For Dad

My father was many things to many people, but to me he was just daddy. And he was my hero.

This Father’s Day is quite poignant for me, as I lost my father two weeks ago now. The last words he said to me just a few days before that were, “Happy Birthday,” and then he drifted off to sleep for a few days. While his passing was expected given the 7 months he spent in hospice care, the loss did not hurt any less. So today, Father’s Day, I will spend quietly mourning the loss of my dad, remembering all the great times we had, and celebrating my husband for the father he is to our two kids.

Dad didn’t want a funeral or a fuss. We had a small memorial to honor him, and so the family could come together and share stories. My oldest brother gave the service and led us in songs. My older brother put together a slide show of a lifetime of memories. And I gave the eulogy. Afterwards we had a wonderful meal and there I was, taking dad’s place, and giving a toast.

Dad’s eulogy was the hardest thing I have ever sat down to write. It was even harder to give. But today, I want to share it.

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Fibromyalgia Awareness Day: Life with Fibromyalgia

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month and May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so this post is meant to do just that. Raise awareness. Give readers a little glimpse into what it is like to have this daily companion in your life.

While some may not understand what it is when you explain it, they can probably relate to the occasional sleepless nights or aches and pains. Fibrowarriors have these symptoms on most days.


One recent, restless night when I was experiencing a lot of pain and couldn’t sleep, so I jotted a few things down to describe Fibromyalgia. I couldn’t stand the sheets to touch me. My mind was racing. Sleep was evading me. I tried essential oils and pain relievers. After maybe 2 hours of sleep, I got up and went to work the next morning.

This is my life with fibromyalgia.

Never easy. Never predictable. Never fun.



F Fatigue, flare, forgetfulness

I Insomnia

B Brain fog, brain won’t stop racing

R Restlessness, Radiating pains

O Overactive, firing nerves

M Myofascial pain, Morning stiffness

Y Yearning to be pain-free and be my old self

A Anxiety

L Leg cramps, restlessness, and pain

G Gastro problems – IBS, nausea, diarrhea, constipation

I Itching

A Aching everywhere – bones, joints, and muscles


They say you never really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. So if you encounter someone with Fibromyalgia and you think they don’t look sick… Think back to the last time you had the flu and your body ached all over, or the last time you couldn’t sleep but still had to go to work the next day, or perhaps even when you forgot where you left your keys. And then imagine what it would be like to experience that some days, most days, or even every day.

Now you’re starting to get a glimpse of Fibromyalgia.

P.S. I don’t often like to take pictures of myself. These days I am usually tired and don’t feel “picture ready.” But since it’s also Mother’s Day today, I wanted to share some pictures of me with my mom and my kids. This is the face of Fibromyalgia.

Finding Joy with Fibromyalgia

Four simple steps to finding joy

Living with chronic condition like Fibromyalgia can be anything but joyful most days of the week. You are in pain, tired, and can be experiencing a myriad of other symptoms at any one time. And you often feel alone.

Then there’s the fact that you usually have to explain to people just what the heck Fibromyalgia Syndrome is and the fact that there is no good understanding of what causes it, thus there’s no cure as of yet. This alone can spin you into a life of social separation and loneliness.


It is widely believed that artist Frida Kahlo also would have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, if there had been that diagnosis during her time. Her art depicts chronic pain and her diaries reflect a life filled with physical and emotional pain. Yet, she continued to do what she loved, which was to paint, and toward the end of her life she turned her attention to capturing everyday existence.

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas, by Frida Kahlo. Image captured at the Dallas Museum of Art, March 17, 2017.
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The Other “F” Word

I would prefer my “F” words include Fabulous, Fearless, and Fun.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and have said/thought many a curse word since that time. Fibromyalgia. Fibro. Fibro-flare. Flare. FMS. Fatigue. Fog. Frustration. Failure.  All of these have become the other “F” words  to me. I try to live by the power of positive thinking (hence, the name of my blog), but until you live a day in my shoes it may be hard to understand why even sometimes it is easier to smile and put on a happy face rather than truly answer the question of “How are you?” Because trust me, you don’t want to hear about how I am tired, hurt all over, didn’t sleep last night, and oftentimes feel like a failure because I can’t do the things I want to do.

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Diagnosing Chronic Pain

“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”

Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis.

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Diagnosing Chronic Shoulder Pain

Practicing medicine is just that, practicing. Sometimes you have to fight for a diagnosis.

This post is long overdue, but I just couldn’t write it until I felt I had a positive update. As someone who lives with chronic pain from neck and back issues, alongside my fatigue and pain from fibromyalgia, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate a new pain from the same old aches and pains.

“Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain.” ~Alice in Wonderland

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Five Travel Tips for Fibromyalgia

Airport travel is challenging enough, but the challenges multiply when traveling with a chronic condition.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I love traveling. Or at least the part where you actually get somewhere and you can relax, sightsee, visit with friends or family, or whatever is on the agenda. The actual part where you’re sitting in an airport, on a plane, or in a car isn’t always the most pleasant or comfortable these days.

I can’t remember the last time I had an entire trip that had “smooth sailing” when flying with our airlines. Flight delays due to weather or mechanical issues, crew changes, dumping fuel, refueling, scheduling and logistics issues all wreak havoc on your ability to get somewhere on time. Three times this past year I have been rerouted to another city because one of these things. And now I am preparing to head to Florida just days after Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall with storms expected at home when I leave.

Airport travel is challenging enough between allotting enough time to get through security and arriving before your actual scheduled flight time. Add to that an illness, injury, a chronic condition, or fibromyalgia, and the challenges multiply. Will I be having a flare? Will my back or leg pain act up? So how does one manage travel delays and stressful times when you have a chronic condition?

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