Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fibro Girl With Kaliedoscope Eyes

Okay, here's the thing.

As if being in daily pain isn't enough, fibromyagia also inflicts many sensitivities upon its sufferers. Common culprits are sensitivities to odours, bright lights, noise and chemicals to name a few. I'm especially affected
by excessive auditory stimulus: aka NOISE. I become easily overwhelmed by too many voices coming at me simultaneously. This quickly leads to system failure on my part: irritability, impatience and a strong urge to bolt from the room shrieking, hands covering my ears. I avoid noisy gatherings, preferring to seek out peaceful quiet wherever I can.

Spring break has arrived and that means one thing: vacation! Our little family of 3 is set to jet. Our destination? None other than Sin City herself - Las Vegas, baby! Yes, you read that right. We're winging our way to the brightest city on the planet with the possible exception of Dubai. Las Vegas is the epitome of excess and extravagance: a virtual Disneyland for grown-ups. Gigantic neon lights pulsate up and down The Strip. Taxis, limos come and go in a steady convoy. The crowds, the loud music and always in the background, the ding ding ding of jackpots being hit. So, why would a person with heightened sensitivity to noise and crowds want to visit Las Vegas? Because it's a freakin' blast!

For some inexplicable reason, Vegas doesn't upset my equilibrium. Something larger than myself takes over as soon as I set foot on a tacky casino carpet. My eyes glaze over, my heart beats faster and I'm oblivious to all around me. I park my butt down at the nearest slot machine and feed it a generous helping of cash. We understand each other, the slots and I - the symbiotic nature of our relationship. I click the START button and colourful  fruit spins before my eyes. The room becomes still. People seem to be moving in slow motion and a satisfied silence settles over me. The machine and I become one. I've entered an alternate reality. A rush of adrenaline explodes inside me with each successful wager. My skin is electric with excitement and I feel utterly orgasmic. I want to bear-hug this big, beautiful thief. I think I might be addicted. You stupid fool - the cash has already run dryPouting like a child, I think I might cry. But. But. There's a debit machine over there .... Have I become a slot stalker? Run away, Cathy. Run far far away. I've never had the courage to approach the gaming tables. Besides, I only know how to play Blackjack and I would be so intimidated that I'm certain I'd panic and fold at 12. It's time for Cathy to leave the building.

Back to reality, which does indeed, BITE. Seriously, what's a nice fibromite like you doing in a town like this?

Typically, I startle at noises most people don't notice. If the phone rings, the dog is barking and someone  talks to me at the same time, I go into unpleasant auditory overload. Why do I keep going back to Sin City? Is it the glitz and the glamour? The desert heat? The lure of a windfall? Taking in a spectacular show? The opportunity to wear your hottest outfit or dine on a sumptious meal in a 5-star restaurant. Don't forget about discount and outlet shopping for designer fashions? Perhaps it's a decadent spa visit promising unparalled bliss that floats your boat: indulge in a luxurious massage. Take a dip in one of the beautiful pools. All this and more before you've even set foot outside your hotel!

Despite having fibromyalgia myself, I love coming back to this bacchanalian town. With a little common sense and listening to my body's signals, I can manage to stave off a flare. I do get aches and pains but when I'm perched in front of the slots, I'm distracted and don't notice them. I have learned a trick or two about pacing:  1) Unless you have a personal butler or husband (same thing), let him make all trips to the cashier. 2) Don't stand when you can sit. 3) Sliding from stool to stool can be exhausting - ensure a thorough rest is taken before rounding the corner to the next bank of slots. 4) Be sure to change your 'betting arm' occasionally or you risk a repetitive-type injury.

While my husband and I enjoy a few days in Sin City now and then, it's not a destination  I would recommend for fibromites. Fibro people do much better in natural surroundings that are serene and peaceful, such as a lakeside holiday. I enjoy quiet respites too, but once in a while I get the itch to throw on the sequins and belt out VIVA LAS VEGAS!

Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you verah much.


Get plenty of rest before, during and after your trip. Give yourself breaks throughout the day.

Resist the temptation to do too much. You don't have to use every second of the day.

Plan ahead. Do research about the place where you are going and things you want to see. This will enable you to schedule your days and reduce the chance that you may do more than you can handle because of peer pressure.

Evaluate your expectations. Don't be disappointed if you don't end up accomplishing all your goals.

Discuss expectations ahead of time with your travel companions to reduce the chance of their or your disappointment.


I do not want to leave the reader with the impression that I have a gambling addiction! Honestly! I go into a casino once or twice a year and I do not bet any more than I can afford to lose. Just wanted to clarify that!



  1. This is a great site! I like how you set this up!...Daniel

  2. Wanted to add a suggestion if I may. In the past several years, Vegas has added monorails on both sides of the Strip. Using these will save you LOTS of energy. Also, the city bus is cheap and a great way to get up to Fremont Street. On my last trip, the only time I took a cab was when I was glammed up to go to a show.

  3. Great suggestions. I knew about the monorail system but I forgot to mention it. I haven't used it personally because I heard too many comments about the distance between stations, along with difficulty finding the stations. But you're right, there is a variety of transportation options available, to help conserve energy. Thanks for your comment.