Post by Lisa Petrison on Nov 18, 2011 12:04:13 GMT -5
A report from 2004:
I'm a 41 yo male and have suffered from CFS/FMS since the early 90's. I had to quit working in 2000 because I was so fatigued I couldn't make it through a day. At this time, I would say my state of CFS is extreme with all the normal symptoms. Also, my muscle pains in the winter months are totally unbearable and make me want to scream in pain.
Last year I went to the Philippines for three months on my Dr's recommendation to try tropical weather. I chose the Philippines because its cheap and I'd been there before. Anyway, after a week there, I noticed imporvement. Mainly in the muscle aches. AFter a month or so, I started feeling a little bit more energy. I progressed in imporvements up until I came home to Northern CA in December. During that time, I have never felt so bad as I did with no energy, muscle pains and depression.
I decided to return to the Philippines in January and after a week there, I started to see the same improvements again. I just returned back to the US this June and within 10 days, I'm back to my original condition. The only difference is I'm not quite as achey because its warmer now. After my second extended trip there, I can say without a doubt, tropical weather is good for me. Being in the tropical climate did more for me than any of the many meds/treatments I've recieved over the years.
For those that dont know the weather patterns in the Phils, its almost always 80 degrees plus, even at night and the humidity levels rarely drop below 50%. I think this is the biggest contributing factor. I say this because there were two cold spells where the temp dropped to the 70's for 4-5 days. During this time, on the third day of these temps, I started to feel my muscle aches and fatigue coming back. After the temp went back to normal, I was doing better.
I met another man there who too was diagnosed with CFS?FMS and he had the same posiitve experiences. SOme other general information to note about the Philippines is, daylight is a steady 12/12 per day. There are almost no preservatives or petrochemicals used in food either and beef and poultry have no hormones. All of which help most of us CFS/FMS people.
The other thing is cost. I can live in the Philippines for 800-1000 a month. If anyone has any questions about my experiences feel free to email me or post onlist. If anyone is interseted in trying the Philippines, I can assist with how to budget your money, where to stay, what to expect, etc.. I have to emphasise that the Philippines is a third world country so it wont be for everyone.
Some more info from Chris:
I was living in the Bay Area when I came down with CFS, Santa Clara to be exact, right there in the middle of the silicon valley. I'm planning on going back as soon as I get some medical tests finished here because I feel horrible ever since I came back.
>Regarding cost, did you live as well there on the amount of $800 to $1000 as you do in N. CA? Nice apt, all the amenities?
No, not as nice. I sacrifice a fair amount to be able to stay there. But, that doesn mean its not comfortable. It's no big deal to do with less in a third world country when you see your bare bones less is 20x more than what the rest of the poulation is living with. My apartment there is a furnished studio, something like what you'd expect to pay about 1200 a month for in the bay area and I pay 150 a month there. It's really pretty nice to take in the beauty of the area where I live because we're right on the edge of protected jungle (rain forrest by American standards). There are monkeys that run wild, exotic bats, butterflies, plants, trees, flowers, etc. I do enjoy all of this and its mentally stimulating.
>Is it possible to get US tv in English? Easy high speed internet available?
There is cable, hbo, cinemax, fox news, cnn. all the regular channels we americans like. There is high speed internet which to me is slow at 256kbs. But again, we're talking third world.
Did you rent an apt or live in a residence hotel? Is the look of the Philippines similar to Hawaii?
The climate is similar but no way does it look the same. The people here are so poor. Almost everything is in a state of deisrepair and asthetics are kinda not very important.
> I wasn't sure what you meant by daylight being 12/12.
12 hours sun/12 hours dark, every day, all year around.
> Did you live in a city & is there good public transportation? Are there quite a few Americans and an easy way to meet them?
Public transportation is cheap and plentiful. It's about .10 cents fare to get across town and approx $3.00 for a 4 hour bus ride to Manila. There are plenty of Americans in the area where I stay. Mostly retired. There is a McDonald's, Dominos Pizza, Straw Hat, Shakey's, Kenny Rogers Roasted Chicken, etc. So if you dont like Filipino food, you wont starve. I usually eat all my meals out because its so cheap. Filipno food for two is about 3 dollars with drinks. A big mac meal at McDonalds is about $1.75, etc.
>How long is the flight to get there?
Flight is 16 hours to Manila from SFO and then another 4 hour ride to Olongapo. It's definitely tiring for those that don't fly well like me.
Your comments about the food being free of pesticides is great. Do you need to drink bottled water there?
Yep, there is water treatment in Olongapo but it's hit and miss in my opinion. I dont take any chances. Bottled water for the week is about $4.00 for 5/5 gallon containers (delivered) and includes a refrigerated stand. There are public markets for the food, which are similar to our outdoor farmers markets. Hygene is not known there. It turns my stomach when I go to the meat market and see them handling pork and chicken. But, it's something you'll find after a while that we are WAY over santized in the US and its not really necessary. We're a country driven by law suits, thats for sure.
> What are some examples of third world country characteristics that you saw?
Beggars, cons, being overcharged for being white, not being able to get what you want when you want it. Rediculously slow service and incompetence from almost anything service related, etc.On the other hand, most of the people are very freindly and eglish speakers albeit poor english speakers. They are often willing to give a hand and invite you into their home. It is a little frustrating when they always say yes when they dont understand because they are too timid and shy to say they dont understand though. If you've never been exposed to a third world country, it is a little hard at first but its an overall good experience and it teaches us fat n happy Americans how much we really have compared to the rest of the world. It can be hard to let go of our high American standards for everything but when I learned to do this, I realized that there are many unconventional ways to do things and get the same results. Its helped me in dealing with my CFS by not being so selfishly absorbed in my problems.
I went to the Philippines several years ago for two weeks and remembered feeling more "alive" with more energy. Then I went again from Sept through the end of Nov 03. Felt pretty good then too.
December 03 was abosolutely the worst time I've had since I've had CFS. I swear I felt like putting a gun to my head. I decided to go back to the Philippines in the beginning of january and my state of mind was "am I going to die here, or am I going to die there?" I really felt that bad!
Anyway, I went back Jan 10th and it was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time.
I really don't know what the difference is with the tropical weather, if it is indeed the hot humidness, the mostly organic food, the higher oxygen content in the air, etc. All that stuff helps but I dont know which it is if its any one individual thing.
I get hair samples done every 6 months to check my vitamin/mineral levels to maintain them Interestingly, all my hair tests while in the US come back suggesting that I am low metabolism. But, when I am in the philippines, they suggest I have become high metabolism. So, what I am experiencing is nore than a state of mind. Its measurable. I am planning to go back again in about 3 weeks.
Yes I've tried other places. I even sold my house in the Bay Area and moved to rural northern CA where everything is cleaner. I didn't feel any difference, except maybe in depression and that got worse. Maybe because there aren't as many people around.