Posts Tagged ‘Camping’

Socializing While In Pain

September 3, 2021

Do I socialize when I’m in pain?

Yup, I socialize, otherwise I’d be a hermit!

Yup! Otherwise I’d be a hermit. Plus, very few friends can identify how much I’m in pain. My bff & my sister can tell by looking at me.. I have other friends & family who have learned the signs.

Mom can tell usually just by looking at me.. not always, but usually.. My sister is pretty good.. Her kids & hubby not so much – ironically I think the kid of hers that would recognize the best is her youngest, because he has seen me the most over the last few years.

My guy friend T has, over the last 3½ years learned quite a bit about how to read the non-verbal clues.

My BFF also has fibro & is sometimes a little too focused on her own fibro to catch my issues. Only reason I can gauge her easily is that she has an emotional response to her issues that I don’t even think she’s aware of.

My second BFF also has his own issues, and usually only sees me on better days.. I don’t think he’s even seen me at mediocre or worse in a long time..

Them there’s some of the Scouters I work with.. Raksha 13th & I have become good friends through Scouting & Rainbow I’ve known since grade 8 or 9, but through guiding & scouting as well. They are pretty good a picking things up.

There are other friends who are less prevalent in my life but even they can recognize some signs if I’m having issues

What I Can Do.

So, there is the basics of who I tend to see most, then the next thing is *what I can do*. Mind you the days when I’m seriously f****d up due to symptoms, I don’t talk to anyone unless I haveta Haveta HAVETA.

Now pain & other symptoms varyy from week to week, day to day, even hour to hour.. Fortunately in the last few years the hour to hour option seems to happen less and less frequently, but for a long time that is how I had to play it.

When my pain levels are super high, any communication is digital.. To everyone. If you’re lucky..

Digital Communication Only on my Worst Days, At Best

Next level down:

  • Mild exercise like walking my dog around the court
  • Have company over for low maintenance visits
  • Socialize for dinner with Mom & Dad
Exercise by walking the Dog Around the Court Is All I Can Handle Some Days.

As my pain levels drop, I can be more sociable in activities that require less interaction such as:

  • Hanging out with selects friends in a quiet environment, such as a campfire, living room, patio, poolside, dock.. This would be BFF’s, & T, for the most part
  • Walking around the neighbourhood
  • Watching the kids’ soccer games
  • Visiting the family cottage for a few days
  • Visiting the gym for a hot tub!
Hanging out with Friends, in Front of the Campfire, or Otherwise, Though we use Chairs – LOL

As the pain levels drop a moderate to low level I can usually do the following:

  • Karaoke
  • General.Cub Scout Activities
  • Marksmanship
  • Hangout with friends in a noisier, bigger, busier location like a restaurant or bar
  • Moderate exercise like the walks with my sister & the pups
  • cub Scout meetings!
  • Glamping at my BFF’s cottage
  • Concerts (depending on who, I may go on a worse day & accept the consequences)
  • Professional sporting events like the Leafs, TFC or The Rock.. & to a lesser extent, Argos, Jays or Raptors..
Concerts with Friends Are Always Fun!!

So assuming my pain level is low, there is a lot I can do. I can:

  • More strenuous exercise such as cycling
  • Visit the gym for Aquafit, yoga, weights, or the track. I had gotten in a few slow Zumba classes in before COVID..
  • I can Camp – not the glamping like at the cottage, but camping with friends, and even my Cub Scouts . In fact we were going to Camp Impressa for a year end camp earlier this month with my senior Cubs & the Scouts (See more in this post).. & I just went camping 2 weekends ago with T
  • Sporting activities like soccer with the girls or golfing with T
  • Some of the more physical activities in Cub Scouts.. Such as teaching how to put up tents, waterproofing the bedroll, setting up grey water, basic orienteering, limited kayaking/canoeing, etc..
  • The Pheonix. – Dancing at the club!
  • Hiking (like fairly flat, fairly short, nothing overnight – Second Marsh near me is a good example)
  • Roadtrip!
Easy Hiking with Friends

What I can not do.

There are so many things now that I would like to do that I just not in the cards. These are activities the I’ve either done or were at one point on the bucket list. This includes activities such as:

  • White water rafting. T wants to go – I can do the camping part, but not the rafting part
  • Backpacking/ Hiking. This includes longer hikes, more challenging hikes, or overnight hikes. I can not lug an air mattress through the wilderness 😄
  • Winter outdoor camping
  • Amusements parks – can’t do most of the rides, and way too much walking.
  • Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Zip-lining (not sure I’d do that anyways)
Canada’s Wonderland, the Prominent Amusement Park in the Toronto Ontario Area.

What would you like to do that you know you will never do again?

Following Doctor’s Orders

August 27, 2021

Previously, i had posted about my pain physician limiting my physical activities – not allowed to go to Cub/Scout camp. . I wrote about why & here’s a quick summary from the post

My pain was creeping up and Iwasn’t doing anything to rest. After spiking again last weekend, I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my pain doc. She reviewed my comments & my paperwork and we had a discussion She said that I was overdoing it & if I kept pushing I was going to significantly hurt myself, possibly slamming right out of my semi-remission. So, she said “No, you are not to go.”

My Pain Doctor *ordered* me to not go to Cub/Scout Camp.

So my Doctor said no, & I’m glad she did! Cuz she was right.

Last Thursday I helped the Howlers clean off the canoes so they could use them. (We don’t wanna contaminate the algae or other slime or bugs of one body of water to a new environment)

On Friday afternoon I helped get everyone off, including the trailers for the canoes & equipment.

Cubs At Camp

On Saturday, I finally woke at 10am on 6 hours sleep cuz my pain was keeping me up. Unfortunately, I woke in more pain than I fell asleep in.

i have a pattern – I feel worse first thing & feel good until I approach bed time.. I hurt in the morning because I’m still – I haven’t been moving or stimulating my muscles while I sleep unless of my restless legs are keeping me up of course. When bedtime approaches, I start too slow down and that makes me more aware of my body and the pain and inflammation that I’ve been ignoring comes to light. I have always been like this as a kid – I would be ill, but better in the evenings & want to go to guides or soccer or dance…

Instead of Cub Camp, Saturday activities ended up included folding laundry and reading a book in the lounger in the backyard. Not alot of activity.

So I went to bed on Saturday night in lots of pain. Woke up Sunday with lots of pain.

Sunday required me to pack for the cottage, which was fun..it took me several hours to get my stuff organized & packed (yet still left swimsuits at home).. Imagine, had I gone to camp, how much pain I would be in. Packing up Sunday morning and making a 4 hour drive home, then unpacking equipment at our storage area. Afterwards, add in me trying to unpack from camp, do some laundry and then repack for the cottage all in a few hours then drive almost 2 hours up here..

imagine if I had tried to do camp, I would not have been able to pack for the cottage, let alone make it here for at least 2 days, possibly up to 4 or 5..

So, as the days have progressed, I’m having to be careful.. We (Lilly & I) ran errands on Tuesday, and spontaneously stopped at a local conservation area to take the pup for a walk (6 km later we are both dying) .. I walked around in the cool lake water to help the pain and heat in my leggs as well as a quick dip for Lil for that & heat relief… It helped a bit..

We took Wednesday easy.. Went about 500m in the kayak before I remembered I had a webinar in 20 minutes! & that was my exercise.. And yesterday I crashed out.. not even making it outta bed until 7 – in the evening..

So while, besides yesterday, I’m doing “ok”.. I was managing pain at about a 4/10. Imagine where I would have been had I gone to camp.. Besides packing, I’d be driving 4 hours to the camp ground, help set up three sites, including tents, kitchens and shelter. Poor sleep Friday night would almost be a given, but up between 7am & 8am for breakfast & on my feet going all day, including canoeing with the kids, hiking, games, skills training, archery, helping with 3 meals a day in some capacity, etc. No breaks, no stops, no naps untill after campfire, if I made it that long, starting at 9:30-10pm start.. so in bed for midnight.

Cubs & Scouts Camping c at Camp Impressa

Sunday would have consisted of breakfast & packing the equipment all up & reorganizing the trailer. Then the 4 hour drive back as I mentioned earlier..

if you add all that activity on minimum sleep, are you really all that surprised that I would have crashed on Monday. Which I kind of did anyways just from packing up with the cottage.. if without that activity my pain levels are at a 4, maybe 5. Imagine what level I would have been at had I actually participated. I figure probably near 9/10 and I tend to go to the ER between the levels of 7 and 8!

Normally, if I’m ‘well’ I can do camp Friday – Sunday, then crash for 2 days.. but I can normally make it through camp.. but I wasn’t starting at ‘well’..

So, yeah I am so glad my pain doc ordered me to stay home..

“STOP” – Doctor’s Orders

August 20, 2021

So I was camping on the weekend with a gentleman friend and one night our mattress deflated so needless to say I didn’t get a good night’s sleep that night. As a result pain levels are up. But pain levels were also up a week prior and the week prior to that.

As many of you know I am a cub scout leader. Between my two groups I have six senior Cubs, called Howlers, who are going up to Scouts in September. Five of these boys are getting the Cub top section award..

2 months ago, when we finally got permission to Camp hello I suggested to Raksha that would take all the senior Cubs and take them on a camp, teaching them how to do a scout camp. Well Raksha is also currently a scout leader, but she has not done a scout section camp because of restrictions due to covid. But I have several years of troop level camping under my belt so I know what they should and should not be doing…

On of my Howler at day camp a few weeks back.

About a month ago, the Scouts and venturers expressed an interest in camping so I’m not sure how it happened but suddenly my howler Camp became a Howler / Scout / Vent camp. While I was annoyed about it kind of getting taken over from the original intent I figured that the existing older Scouts can teach the Howlers how to Camp as Scouts..

i was actually looking forward to camping with the kids.

What does one have to do with my doctor? Everything.

When my pain was creeping up, I wasn’t doing anything to rest. After spiking again last weekend, I had an appointment with my pain physician, a regularly scheduled appointment. She reviewed my comments & my paperwork and we had a discussion She said that I was overdoing it & if I kept pushing I was going to significantly hurt myself, possibly slamming right out of my semi-remission. So, she said “No, you are not to go camping”.

Well, she was right.. I kept my activity level up to help finish prepping for camp.. & today, I’m done.

I could not even help shift a canoe last night. Not lift, just shift. & Today I woke in active fibromyalgia pain. My leggs were killing me.

No! Stop!! Do not Camp. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200

So my Doctor said no, & I’m glad she did!

Camping with Fibro

August 6, 2021

Yes, I can go camping with Fibro. It borders on Glamping, but I’m still in the outdoors, in my tent & cooking out on a stove. And yes, I have gone camping twice this summer, so far with at least one more weekend planned

I have had to make many modifications to how I can camp.

I am no longer able to go backpacking. I would not be able to handle the weight I’d have to carry mile after mile.. In my teens, I had gone up to the back country of Algonquin, spending several days out in the wilds with friends. That’s not happening anymore. The mind is willing, but the body’s not even gonna consider it! Lol.

I have had to upgrade from a 2-person hiking tent to a a 4-person, 3-season tent. I can no longer sleep on the ground, on thin mats, bubble pads or wood flooring like at Camp Adelaide. I now have a double high queen size air mattress that I use. I have a fitted sheet on it & depending on the weather 1-2 sleeping bags & my Lilly blanket. I also have a pillow that I use exclusively for camping.

My camp setup for virtual Cuboree

I have borrowed a camp stove from one of my cub packs (yes, the pack knows). It connects to the smaller green propane tanks, not a big 20lber. It is not one that requires you to prime it, cuz I find that one difficult. But also does use the huge tanks either so I don’t have to move that either. In addition I recently purchased my own stove used. I still need to clean it & test it tho.

I can light a propane lantern both on the green tanks & the big white ones. I’m lazy & cheap so I only use a small battery-operated portable one & my handy dandy flashlight. Blessed with good night sight, I don’t usually need a light source to sneak off to the bathroom at 2 in the morning.

I recently purchased an small indoor/outdoor table to use camping & at in-person & outdoor cub events. I am not sitting on the ground to cook or prep. With COVID, we can not share the picnic table with others right now, so I need my own table.

As some of y’all know, I have a long sleep cycle, and I’m sure your curious how I do that camping. Easy: ear plugs, & sleep mask. With my Cubs, I have our SiTs do breakfast, but otherwise, I suck it up. I know I will crash out during the week, but it is worth it.

My pink sleep mask (I have 3) & a pair is standard orange ear plugs.

To sit, I bring lawn chairs. My butt is too big & my balance to horrible to be able to get in an actual camp chair, handmade or store bought. Add to the fact that they are barely off the ground, with some I’d have to get on the ground to get up! Lol

This is what my current campfire chair looks like, but with thicker wood .. Made it in Rover Scouts.

Swimming? Heaven! The water is a blessing. Yes, not everywhere has water, but I camp at my bff’s cottage so there’s water there. Our cottage is also on a lake.. I enjoy the cool lake as it’s refreshing, especially on warm day.

I make sure I take all my medications, as prescribed at the appropriate time. I also bring sufficient extra medications, especially the PRN meds cuz you never know when you’ll need them. In addition to the regular meds I also bring my A535 & the Voltaran cuz again, you never know.

Are there other aspects of camping that I’m missing? Let me know & I will tell you how I deal with them!