Where to Live with Fibromyalgia
As I neared the end of college I had a choice to make about where I wanted to live. This would obviously drive what jobs I would apply to, but I knew it might also effect my fibromyalgia. I graduated seven years ago and can now say I’ve lived over a year of my adult life in all the major types of places: in the heart of a city, in the suburbs, in the country/small town (population under 10,000), and in a medium size town/college town (population ~125,000). While each area has its pros and cons, I must say that I do have a favorite. It seems to be the best fit for my fibromyalgia, which improves my quality life all the way around.
In the country/a small town you can enjoy a slower pace of life, easy access to nature, quick travel times to local resources, free parking in larger parking spots, quieter environment and usually, a lower cost of living, higher air quality (less pollution) and traffic is easy to drive in. There is also a wonderful feeling of community where you can easily get to know people well and they can you – possibly offering their help and support. The downsides are less retail choices (could be hard to find that unique item that may help your fibromyalgia), community members may know all about you even if you’ve never met, fewer transportation options (public or taxis), it could be harder to find others who are similar situations as you and there are less health care choices. Medical specialists may not be near and often times driving to the nearest biggest city may be needed.
In a city there is good access to healthcare, support groups are easier to find, library systems offer large selections, there are many restaurant and entertainment choices, public transportation options, many public services, no yard to maintain (usually), longer business hours and a greater acceptance of diversity. The downsides are that it is a noisier environment, parking is difficult and often costs money, you may need to walk to a location, air quality is worse, you’re surrounded by fast paced life, there aren’t many natural areas, there is higher cost of living, it is harder to get to and from the grocery store and the traffic is bad.
I feel like the suburbs are a perfect blend of the pros and cons of living in a city or the country. It is easy to hop in car and drive to buy any type of item that I need (not being able to do this really stressed and wore me out when in the city), nature is close by (looking at and being in nature brings me joy), the noise level is fairly quiet (the noise used to keep me up at night in the city) and I have great access to health care. My house has a large enough yard that I can garden, but not be bogged down with caring for an acre. Medium sized towns/college towns offer many of the same things as suburbs, but lean a little more towards small town/country life.
Which do you prefer – city, suburb or country?
*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by roarofthefour