Special Announcement post 2019!

It is with the greatest pleasure that I get to announce not just one but TWO amazing things transpiring soon.
1. I have been selected to be published for a record breaking (for me) 14th time! The Mighty.com has picked up my Special Abilities post! Once it is live, I will do a special post here to let all of you wonderful supporters know. In addition to that, I will be collecting all 13 (soon to be 14) posts on this blog for easy access. Make sure to check out the Published page tab to see them there!
2. I will be attending Texas Furry Fiesta in Dallas, TX and will have my “My Stuffed Therapy” panel on Saturday March 30th at 4:30 in the Bryan-Beeman Room (subject to change). It has been almost 2 years since my last panel and I am excited to be able to speak to all the wonderful people there! I enjoy talking and sharing what stuffed therapy means to me and seeing the faces of people I have helped. I hope to see you there.
With these two announcements, I bid you all a wonderful March as I go and prepare for an exciting month. As always, thank you all for your love and support and hey…
#hugaplushie my friends

Advertisements

My Opinion.

I have had a rough start to the year. The whole family has been down with the flu, much like the rest of the nation. We have been recovering and seem to be on the mend. There have been some interesting developments on the writing front I wanted to share with everyone.

I wrote my opinion on a recent The Mighty article, something I rarely share. They asked what it meant when someone with fibromyalgia says when they say “I’m tired.” I decided to share my personal experiences and it got put in the article which you can read here.

22 Things People With Fibromyalgia Really Mean When They Say ‘I’m Tired’

I then saw a few more articles asking people’s opinions on a few other topics but I felt I had said enough.

I was wrong.

I was emailed twice asking to comment on two different subjects. The first was about a new opioid drug research and what I had thought about it. I was flattered and agreed to share. I was then asked to share a photo of what a symptom of my illness looks like. I was hesitant to share but with being asked I felt obliged to answer. Both links are below.

Scientists Say They’re a Step Closer to Creating a ‘Non-Addictive’ Opioid

32 Photos That Reveal the Different Ways Fibromyalgia Can Present Itself

It has been an interesting month and I have been proud of myself and all of you! Thank you all for supporting me on this and reading. I know that today there was a HUGE influx of readers from the UK and I wanted to give a shout out to you all (or ya’ll as we say in the southern USA)! I wanted to let everyone know about my donation button where you can donate through PayPal. It has been a great start to the year and once again thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

#hugapony everyone!

Pleasant Company.

Over the past few weeks I have been introduced to many people who suffer from chronic illnesses and disabilities. Some online through blog posts, some through video games, and others in real life. I have gotten to talk and help quite a few people who are suffering. I have seen people in so much worse situations and see them powering through with a strength that makes me ashamed of myself.

In my opinion, everyone who suffers like this goes through a period of time when they question themselves on how much suffering they go through. I have been hit hard this last week. I have question how bad am I, what level pain should I admit too, and what right do I have to suffer in all my suffering. One of my issues with invisible illnesses is that I am in constant stress over being judged on how I look. “You don’t look sick” “Are you sure you aren’t feeling well” “It can’t be that bad if you are still able to walk around your house” Words ring in my ears and brain, reminding me that it must all be in my head. Famous words for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia as most doctors are quick to through them out.

I have had personal events happen that reinforce this. I have been denied disability. I submitted to the 8 month long process that took place and have seen more doctors and nurse than I care to admit. Being weighed and measured, poked and prodded has been an absolute nightmare. I suffered through it and in the end I was deemed too fit to be on disability. In the end letter, it was determined that I did suffer from fibromyalgia, insomnia, anxiety disorder, nerve pain, muscle pain and more. A total of 9 severe problems with my health. They did not find these severe enough to warrant me disabled. My final icing on the cake was reading on of the last lines in my letter saying: “If your job is too difficult for your condition, find an easier job.” My mind’s sarcastic response was “Sure I’ll go to the job tree and pick a new job straight off the branch.”

I have also had to fight with new insurance and new medications. I have been prescribed Lyrica. This is the first drug that I have seen that is specifically made for fibromyalgia sufferers. Being new, it is expensive. The classification it has been giving by insurance is that unless every other test and drug has been used and found not to work, then they will not pay for it. Fighting to get help is one of the most common themes I see in chronic illness patients. As if we didn’t suffer enough.

In my recent post that has been published, I have been able to interact with many people that have a myriad of different conditions. I have wept over reading the stories of those who have suffered. I have talked and comforted those who asked. I have been praised for helping raise our voice so others can see. In all of this, I look back at myself and ask “Am I really that sick?” Do I have the right to be a voice if I am not suffering as much as those around me. I am constantly questioned on how bad my pain and condition is that I am beginning to question myself. Yes, I have pain but is it bad enough.

I read an article recently that brought it to light for me. Erin from The Mighty.com posted on how Doctors are Advocating on Pain Acceptance. Doctors are now looking into “pain acceptance” as a treatment philosophy. It is an eye opening to see the direction this is going. As someone who suffers, I find it interesting to see that not believing chronic pain sufferers is a new direction to go. To be told that we should learn to live with the pain is insulting. To be told that my opinion, the patient’s opinion is not considered and the doctor’s view of my pain and condition makes me all the more fearful of doctors who don’t listen. Being told that I should just accept and live in pain, which is something I do every day, makes my and so many other voices sound like we are complainers.

It is infuriating.

If anything I have seen over these past few weeks is how many there are of us. It has shown me that we need a voice. It has shown that I matter. It has shown me more kind and compassionate people who, suffering like me, agree that we are not being heard. We have to fight our illness. We have to fight for our diagnosis. We have to sometimes fight our doctors and pharmacies and lawmakers. We have to fight to make our voices heard.

Thank you all for the pleasant company.

#hugapony my friends.

Before move quicky

I am moving tomorrow and will be setting up internet later this week. Before I go dark for a few days, I want to share a photo.

image

Themighty.com sent me a card and a shirt thanking me for my articles that they published. It is a small gesture with a mighty impact (see what I did there). I am beyond humbled and cannot thank everyone who follows and reads my posts enough.

#hugaplushie my friends

The quickest of post

I am packing as I write this. I had a few quick updates to share with y’all (i am from the south, it’s how we talk).

1. A-kon.

I will be at A-kon for the next week. If you see me out there, please introduce yourself and say hey. I will be working some of the time and I have 2 panels that you are asked to see me if you would be so inclined.

2. Themighty.com

I have be published a SECOND time on their fabulous website and I could not be prouder. I am so happy to be able to reach out and help others. I am truely honored and touched by kind words on all sides. Thank you all. Link is below.

http://themighty.com/2016/05/stealing-joy-leaving-comfort-zone-to-treat-anxiety-and-depression/

3. In the midst of all the madness, I am moving right after this convention, so there may be a lapse in post due to life, the universe, and everything. I will be doing short A-kon posts for the next week. Soak up all of me that you can.

#hugapony my friends.

The “Big” one.

So. I have teased this long enough. I said I had an announcement a bit ago and I have been dragging it out. I have lead many of you, dear readers, along this merry journey. I have gone back and forth about telling you anything. I am doing it right.

And I am still doing so, for my own amusement.

OK, enough is enough. I have have decided to go back to school.

OK, settle down with knives and pitchforks, I know it wasn’t the earth-shattering news you wanted but this is a big step for me. This is especially hard for me as I will be still working a full-time job (more so being salary in retail [YAY mandatory 44+ hour weeks!]).  I will still be a father of two very active little girls. I will still have to help a wife who is starting to take off in her side job, after being a stay-at-home mom, by selling awesome nail wraps (which are really awesome, so awesome I will plug them here http://www.gale.jamberrynails.net/ [LOVE YOU SWEETIE]).

This was a choice that I had made a few weeks ago. I have had enough of retail at the store level and I want to get out. This makes me sad as I really enjoy helping people. I read a beautiful blog post a friend on WordPress pointed out (Hi, http://shopgirlanonymous.com/) . You can find it here https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/82926123/86/ .  It talks about those exceptional customers that make your day. People who bring a smile to your face. Making customers for life because YOU helped them find that perfect item that just made their son/daughter/parent/friends day.

I know I have had more than a few.

Encouraging the little boy of his enjoyment in little pastel colored ponies.

My wonderful husband and wife couple who comes in every week. They came to see me for the first few months at my store. I was a new face at the store and they encouraged me when I saw them. We got to know each other, she had battled cancer, he was retired helping her. They are good people. We laughed and joked at new things, old things, and everything in between. I almost lost it when He came in one week and I asked where his wife was. He calmly explained how she was back at the hospital, the cancer had come back. A few weeks later they both came walking back into my store, she had lost about 30 lbs, he was helping her. I was close to tears when she saw and stopped me. She told me to dry my eyes and that she wasn’t dead yet and If was going to cry on her, I would be useless to her. She made a few VERY off colored jokes about death and had such an amazing attitude about it, anyone would feel better.

There are moments like these that make customer service beyond worthwhile. I treasure each and every one of these. But, I feel a change is needed. For every one of these there are ten more of some rabid customer who is practically foaming at the mouth to sue you over not having the right color item that no one has ever made.

It makes me sad.

And So, I will continue to pursue this education. I think it will help me further my career path and want to expand my horizons. I ask for your help and encouragement in this endeavor. I will be walking that path with a plush pony in my pocket. Thank you all.

Hug a pony my friends. Spread some cheer.

Different Strokes

I love a good personal story. Reading or listening about someone’s life or an adventure that someone has taken can be enrapturing to me. Now I could tell you a story with just facts, lay out each detail in a row and let it just stand there on its own. It would be a story of pure substance and give you all the direct information you need to understand where I am coming from.

Or.

I could take you on a mind journey, using words that flutter along like butterflies, turning phrases like leaves in an autumn breeze. Protruding a story from every intonation of my voice, mannerisms in my movements, or even the glint in my eye that shows a diamond like twinkle.

That, that is the story I want to read.

Or in this case listen. I enjoyed this short little video that popped up randomly on my Facebook. It was shared by Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters, on their public figure page. Again just a simple short story, beautifully told, and it captivated me.

I invite you to listen as well dear reader. I hope you enjoy.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/making-pasta-by-hand-is-a-mesmerizingly-beautiful-proce-1685555849/+caseychan

All my little ponies.

Ah, I love it when people come to know a fandom. It feels good to see someone who has never recognized people who like a show/movie/game and saw, “while I don’t like this ‘thing’, seeing you enjoy it makes me happy” This has now happened with ponies.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a36628/i-went-to-a-brony-con-on-valentines-day-and-fell-in-love/

This is so fantastic, I want to burst. She is so lovable and open-minded that I almost don’t believe her. I want to hug her, give her a pony, and say come back anytime. Seeing the people comment back is amazing as well. I would love to see more posts such as these.

, If you read this, know that I appreciate everything you wrote about. You have my utmost respect.

HUG A PONY LANE!!!