A spa day for men rejuvenates this Pompe warrior’s muscles

With friends, immersion into the hot springs heals body, mind, and soul

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by Dwayne Wilson |

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I’ve always thought the stereotype that “spa days are for the ladies” was a thing. Now I realize that spa days are for everyone. And they especially benefit me, a guy who has a muscle weakness disease called Pompe.

There are days when my legs just feel achy, my back is sore, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the week. In fact, muscle weakness in my legs was one of my serious symptoms that drove me to see a doctor. Being unable to climb the stairs or get up from the floor was the start of my Pompe journey, leading to my diagnosis with late-onset Pompe disease.

Some good friends from Montana came to Southern California, where I live, for a short business trip at the beginning of June. These friends, my buddy Joe and his wife, Lindsey, stopped by for a few days. Joe and his son Dane had visited in February. They’re the ones who motivated me to climb the wall at Sender One SNA, which I described in a past column.

Backed by cascading white and dark pink flowers from what appears to be an outdoor linai, we see four people. At rear, there's a woman with brown hair, wearing a white shirt with black-and-white floral designs over a purple top, who's embracing a man with short brown hair and a close-cropped beard, wearing sunglasses and a red-and-white plaid shirt. In the middle is a woman with short reddish-brown hair who's wearing a blue sleeveless top. In the right foreground is a man with short blondish-brown hair and a mustache and goatee, wearing sunglasses and a teal Miami Dolphins T-shirt.

Dwayne, far right, with his wife, Jean, his buddy Joe, and Joe’s wife, Lindsey, all heading to dinner after a day at the hot springs. (Photo by Dwayne Wilson)

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When our good friends visit, I offer my services as tour guide for the local area; in fact, they call me DPS (Dwayne’s Personal Service). We might go to an amusement park or see if the Los Angeles Angels are playing a baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. We might search the paper for any concerts or events that might interest us. There are so many places to see and things to do here in Orange County, and that’s before I mention the doughnut shops and ice cream stores we frequent.

Being from Montana, our friends most enjoy hanging out on the beach, putting their feet in the Pacific Ocean, and watching the waves. We planned a day to spend at Newport Beach to walk the pier and get our feet wet.

But a year ago when they visited, we did something totally out of my comfort zone (at least at the time): We went to a day spa and resort at Glen Ivy Hot Springs. There I learned that even guys can have a spa day, and mine was amazing. We had such a good time.

In the foreground is a man with glasses, mustache, and goatee, facing the camera and wearing a teal T-shirt and a yellow sun visor. Behind him is a black iron fence separating him from a large pool, with pool furniture and structures. Backing it all are pine and other trees under a light blue sky.

Dwayne eagerly waits to enter Glen Ivy Hot Springs to relax for the day. (Photo by Dwayne Wilson)

When our friends said they wanted to go to Glen Ivy Hot Springs a second time, we picked the day and made our reservation.

Managing my Pompe disease on a daily basis has led me to the conclusion that my weak muscles like soaking in the hot water. Spending time in a hot tub or Jacuzzi helps me feel refreshed and rejuvenates my body, mind, and soul. After a day at this wellness center, my achy muscles don’t feel so achy.

The resort has many different kinds of pools: a saline pool, mineral baths, a vista pool, saunas, and Club Mud. There’s also a grotto and a lounge pool, lots of areas in which to relax and sip some drinks, a cafe for lunch, and a Starbucks. They also offer massages and hydrotherapy.

Under a canopy of greenery, a man faces the camera wearing sunglasses, a yellow visor, a teal T-shirt, and a mostly green towel around his shoulders. He has a mustache and goatee. Behind him are wind chimes and an arced black iron fence, and behind that is a pool, with pool furniture and structures nearby and palm trees and other greenery behind it.

After lunch at the cafe, Dwayne is ready to soak in the saline hot tub. (Photo by Dwayne Wilson)

Most of the pools have handrails to make it easier to climb in and out of the water. The temperature range in the hot tubs was between 102 and 105 degrees, whereas the lap and lounge pools were closer to 85 degrees.

All said, we had another great day with our friends, and I can’t wait to see them again when they visit Southern California in August.

This Pompe warrior does biweekly infusions of enzyme replacement therapy to manage my health. But it’s also key that I sometimes think outside the box about activities that could benefit my journey, starting my engine and getting me going. Hot water therapy for my muscles is just another avenue that keeps me traveling “On the Road to Pompe.”

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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