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Fun Sunday at Dutch Wonderland with RA & Fibromyalgia!

Dutch Wonderland Family Fun Weekend Vacation

Dutch Wonderland

We surprised our princess and wrapped up our Lancaster weekend with a Dutch Wonderland visit! Being too young to enjoy the rides last we visited, the stroller was her ride of choice. If your little one is under 36 inches tall, you should wait until once they rise above this milestone as the rides aren’t as exciting compared to the rides for the 36″ or even more remarkable the 42″ child, that is if they are going with children who fall into one of the taller brackets. It was hard for my daughter last year to not be going on the same rides as her taller cousin as he went running all over the park screaming with delight from ride to ride that she wasn’t tall enough to ride. However, if it’s just them and you (no older/taller children), then the 36″ and under tot most likely wouldn’t even realize what they were missing, because there are plenty of cool rides to keep them busy all day long.

We were headed to Lancaster County to check out the Double Tree Hilton in Lancaster…again, special thanks to the Hilton for the wonderful invite and beautiful accommodation, we were only 6 miles away from DW. Instead of heading directly home, why not head over to Dutch Wonderland for some fast moving excitement, which is right up this 3 year old’s alley.

For moms with Fibromyalgia, moms with Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any health challenges, like myself…trips like this can be scary before you even leave. I worry if I will have enough energy to keep going, how many times I will need to stop, what my pain level is going to be, will it be too humid and my RA really flair up- I pray for little pain so we as a family can enjoy the weekend. As any parent does, you need to find a way to make this happen for your child, so I’ve come up with a few strategies I utilize to help insure I’ll have the best time possible, while staying the longest time in the park as I can.

Healthy Tips for Enjoying Summer Trips to Theme Parks While Struggling with RA & Fibromyalgia!

  • plenty of rest the night before
  • healthy eating to keep energy up
  • limit sugar intake to reduce highs and lows in energy level
  • secure fitting sneakers not only soothe achy feet, protect your back too
  • staying hydrated keeps you feeling well
  • stretch and take breaks (stand/sit) even if you feel well keeps your muscles/joints from tightening
  • pack ice packs or plastic bags to fill with ice you get from the snack shop, use on achy joints alternating different locations
  • bring your China Gel/Bio Freeze/Tiger Balm or whatever arthritic ointment you love best
  • take your anti-inflammatory along with any supplements such as acai berry that reduce inflammation
  • give yourself a mini massage in spots that are exhausted throughout the day, watch you don’t hurt those hands
  • go in the pool (immediate anti-inflammatory)
  • go in air condition buildings to combat tender, hot joints
  • enjoy shows, monorails, sky line or train rides (anything that takes longer than 5 min that can give your body at least a min break without you being a lame duck for stopping to sit at every park bench
  • enjoy a fruit smoothie or another very cold treat that gives you the overall sensation of being cool
  • take a warm bath with Epsom salt back in the hotel room and go to bed early
  • don’t plan for an entire day of walking, just pick the most important rides- get to them and then spend time in the water park in the afternoon

When we first arrive, I was sure to inquire about the special id bracelets (neon green) available free of charge, write my phone number on the inside and put it on my daughter’s wrist in case we are separated. Pointing out all the employees in dark blue and light blue shirts as safe people that she may approach should should find herself lost, I begin my conversation explaining that she shouldn’t get lost if she follows the rules of staying close by Mom and not running off.

Dutch Wonderland Lost Child Id Bracelet

Today was an awesome day to go, because it was a very iffy day for weather, mid 60′s, cloudy and a 35% chance of rain in the forecast kept the park pretty low key all day. Everyone knows this means no lines for anything, food or ride related!! woot! woot!

First stop is the Joust Family Coaster, which was her first roller coaster. Followed by many, many rides, all of which fulfilled her thrill seeking side. We even went on one of the two new rides this year, Leapen’ Frogs. This was a special trip for us, my daughter did a lot of the rides independently, really emphasizing her fast approaching “big girl” world. For me this was bitter sweet, as I want her to be independent, proud of her accomplishments, but be my baby forever!


Thanks again to the great weather, we were able to skip the air conditioned eateries in the park (Castle Cafe & Mill Stream Eatery) an opt for pizza and fries. Potato Patch has fresh cut fries – which can also be a yummy snack to hold you over till after 2pm when the crowds aren’t so bad in the eateries on extremely busy days at the park. As I walked through the park, there were plenty of spots to rest and fill up on my ice as well as the water rides to cool off. This park had a lot of the strategies I utilize to keep me going during my theme park trip.

Free Parking & Free Hours at Dutch Wonderland

What a great time we had at Dutch Wonderland! We will be back for sure! Free Parking! One last cool thing I want to point out is about the Preview Plan they offer 3 hours before Park closing. Purchase a regular admission ticket for a full day at the Park tomorrow – and join them FREE for the remainder of the evening! Also returning this year, is the free wonderland mini golf- just show your ticket stub and you’ll be ready for your hole-in-one! This is one amusement park you can’t afford to not have on your list of things to do this summer!

Philly Mom Blogger

Mama Canceled Her Appointment with the Surgeon!

Mama’s Carpal Tunnel Is Gone, Thanks To My Melanie, My Massage Therapist!!

signs of carpal tunnel

Just a little funny we found online, it's what I feel like doing if only I didn't have RA!

Most of you know by now I’ve been seeing a massage therapist to relieve my Fibromyalgia Pain, Melanie Boyd from She has been my muscle knot terminator. Seeking and destroying the muscles knots that try to dodge her by slipping around, but she stays right on top of them. She is teaching me about letting go of my tightness in my muscles. This tightness could be causing my numbness in my hands.

My neurologist convinced me, from my EMG findings that I had the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome severely in my right wrist and mildly in my left wrist. He also explained to me that I had tendinitis in my left elbow. After hearing his finding from the EMG, I made my appointment with the surgeon who would perform the carpal tunnel surgery. Around the same time, I started seeing a new massage therapist who was able to press deep into my forearm muscles, releasing my nerves from the pressure they were under and I felt some numbness go away. At that point, I knew I was onto something, and I needed to see this through. I needed to see what she could do as far as help me relieve my numbness and pain from my carpal tunnel syndrome. By her deeply manipulating the tight muscles it released tight muscle pressing on these nerves that were causing the severe pain.

I actually canceled an appointment with my surgeon scheduled for last Monday. I’m blown away with the decrease in my Symptoms of Fibromyalgia that I’m not feeling thanks to Melanie. Each week, I feel more and more longer lasting results and less and less pain and numbness. Meaning, the muscles are starting to keep the new feeling of not being so tight. I’m relearning how to hold my hands and wrists properly for everything from steering my car to sleeping at night.

Now, I imagine I will need to continue my stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel as well as a maintenance therapeutic massage program of some sort (probably a monthly appointment) to keep my muscles from tightening back up once we finish the treatment. Melanie’s prices are reasonable…actually less money than some local spas, yet way better massages!

Exericses To Help You Avoid Carpal Tunnel Operation
The Proper Way to Use a Keyboard, Don’t Get Carpal Tunnel!


I have Fibromyalgia Pain, If You or Someone You Know Does, Please Read This About My Day

Any Moms Out There With Fibromyalgia Pain?

fibromyalgia pain

Every week for the past few weeks I have been getting a deep tissue massage to help my muscles that feel like a solid piece of wood (symptoms of Fibromyalgia) loosen up. We work on a few areas that are usually causing the most Fibromyalgia pain and making my life really hard to navigate. After the massage, I see my chiropractor for an adjustment. Today, was the first time in all my chiropractor adjustments over the past several weeks that my elbows adjusted. Yup, my forearms are so tight that not only do I have a muscle clamping down on my nerve (carpal tunnel, pinched nerve) I also have recently been diagnosed with tendinitis in my elbow. With the slightest movement I would have a stabbing pain right near my elbow. Well, today the pain was so severe Melanie dug deep on the muscle around this tendinitis (which I also learned today is just inflammation) and I’m pain free from tendinitis as I type this. As for my carpal tunnel, my hand hasn’t gone numb as of yet either since I started typing this post, this just gives you an idea. My hand goes numb still, I’m just noticing that it can go a little longer with out flexing it or stretching it to take the numbness away. Normally I can’t type for longer than a few seconds due to the carpal tunnel. Here it comes now. Err! Break…be back soon.

My elbows and lower back are super tight right now, my neck used to be the most tight part of my body, but as Melanie & Dr.Heidi release my muscles in my neck, other parts of my body start screaming out for help. Deep massage and chiropractic together are transforming my muscles and helping me with my symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Oh it hurts like you know what during the massage, but I feel my muscles letting go, I literally feel it. I feel them relaxing and that freedom, which is so sad because its freedom from myself, from tight muscles, makes me feel lighter, looser, not as numb and not in nearly as much pain. A girl can get used to this, especially a girl in as much chronic pain as myself.

How Can You Get Help For Your Symptoms of Fibromyalgia? read on…

I have been getting deep tissue massages for most of my adulthood. I knew they always brought me relief, but not until I found a truly caring, kinda medical in a weird way, masseuse did I actually find help to take away a significant amount of the fibromyalgia pain. The pain I feel is real, I believe it was brought on by a traumatic, emotionally, physical event in my childhood. My body hurts all over…sometimes even when I’m hugged.  First thing you deserve to try, because we all deserve a little less pain in our daily Fibromyalgia lives, find a masseuse like Melanie Boyd or just make an apt with Melanie for those of you close by Doylestown, which is in Bucks County PA.  Also, your chiropractor needs to be holistic in the sense that she looks at you as a whole, she talks with your masseuses to figure out how best to treat you. Again if you are close by, make an appointment with Dr. Heidi…if not, ask people around you for professionals like I explain here.

Most importantly,  you need to feel like these two professionals are your people…meaning they get you and you trust each other, because a big part of my healing is to allow people into my space, especially my space in my head. I have to trust them, so my body let’s its protector-self down enough so they can get in and work their magic. Meaning, I must trust them enough to close my eyes and say have at me, do whatever you need to do and I take my deep breaths and let it all go, let my body release the muscles, the emotions, the tension…its a physiological journey for me as well as a medical journey and I’m moving right along.

If you need to talk more, comment or email me if you need privacy. I believe in fate. I was meant to find Melanie and Dr. Heidi, I was meant to have a website like this to reach so many of you and I’m meant to help others. Its what makes me most happy. Good Luck to you all! Please post your stories or leave me feedback in the comment section :)

((Gentle Hugs))

Melanie’s Facebook Page

Melanie’s Website & Blog

Dr. Heidi’s Facebook Page

Does Massage & Chiropractic Help Your Fibromyalgia?

In one word, YES!

Massage & Chiropractic

Dr. Heidi Bencsik

Help This Mom’s Fibromyalgia!

Since my twenties, I’ve been getting massages to relax my muscles. The massages always had an added bonus of helping my mind to deal with the chronic everyday pain I had which was my parting gift of being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Fibromyalgia (Fibro). My massages never really took away all the pain, but once I started doing both massage and chiropractic together, strategically working on various sections of my body with both Melanie Boyd of Wellness, Naturally! and Dr. Heidi Bencsik of Willow Wellness & Chiropractic Care of Doylestown, things started to feel a little better.  Continue reading Does Massage & Chiropractic Help Your Fibromyalgia?

Acai Berry Juice Helps Mom With Arthritis Morning Stiffness

Lately Mama hasn’t been able to close my hands in the morning. It takes me about an hour of activity before my joints loosen up and I’m able to use them again (not pain free, but the body is moving a little better). Continue reading Acai Berry Juice Helps Mom With Arthritis Morning Stiffness

Mama's Disability Holds Me Back!

Mama’s Health Challenges

I have health challenges that I do a good job of hiding when I’m out and about on my so called “Good Days”. Most people would never know I have such pain and limitations. When I drop off of life’s radar most of my friends just think I’m out hanging with other friends, when I’m really home trying to get my body moving. I don’t like to feel sorry for myself and I know friends/family don’t want to hear about my illness every time they speak with me, so I keep quiet about it mostly. Most friends/family think they would be ok with hearing about it all the time, however I know it gets old and it’s a downer to hear someone complain all the time. The past month it’s been hard to be quiet about how I feel because my body is not my friend lately. I’ve missed playdates/classes, rescheduled coffees, bailed on events and haven’t stayed in touch with family/friends as much as I’m used to.

So, your first question is probably what’s wrong with Mama and for how long has she been this way? I remember as far back as elementary school when I missed many school days or came home early because I just didn’t feel well…I wasn’t sick with a cough or fever, yet my body hurt all over. My mom was skeptical, but always trusted in me….thanks to her being a super protective Italian Mommy she, mostly thinks with her heart when it came to her little ones. Once I was older, we got a diagnose that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis & (what is now called) Fibromyalgia. I have good days and bad days. The Fall is the worst time for my body….I think it’s the weather changes.

I would love to connect with other people out there in similar situations. What is your day like? How do you deal with your disability and taking care of your little ones? Registered & Protectedcopyright for video