And the Fibro Finally Rears Its Ugly Head…

I arrived in Krakow on the night train from Budapest this morning, feeling a bit groggy and disoriented, but otherwise in great spirits. Found my hostel, got some breakfast, and strolled around the Stare Miasto (Old City) a little before the mad rush of tourists. Felt perfectly normal tired. Then it hit. A severe exhaustion and unbearable lower pack pain. 20 minutes from my hostel. In the middle of my wanderings of Kazimieriz, the old Jewish Quarter. Frankly, I am ticked off. (That’s the nice version – keeping it family friendly for everyone back home.)

I debated continuing with my sightseeing. There was a free 3 hour walking tour of Kazimieriz I desperately wanted to go on. There was a period film being shot in Market Square. I hadn’t even peeked inside the huge St. Mary’s Church yet. I debated, and realized that pushing myself today would mean bedridden tomorrow. So napped for 2 hours and now here I am, feeling slightly sore, but much improved. The lesson – ALWAYS listen to your body, even if you don’t have fibromyalgia.

A couple things of note: In Budapest, before catching my train, I visited the House of Terror museum on Andrassy ut. A somber way to leave a new favorite city, but I am glad I checked it out. It is housed in the former office and prison complex of two notorious agencies in Hungary: the Nazi-supported Arrow Cross (much like the Gestapo) and the Soviet-supported AVH (secret police). Here the people of Hungary were terrorized, tortured, and disappeared into the night. Just walking into such a building gave me the chills, but the exhibits furthered my horror. An impressive array of artifacts, photos, video footage, and art installations with powerful messages. For example, a maze of walls made of bricks of pig lard in a room about the shortages and rationing Hungarians experienced under Communism. Wandering the maze to find your way out, you contemplate all the invisible mazes they had to go through just to get the basics for survival. Another exhibit showed the two uniforms of the Arrow Cross and AVH back-to-back and spinning slowly, demonstrating how the secret police switched sides, or “turncoated”. Most powerful to see were the actual rooms used to imprison and torture Hungarians citizens. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Hungarian families had someone killed, tortured, questioned, or imprisoned by these organizations.

You may ask, “Why visit such a disturbing museum on your vacation?” I reply, it is disturbing, yes, but as members of the human race where we have perpetrated countless horrors on each other, it is important that we are witness to what happened, that it make us uncomfortable, and cause us to ponder and questions what happened. It is also an important piece to understanding the Hungarian people today.

On that disheartening note, I will head back out into the city. Krakow awaits my full attention and my back is at least 30% better.

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
This entry was posted in Eastern Europe, Staying Healthy, travel with fibromyalgia and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to And the Fibro Finally Rears Its Ugly Head…

  1. Holly says:

    Hiya,
    Always a treat to read your posts, I’m glad that you were able to handle the “attack” of fibro the way that you did. Hopefully, you won’t suffer that again.

    By reading your posts, I have felt like I was there with you in a way. You really should do this for a living 🙂

    • chronictraveler says:

      I think I will do this for a living! 🙂 No major attacks since, but just little things. The night train tonight hopefully will go smoothly and not do me in (the last 3 weren’t too bad).

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