected, or is worsened by your new local.
Also, sometimes it's just better to stay where you are, with what you're used to, with no new surprises, then to move and add a new variable in the equation of improving or stablizing your health.
Moving is extremely hard on the mind and body. Moving somewhere new where you don't have a support system in place can be depressive. So is leaving friends and family. All these most be seriously considered when you don't have your health to power through.
I have met quite a few people through my faith that have moved here to retire only to miss their family so much they soon moved back. That takes a toll on your income and/or savings. Moving is very expensive, especially across country.
My goal in this message is not to be discouraging but to help anyone reading it learn from someone else's experience and not effect their health needlessly. If I had known these things beforehand myself, I would have made some different choices and left my options more open. You really need to do that when your health is involved. My husband wants to move me back to CA right away but I've got to tell you, I just don't have the strength to do it any time soon.
Hope I have helped in any way,
I would have to agree with a lot of what you included. In my 40's I moved to the SF Bay Area, only to have to0 come home 6 years later due to molds being rampant in the Bay Area in their rainy season.
Las Cruces was an option I was also going to mention!
Sorry the altitude is so hard on you. I hope that whatever options you need open up to you and make things smoother - in Las Cruces or back in CA.
Thank you all, a lot of great advice. The barametric pressure is something I deal with in Florida all the time and it deeply effects me along with the intollerable humidity and 90+ degree weather most of the year. It is absolutely oppressive.
My first choice no doubt would be Southern California but it is just to expensive. I cant tollerate the freezing cold like Colorado. The entire eastern seaboard through the gulf coast and mid west is a giant humidity pit with some of the worst allergens.
There is certainly no perfect place. And family is important and friend although my family is very small and my friends are far and few in between since this illeness. Part because of me.
So there is no easy answer. I am curious to know also how the medical care is, being from NY originally how do Northeasterns fit in? A lot of people for some reason do not like New Yorkers. I think with me a large part of this is also some type of arthritis, but no rheumotoid. I am very allgergic to molds.
So any more background or suggestions is greatly appreciated. Also, and this is not meant to be racial in anyway. I lived in maimi for 10 years. As you all know it is heavily hispanic. I found a lot of reverse discrimentation against white people. Do you find that in AZ in NM? And finally, Las Cruces vs. New Mexico?
I am 38 single and have no kids. Of coarse dating is not really on the table anymmore for obvious reasons. Thanks again for all of your help. Good luck to all of you.
Almost everyone in Albuquerque is from somewhere else. New Yorkers are as accepted as anyone else, if they don't act like we are a backward people! Seriously, the pace here is slower than new York (or San Francisco or LA in my experience) and the only New Yorkers who don't seem to be accepted are those who criticise us for not having an indoor opera house (our Santa Fe opera is outdoors and world renowned!) and things like that!
New Mexico is proud of its three cultures - Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. I have heard of reverse discrimination in small towns (from kids, who in my opinion, came here with an attitude because their parents made them move) but not in Albuquerque.
Health care - we have three major health companies/ hospitals. I did not experience any differences with San Franciso area when I lived there.
BTW, Las Cruces is IN New Mexico, closer to Mexico, lower altitude. Hopefully Brontesan will further reply.
Thanks for the further info, greatly appreciate it.
Four seasons in Abq., I been here for over 11 years and I have yet to see all four of them, heehee, no pun intended. I'm not putting Abq., down nor will I make attacks on others who are not from here or other wise. Only stating the facts based on my own living experiences while living in Abq. Unlike that previos respons to the seasons, I can't and won't assume about Tuscon or any other place I have never lived in. Only facts. I can't say that my health has declinced due to climate changes by ways of living in Abq., but rather medical reasons, slow ongoing progression due to FMS/CFS disease.I visit my home state every year during the FALL SEASON and some times during the SPRING. I'm a native Californain and proud of it. NM is pleasent to.
[This Message was Edited on 04/14/2008]
[This Message was Edited on 04/14/2008]
Sorry to not reply sooner, I, as all of us, have been struggling with health issues.
Las Cruces, as I mentioned before, has very simular climate and cultural feel as SoCal. We are about 1 hour from the Mexican border so we have more of that culture here than Albuquerque which has more American Indian culture being surrounded by pueblos (reservations). I find that I have more allergies here due to the dust that gets kicked up during the windy season. But, there is no such thing as mold here as it is very dry being high desert. The medical care here is good for regular health issues and adverage for alternative medicine. There is much more available in Albuquerque and especially in Santa Fe (45 mins north of Alb.) Las Cruces is a university town and has a big retirement population, so the medical services are quite good. We have two hospitals in town.
Hope that helps a bit more.
Oh, also, there isn't any real racial issues here in Las Cruces from what I see. There is a high population of Mexican Americans as well as white, with some black and asian. We get an influx during the school year of asian students coming to study agriculture which our college is known for. I appreciate the diversity coming from N Cal. If there was a problem or leaning in that area, we wouldn't have moved here as it is very offensive to us as well. We see everyone as people, good and bad.
I also live in Albuquerque, and have experienced similiar responses to going to higher altitudes. Last summer my husband & I went to Ruidoso (I think the altitude is probable 7,000 or so, not sure). We both felt lousy, although I felt it might also be because we were staying in a cabin near a stream (possible mold?) Although I have not had reactions to mold before. I do notice a difference when we go to lower altitude. We usually have much increased energy overall, and our symptoms generally improve (I have at times been able to do a little running without crashing). I have felt that maybe we have bacteria that are anaerobic (they multiply best without oxygen). I have always suspected that I do carry mycoplasma, and I know that mycoplasma is anaerobic.
Anyway, glad to find that there are others here from Albuquerque, although I know of no local support group for CFS here.
I'm usually over on the Chat board, running Book Club and being a nuisance. But I'm from Albuquerque, too (Northeast Heights area). I was a teacher in Farmington (in the Four Corners area) for a decade and then here in Albuquerque for three years.
I have severe CFS, so that put an end to my teaching. If you see a 40-something guy in an electric scooter around town, that's probably me. It is surprising that there isn't a support group for Fibro/CFS in northern New Mexico. But I know of several people in town who are bedridden and worse off than me with CFS.
As far as Albuquerque, I love it. The mountains are spectacular, the desert beautiful, and I love and blend of cultures. It is an austere town at times. The crime rate is high. The open spaces can be disconcerting to people from back east or the Midwest. I'm originally from Minnesota, which also gets two seasons: Winter and mosquitoes. But I've come to love the high desert, and I've found that there's actually quite a bit to do in town: cultural events, gorgeous afternoon drives out to funky towns like Madrid or Cerillos, high-quality museums, great minor league baseball. It's got a good library system. It's close to Santa Fe, one of my favorite places in the world, though a day trip to Santa Fe is too much for me still.
I'm not sure how much the elevation (I live at 5500 feet) affects my CFS, since I haven't been able to travel out of state in three years. I'd be curious to know how I felt in California, let's say.
[This Message was Edited on 04/22/2008]
For a taste of New Mexico scenery within an hour or two of ABQ, check out any of the following movies:
No Country for Old Men
3:10 to Yuma
Wyatt Earp (shot almost entirely around Santa Fe and Abiquiu)
The Milagro Beanfield War
The Tao of Steve
My body is disabled, but the grandeur of New Mexico is good for my spirit.
The Valley of Elah was shot almost entirely in the city of Albuquerque itself, but it doesn't exactly make one want to move here!
[This Message was Edited on 04/22/2008]
Hi T -
I've been quite ill for about ten years and was struggling for several before that. I know of two other women here in Bernalillo who seem to have the same thing. We don't get together because we're all ill enough to need to save any energy for basic activities. I do enjoy phone support, and occasional, spontaneous visits, so if that would work for you, I'd love to talk to you.
My experience is that I've been very thankful to be here while being so sick. For the most part, my medical care has been pitiful so I'll skip that! For a little over a year I was bedridden, but I could lie in my bed and look out my upstairs picture window at the beautiful Sandia mountains. They change in appearance as the light moves across them each day. Then, in the Fall, I can see patches of gold in among the evergreens. After the gold leaves fall, I anticipate the coming snow-cap. Then in Spring I watch for the first signs of green.
During the Balloon Fiesta in October I leave my curtains open when I go to bed because, when the wind currents are right, the balloons float right past my window early in the morning. And from my yard I often see balloons at that time of year.
Two times a year thousands of geese and cranes fly overhead going to and from Bosque del Apache. I always hear them first and the sound makes me feel so happy, then locate them in the sky.
The sky is a beautiful blue. There's a road about 5 minutes from my house which leads to the Sandia foothills. One of my neighbors and I take our dogs there for a short walk when I'm strong enough. From that road we can see forever - sometimes it's almost too beautiful! And in my yard I've planted flowers and herbs which come back each year so I have blooms from late January through early November.
On this past Christmas morning I opened my kitchen blinds and there was a large Roadrunner on my front lawn, opening his feathers toward the sun to get warm. And a few weeks later the Robins had returned.
Also I can sit in my yard, or rest on my balcony hammock, on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks. That's also been my seat for listening to a Linda Ronstadt concert and a Sarah McGlaughlin (sp?) concert, among others. The outdoor concert space is just blocks from my house. Also, it's not unusual for me to hear musicians around the hood playing their music on summer evenings.
I have six dear pets that came into my yard looking for a home. They've been my sweet companions who give me love and hope everyday. I also have wonderful friends who've stuck with me during my whole experience with this dd. They brought food and water for me and my pets the year I couldn't leave home. Just last month I had several very low energy weeks, so a friend went to Trader Joe's and brought flowers and bags of good food for me - and, yes - treats for my kitties and my dog. And I have neighbors who are there for me no matter what the time or the request (I know this, but try not to have to call on them too often).
These are some of the things that make my life seem wonderful and full even though I rarely leave home and the pain really, really sucks. I used to be a world traveler and I hope to be again, but these simple pleasures really do fill my soul and make me thankful that I'm here.
Thanks for letting me remind myself of my many blessings!
[This Message was Edited on 04/23/2008]
That was beautifully written. It's amazing how important beauty and a sense of place are for those of us with CFS or Fibro. Your home, with its view of the changing Sandias, sounds beautiful. I was trying to picture where in Bernalillo you live. I hope you get food from The Range on occasion, even if it's take out! My wife and I live in the Northeast Heights, Uptown area. We've got a friend porch where I often sit and read or just look at the Sandias.
I was an English and Media teacher at Albuquerque Academy until three years ago, when CFS forced me to quit teaching completely. I am able to get out a bit, but not much.
I've been thinking about writing a pamphlet for the City of Albuquerque--a "disabled person's guide to Albuquerque--with information on the best places to go in and around Albuquerque for people in wheelchairs, scooters, with walkers, or with other disabilities. One of my favorites is the paved path at Coronado State Monument. My wife has taken me there on occasion, and I ride my scooter on the path around the ruins. It's got one of the only places I know where you can take a paved path to a beautiful overlook of the Rio Grande. I also love the Kiwanis trail at Elena Gallegos Park in the Open Space. I've heard the new Mariposa subdivision has some beautiful paved trails, but I haven't investigated there yet.
When I am up for it, my wife will take me on short drives, to Corrales, Bernalillo, Placitas, or just up to the Open Space. It does me a world of good to get out.
Hope you are enjoying this weather as much as I am.
I have to say, for a state known to have a city that has an "alternative" practioner on every corner, NM as a state should be ashamed. The basic premise is that if you can afford all the alternative care you need, then this might be an ok place to move, but I find myself looking at places like Texas and Arizona when I search for MD's who have any knowledge of CFS/ME. And actually, if I had ME, I would be better off because it seems like every doctor now knows what it is, but if you don't have an obvious - strike them in your face - problem or pain, they just don't get it. I have been ridiculed by more MD's here then anywhere else. If it weren't for hubby being the bread winner, I'd move. As much as I love it here, I find you can't find an informed MD to save your life! I currently have a knee sprain and I actually have to drive 35 miles West into a smaller town in the mountains because there are no available appts w/ physicians in my town, of Socorro. Pathetic.
For support groups, i belong to the CFIDS Assoc of America and they sent me a list of support groups. There are two in Santa Fe and supposedly one in Farmington and one in that small town that had all the snow this winter where the roof fell in, if you can believe that..
I'm up for creating a NM support group. We could create an online group through Yahoo or Google and then perhaps a meeting time, which I know may be impossible for some and me also at times. I'd love to get together with someone at some point who has a clue as to what I go through.
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