The Fibro-Dad

Being a dad with fibromyalgia is a difficult life. The days are long, lacking energy and being racked with pain. You end up staring at the clock, trying to survive to the next min, hour, anything to the time when you can get relief. However, when you have your kids involved, this adds a new level of pain, shame, and hardships.

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 years ago, my daughters were 5 and 7. I was already a full-time dad with tons of responsibilities. I was working full-time, managing flareups, and trying to find time and energy to be a dad. Over the next 2 years, my condition and health worsened. I had to leave two jobs over my medical conditions and ended up a stay-at-home dad. My wonderful wife picked up the slack on the job front, and my daughters started helping me at home.

I would have days were I could not move from the bed. My daughters became super troopers and would ask, “Daddy, are you having a bad pain day?” “Yes baby, I am.” My soul would be crushed at having my daughters help me. I was the dad. I should be the one taking care of them. Over the next year, I would learn to swallow my pride and shame, and learn that I needed to accept help. My girls adjusted and learned to cook, clean, and help me around.

Then my wife got pregnant.

We were overjoyed. I love my daughters and wanted the best for them. Now there would be a new little sister added to the family. I was so happy for a moment. Then it dawned on me that my new daughter would never know a daddy who was not in pain. This new life would never be able to see me at my full best. Would I have the energy to keep up with this new little one? Would I be able to overcome the pain to be there for my wife? How was I going to be able to help?

I was terrified and ashamed.

Throughout the pregnancy, I did my best. I got a part-time job to help with the bills. I helped around the house, pushing myself in ways I thought were the most I could give. Little did I know that more was required of me.

I was only able to hold the job for a few months before pain and fatigue set in and I was unable to continue. Amazing family and friends pitched in support in ways that still make me tear up. I pushed though until the wondrous day of the birth of my new baby girl. I was a proud dad for a third time. We brought this bundle of joy home and she is amazing. She laughs and talks and makes life so fulfilling.

My health chose to find this happy moment and turn things to 11.

Over the past three months, I have had my pain levels spike and maintain those levels for weeks. After two weeks at a time with no relief makes for a serious mental breakdown. I had to find days to which to take heavy meds just to get relief. Caring for a newborn is difficult in the best of times.

Doing it with Fibromyalgia is a nightmare.

There are no breaks in the day at which you can just lay down to try and relax your body. The little restless sleep that never gives rest is gone. You learn to survive on even less energy, more pain, more problems. That survival has made me go back to watching the clock tick by the minutes until my next moment of peace.

I find time to catch a break in these small moments of the baby sleeping. I rest for 5-10 min before another daughter needs me or I try and summon the energy to complete a task of housework. I would not trade my life with my beautiful wife and amazing daughters for anything. It just takes me longer and is harder for me to do the things that need to be done. Sometimes I don’t know how I am able to get all the daily tasks done. I feel that makes me a super hero.

The Fibro-Dad.

#hugapony my friends.

Sara-hah-oh?

I have been seeing a lot of friends who have been using the private messaging thing that has been so popular around here lately. I have nothing against anyone who uses it. Seeing professions of love and hate spew forth makes it interesting to see. Trying to find out who these lovers/haters are have been driving some people to go to great lengths to find out who it is.

The thought had crossed my mind to try it out but I would rather tell you all to your faces and would rather people tell me to my face what we actually think. Honesty is better in my opinion. I would rather say to your face what I think about you. If you want honesty, you will get it. My family has a saying, “If you want my opinion on something, we will ask you 3 times. Each time we will ask ‘Are you SURE you want my honest opinion?’ ‘Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear or do you want to hear my honest opinion.'” We will give it, whether you like it or not.
I will say this.
I love you all and think each one of you is special. If you are reading this blog you are important to me. If you want more details just ask and I will tell you. I will give you all the information I know about you, and I will be honest, if you want me to be. Wherever you see this, ask and I will give you what I think.
I would love to hear from all of you about what you think of me. Good, bad, ugly. I would rather see people for what they actually think of me and not what people show me. I am a big boy, I can handle it.
If we had a bit more honesty in the world, maybe it would not be such a bad place.
May your day be great and may your coffee cup never be empty.
#hugapony my friends

Back in the Saddle again.

I have taken today by the horns and started writing. Again. I have taken a sabbatical from it to refresh my mind and handle life events. I return today feeling ready to start again.

Writing has a way of clearing my mind and making a way for new thoughts and ideas. I have mulled over a paper/book thing for a while now and I have hopes of continuing on in this pursuit.

Scared? You bet I am.

It is always hard to put yourself out there in front of people and share what you think. In today’s society, this is more true than ever. The current political and social environment make it quite difficult to express an idea or view.

This makes me quite sad.

How many writers, painters, and scientists are being squashed beneath the overbearing weight of the public eye? How many of these are being judged in the open court of public opinion?

Sharing yourself is a scary business.

I will continue on in this endeavor. I will try and share my ideas and thoughts to the world, God willing.

I hope you will join me.

#hugapony My friends.

Return to Madness

Hello my dear readers. I am glad to give you an update on life, the universe and everything. It has been a crazy couple of months and I owe it to you dear reader, to give a quick account of recent events. I do plan on having posts for most of these events, but I do have my largest convention I work (A-kon 28 in Ft Worth, Texas) this week and I will have to descend into that madness filled rabbit hole. But here is a quick list to expect:

  1. Bedbugs and Apartment roles. Let me tell you that this was a nightmarish 2 months that I will try my hardest to forget.
  2. Packing and moving. With bedbugs it was a “joy”. Under pressure and a time crunch was even worse. Add in fibromyalgia and it was hell.
  3. Buying a house. Now this was an amazing, wonderful, terrifying experience only to be made worse at times with incompetent people. We did get the house in the end.
  4. Having my third daughter. She is a wonderful joy. It was fun doing all of the above and below with either a pregnant wife (who was absolutely amazing) or a new baby. just an added layer of stress.
  5. Wedding. A family member got married and it was great to have family together for it. Babies met baby, grandmothers met babies, babies were EVERYWHERE. Seriously there is something in the water.
  6. A-Kon 28. We end this past 2 month roller coaster ride with the second largest convention of its kind in the USA. Unfortunately, I will not have my personal panel there but I will be with friends at this panel:

“Two Men Walk Into A Bar”

Sheraton Hotel – Thursday 8PM-9:30PM Magnolia rooms III & IV

So there is life updates. I am still here and still being your best pony pal and sharing life with all of you. I hope to see some of you at A-kon this year (click link for more info) May your day be great and,

#hugapony my friends

Self care day 28:Self care Wrap-up

Its has been 27 days of self care tips. 10,000 words written to help those in need. I think my hand is starting to cramp with all of the typing I have been doing. I kept my promise and posted every single day in the month of February. I was so worried I would miss a day and it kept me up nights writing late into the mornings sometimes but I made it!

I am going to list all the post here, in case you missed any or want to share all of them with friends who may need them. I do thank you all for joining me on this incredible journey this month. I hoped I help someone out there. I will also be adding a tab on the main page for easy access.

Please feel free to comment, like, subscribe if you found this helpful. If you would like, I do take donations on the link on the side with Paypal (or bellow for you mobile readers).

Thank you all.

#hugapony my friends!

Self care Day 1: Valet parking

Self care day 2: Candy day

Self care day 3: Self mail

Self care day 4: Finding your towel

Self care day 5:Cookie monster

Self care day 6:Picnic Baskets

Self care day 7:Netflix and you

Self care day 8: Blackout

Self care day 9:Writing people

Self care day 10:Sharing Happiness

Self care day 11:Appetizing Friends

Self care day 12:Flower power

Self care day 13:Nothing

Self care day 14:Crown Jewels

Self care day 15:Something New

Self care day 16:Peace of body

Self care day 17:Pillow talk

Self care day 18:Loving yourself

Self care day 19:Sweeter things

Self care day 20:Cleansing

Self care day 21:Bedhead

Self care day 22:Celebrity status

Self care day 23:Bubble bath

Self care day 24:Culture

Self care day 25:Zoology

Self care day 26:Treat your body

Self care day 27:Inner Plushie

Self care day 27:Inner Plushie

Being this blog is dedicated to exploring Stuffed Therapy and finding ways to help people, it is fitting to set aside the last post before recap day to my favorite tool.

The Plushie.

The warm, soft stuffed bear, animal, alien or even a pet rock or worry stone can help you through those tough times. I cannot tell you how much my plush has helped me through tough times. Having a small plush on you through out the day can help put your mind at ease.

A totem to help you in the rough times.

I have a friend who attended one of my panels, who heard me speak on the subject. He immediately went out in the convention we were at and got himself a small plush. He was so excited that he got it, I was one of the first people he came and saw. I heard about him talking about it to all his friends. They came up to me and commented on how he was doing better because he had his plush.

I found out that he still has it on his desk even now several months later. It brings a smile to my face to see some good brought back into this world.

Even if it is in a small plush.

Knowing you have something at home that can bring some peace to you. Having the worry stone in your pocket to rub when times are stressful. Seeing the small plush Rainbow Dash on your purse. All of these things can bring you some peace of mind.

All of this self care, wrapped up in a soft, fluffy plush.

Or rock, if the case may be.

#hugaplushie my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 26:Treat your body

Keeping with the self care, there is always a time to “Treat yo self” Parks and Rec style. Body upkeep can be something that we all need. We have covered a lot of post like this in the past month and there is a few more things we can do to help.

Manicures, Pedicures, facials all have one goal. They are there to make you look better. Find a time and Groupon a place to do them (find someplace good). I am a guy and I will admit to having these things done to me. A facial is VERY relaxing (like a massage for the face) and helps those tired eyes. I have no shame in saying that it was an awesome thing to try. Having your nails trimmed and taken care of makes your full body image go up. One of the things I notice when I meet someone and shake their hands is if they have clean nails or not.

It is an easy thing to do for yourself or you can “treat yo self”.

Haircuts/styling is again a wonderful way to improve your mental body image. While there are many salons for women, there has been a rise in specialty barbers for men as well. I have one friend who goes to his barber and he gets a beer every time for his trim. Another friend swears by getting a straight razor shave to trim the beard and having a hot towel on the face.

Find ways and places that can help improve your mental image of yourself. Getting yourself in a place where you are happy with you is so uplifting. Sometimes we all need a pick me up in the physical looks department. Help yourself by little easy changes that can be done.

Self improve the body to help self improve the mind.

#hugapony my friends

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 25:Zoology

I will spare my readers the pain of another bad joke with play on words that I did yesterday. I am not sure if I could “bear” the thought of another bad pun. But zoos are fantastic places to be for self care.

Getting some sun, along with some vitamin D, is enjoyable. Planning a day to take a trip to visit some place for fun is not an everyday occurrence, but with can be done with relatively simple ease. And while not everyone has a Disney World or Times Square nearby, we do have zoos in most metropolitan areas.

Theses are no more than a day tip for most of us.

Getting back into nature and seeing wildlife can be awe inspiring. Seeing up close creatures that you normally only see on TV or the small screen of your phone brings them to live in so many ways. TV cannot capture how truly intense a lion’s roar or how adorably cute otters are in person.

Getting out into the fresh air also gives life back to you.

While I know this is not all people, I personally find knowledge fascinating and the study of animals is not an area at which I excel. My daughters can name more animals than I can count at this point and my youngest is caught up in them, she has corrected me a few times on my misinformation. Taking them to the zoo was the natural progression in this post Steve Irwin sadden world.

Seeing awe on their faces was a fantastic thing. I was really enjoying taking them along and going to the different padlocks. Having them get next to the glass with a tiger was enjoyable (for me, they were slightly worried about how thick that glass was). Being able to feed the giraffes was also enjoyable, if somewhat slimy experience.

It was a wonderful break from life.

Breaking up the monotony of the work week/month/year can be key to enjoy life more. You find things or ways to inspire you to do more than just sit at home and watch TV. When you find yourself in this busy world looking a bit lost, take a break. Find a break.

Stop a human doing.

Be a human being.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 21:Bedhead

I take sleep seriously. It has been one of the most frustrating things my health has bothered and I taken great offense to my illness in robbing me of this precious gift. Even when I find time to sleep, my body does not allow me to drift into that peaceful slumber but instead keeps me in the semi-dreamlike state of frustration.

Sleep is almost as good as coffee to me*

I wrote a post earlier about changing out your pillows and I feel this can also be applied to your bed sheets as well. Again, I ask the question of how old are they? Have you used them since a Clinton was president? Do they still have a cartoon character on them (guilty over here)?

This is a time to find better ones. I would call on everyone to find and get the best bed sheets they can. Humans spend approximately 30% of their lives sleeping. Why would you want to skimp on getting the best sleep you can afford?

This is sleep people, enjoy it!

Find out all you can on bed sheets. Find out which ones the high end hotels use or go to the expensive department stores and ask the salesman. Set aside money to get the best quality ones you have with the right design, feel, everything about them. We spend so much time, why not make that time better but getting the proper sheets for you.

And think about how every time you go to sleep how nice they feel. You can look at them and smile and think to yourself that you are going to be using those wonderful, cloudlike, blankets of glory soon. This is your life.

Make it more enjoyable.

I am making myself sleepy.

#hugapony my friends

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

*I know that coffee and caffeine will effect my sleep but I have changed my times at which I drink coffee and make a habit out of not drinking it too late. I have also cut down on my intake to ensure better sleep for me.

Self care day 20:Cleansing

One of the things I have learned in traveling a bit is to clean the house before you leave. Coming home to a clean house, where everything is put away and you have a place to relax is amazing after a trip. My mother used to have us clean any time we left so we could come home, sit down and relax. It is some of the best travel advice I have gotten.

That and finding the proper amount to tip the TSA agent for groping me.

I am not a very tidy person. I have been known to be a bit messy. My desk at the moment is covered end to end with books, bills, papers, medications, and toy ponies. My bedside table has several books on it, some I have not read in over 2 weeks. I drive my wife nuts as I am still trying to attempt to take my clothes to the hamper.

I am not proud of it.

Now, There are times when I get in a fit and can’t stand it anymore. I see the clutter and the mess and I have to clean. Everything. Pick things up, straighten up, whatever it takes to bring discord into order.

I have felt it help my mental state so much.

Some days are harder than others at getting around the house. The weather at the moment is turning stormy and I can feel it in my body aches. However, I know that if I take some time and do a deep cleaning of the house, dusting vacuuming, scrubbing my desk down, I know that it will improve my mental state vastly. My wife likes to clean when she is stressed out because it helps her focus. Seeing the mess is a constant reminder of the fact it needs to be picked up and put away. Getting it done is a fantastic way to ease some burdens off the mind.

I have found that after a good house cleaning that taking a long hot shower helps relax you further. Sometimes it isn’t just mental clutter that needs to be picked up. It is a real mess that needs it.

And that is something you can control and fix.

You can control and fix something.

And it can effect you, mentally.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!