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Author and Publisher Kimberley Linstruth-beckom
Blogs are like journals in that you write what comes to mind at the time. This book is set up a lot like that.
Author and blogger Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom has been writing for 27 years in carious genres. Her first passion is poetry, but since her diagnoses of Fibromyalgia in 2005, she has a new passion... Feeling fabulous despite having fibromyalgia. Her blog, "Fibro and Fabulous" was born from this passion.
This book is an extention of her blog and contains more tips and tricks that Kimberley uses to cope with Fibro in her daily life. It is written in Kimberley's trademark writing style and contains all the humor and quirks you would expect, as well as, a few surprises.
One of the things I'm often asked is, "Kim, how do you find the energy to have kids with your condition?" For me, having a second wasn't a problem, I already had one before diagnoses, so I tried to deal with all of the stuff that goes with them as best as I could.
Yes, sometimes it's not a picnic. Sometimes it can be downright frustrating to find the energy and time to get every task done during the day. You can go crazy running all around your house with winter coats and boots because your kids think you are just playing with them, when in fact, all you want to do is throw out the garbage.
But having children is fun too. There has been many times where my daughters have reminded me that there is more to life than cleaning a toilet bowl. The best times I've had are when I'm playing with them, giving them a bath, and rocking them to sleep. It's at those times where I can let my hair down and just relax right along with them.
I truly feel blessed to have them in my life because they help me deal with my fibromyalgia sometimes better than I do myself. Children are very sensitive by nature, and at times, they know something is wrong with you before you do. My oldest, Brittanny, is very good at knowing when I need to take a break because she will ask me if I'd like to play cards with her. I tend to stop what I'm doing at that point so I can make a mental note as to how my body really feels. If I notice a little more fatigue than normal, I will stop and play "Go Fish" with her.
Olivia, my youngest, is a bit different. She is just a toddler and can't put her feelings into words yet, but she can still find a way to stop Mommy dead in her tracks. All she has to do is let me know that she is tired and it's off to the rocker we go. The rocking chair is where she and I can spend a little down time while getting in a little rest too.
It pains me to see so many people with fibromyalgia deciding not to have children based on what they have been told. Some feel that their medication will render them too sick to take care of children, while others feel their physical pain may hamper them from being able to pick their child up. I've read just about as many reasons from people NOT to have children with their illness, as I've personally found reasons TO have children in your life.
Make no mistake, if you personally feel that you cannot handle a child due to illness, then by all means, you should not have one. For those of you that are out there still wondering whether or not it is possible, it is-- I'm living proof.
It is best to seek the advice of your medical provider first before you consider having a child, but once he/she gives you the go ahead, there are many things you can do to help yourself along the way.
Vitamins are a great way to help you with energy and nutrients that you and baby to be need. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, diary, and meats will help to keep you and baby active. Rest when you need it-- even if it's in the middle of the day because you may need a little stamina for the evening hours. Finally, any feeding, bathing, or carrying aides you need to help you care for your little one are worth the investment-- don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Life with a baby can be rewarding, but at times, Mommy needs to think of herself just so she can keep caring for baby. It's okay to take maps when you need to and it's okay to purchase things that will help you care for your baby. I remember a few times when people would look at me funny and say, "Do you really need that?" My answer was, "Yes." because I knew that I'd be taking care of the children 90% of the time by myself. If I'm going to be doing that, I will need help where I can get it and for me, feeding aides, like pillows, sleeping aides, like a portable bassinet, and a small bathing tub that could fit in the kitchen sink, helped me.
I've talked about the feeding pillow I used in a latter entry, so I'll just discuss the bassinet and tub here. The portable bassinet was great because I could easily move it from room to room when Olivia was sleeping. I also liked it because she could sleep right next to me at night for feeding time. Having her in the bassinet helped me with my sleep because I tend to be a very light sleeper when my children are sleeping next to me. I'm a fan of co-sleeping because of my illness, but it can be a double-edged sword when you are a light sleeper. Every whimper, cry, kick, or elbow will wake me up and that's not always so good.
Bath time with Brittanny was not always fun while she was growing up. Keeping my knees on a hard surface for any period of time was becoming increasingly difficult with fibromyalgia. My knees would ache, sometimes I would get sharp pains, and other times, my feet would fall asleep all together. When she was very young, they did not have the best tools around for bath time like they do now. I used to have to get help from others when I gave her a bath. One of us, be it my mother or husband, would hold her while the other bathed her.
There were times when I would have to ask my husband to bath her all by himself because I didn't have the strength in my knees or my hands. He always was happy to oblige because it have him the time he needed to bond with Brittanny. Olivia is a bit different. I'm the one who is mostly home, so I am the main caregiver. I still have help because my oldest is good with fetching the towels and also entertaining her sister when it comes time to rinse out her hair.
Sometimes, however, I need a little extra help. Right now I use the sink to bath Olivia because she still fits, but soon, there will come a time when I can't do that anymore and I will have to rely on aides like little tubs and seats specifically designed for the bath tub. There are many different kinds out on the market today and most are available in your local baby store or department store. I like the seats because it gives a toddler support to sit upright.
My bathroom is situated where my toilet seat is right next to the tub and this works out well for me when I need to sit so I can rest my legs. If this is not the case for you, you can remedy the problem with a rubber bath mat and several bath towels. This gives you quite a bit of support so your knees won't be so painful from kneeling on a hard surface. The bath mat is also another great safety feature in aiding against slips and falls.
Having children in your life can be loads of fun, regardless of whether they are yours or not. If you do decide to take the baby plunge and you have a chronic illness, know that there are many resources to help you out. These are just a few suggestions and I'll discuss more as my blog and book develops.