Dating on the Interwebs, Part Two

A while ago I gave some much needed interwebs dating advice. (Missed it? Check it out here: https://smihlenfeld.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/dating-on-the-interwebs/ ) Today I’d like to share with you all a few minutes in the life of a woman searching for love on the interwebs.

Lovin online ain't easy...

We shall start following her thoughts just as she opens the online dating site of her choice…

Oooh, three new messages!  How exciting!

No, I don’t have a foot fetish. :::delete:::

Nope, I don’t want to chat with you via an unsecure instant messaging site that will not hold you accountable for the random pictures you send to me of your penis.  :::delete:::

Ooooh, this guy looks normal… Let me just click on his profile…

Woah, buddy. Put your shirt on! :::click:::

Well, let’s see what else is out there…

Why do you only have pictures of your dog? Where are*you*? :::click:::

And *you* only have pictures of your motorcycle? :::click:::

Wow, that is a lot of wood paneling. :::furious clicking:::



HOW DID THAT EVEN GET APPROVED?! ::: opens wine:::

Who’s children are in this picture with you? You don’t have kids but there are kids in these pictures… And they look hungry and a little dirty… :::click:::

OMG put your damn shirt back on! What is it with you guys?! :::considers logging off, but clicks for more profiles instead:::

And more dogs…

And more motorcycles… :::click, click:::

And a truck. Ok.

That’s *a lot* of flannel. Like, an inhumane amount. :::click:::                          

No shirt… Ugh.

No pants? Hmmm, at least that’s a new one.

Wait, I think those are pantyhose!

:::triple click:::

*Really long, useless, vague profile*

Wow, you’re such an enigma. You like to go out but also stay in, you are hilarious but know when to be serious. You like all music except country and rap, which means you only like half the music in the world. Wow. :::eyeroll, click:::

Oh, a kayak! And there you are on a mountain… :::click:::

Ok, either your mom or your ex-wife decorated your living room. Poorly.

Aaaaand put your damn shirt on!! :::click:::

You like bands no one has ever heard of, like to travel, go to museums, and work out. All that’s missing is…

Ah, there it is. A Pabst, thick framed glasses, and an ironic hat. Excellent. :::sarcastic and ironic hipster click:::


:::finishes wine:::

And you’re climbing a rock wall. Ok… :::click:::

Ooooh, this one looks good.

Wow, ok… similar interests, seems normal, not obsessed with the gym and knows how to construct a sentence… and he’s online now!  Woo hoo!

And he sent me a message!

Ok, ok… let’s see… hmm, good sense of humor… Chat more? Sure! I mean, I don’t usually use intant messenger, but I can make an exception just this once…



:::deletes profile:::


Breaking Broken


My doctors didn’t give me Fibromyalgia; I contracted a virus when I was about 12 years old and, in my mother’s words, was never the same afterwards.  But my doctors broke me, and I have spent years trying to break free.  Here is how they did it:

1. They Dismissed My Pain. Over and over agan I would hear, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”  No follow ups, no “Come see me in a week and let’s see if it improves,” no sending me out to specialists.  Nothing.  My pain might as well have not existed…except that it did.  I needed help, I wanted help, but my pain wasn’t enough for them. They broke my trust.

2. They Blamed My Brain – but not in the right way.  I was contantly being told it was anxiety or depression and therefore constantly being presribed the corresponding medications, but never once did they send me to a phsychologist.  Not once. When I finally gave in to the meds they pushed, I still had no relief. I spent 20 years thinking I was crazy. They broke my self-confidence.

3. They Never Listened. They often cut me off, answering questions I didn’t ask, belittling my pain experience and symptoms.  I would tell them what worked and what didn’t, and it was alway as if they weren’t even hearing me. They pushed their agenda, and my input was never considered. They broke my spirit.

4. They Gave Up on Me.  They would give me a valium and send me home.  They would make offhand comments like “You just need exercise,” or “Maybe you need accupuncture” when I would come into the ER with a pain level of 10.  They never knew anything about fibromyalgia, and many wouldn’t even touch me as a patient once they knew I had it.  One doctor had the balls to finally tell me I was the patient that no one wanted.  They broke my heart.

So in the end, Fibromyalgia broke my body but my doctors broke my mind… and almost my soul.

But I’m taking it all back. I’m breaking free. I’m breaking broke.

And I’m sharing this because I don’t want *you* to give up.  If your doctor does these things to you, MOVE ON because that kind of treatment is NOT OK! Go. Run. Leave. Not all doctors are created equal!  Keep going until you find a doctor that listens, is knowledgeable about fibro and chronic pain, that doesn’t push either medications or alternative therapies as a magic cure, and who makes you part of the team.

There is no cure for fibro.  But just because there isn’t a cure doesn’t mean that you need to go untreated and suffer.  I believe that the suffering can be reduced by about 30% with the right treatment – a special blend of medication, physical therapy (mixture of gentle exercise in proper form, massage, and trigger point work), and by keeping your mind healthy. This is *my* magic combo, though, not yours. Each person is different, and your doctor should know that and routinely express that to you. You need the right doctor, the right team, to guide you to be a little less dysfunctional, a little less pained. And while 30% might not seem like that much, it’s enough that we would refuse 30% *more* pain, right?

It makes a difference. 😉

If you haven’t found your doctor yet, KEEP GOING! I believe you will find them.  I will believe for you until you, too, believe. Don’t accept less than what you deserve – not everyone is great at their job, and that is their fault, not yours.

Best wishes to all of you on your journey, and I hope this lets you know that you aren’t alone. (:     


These are a few of my not favorite things…

Yes, it is almost Thanksgiving and we all should be talking about the things we are thankful for. However, I am a jerk so I will be filling an entire blog page with things that I do not like because my Fibro does not like them.

But to make it more enjoyable for you, my dear non-jerky reader, I will make it like a picture book. Because who doesn’t love pictures books? Except maybe me. Because I’m a jerk. 😉

So, these are a few of my not favorite things:











emo kitty, Uncategorized

Occupy This – The Return of Emo Kitty

(Don’t know Emo Kitty? Catch up here: https://smihlenfeld.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/hello-kitty-has-nothing-on-us/ and here: https://smihlenfeld.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/emo-kitty-and-friend/)

My cats are the 99 percent and they want me to know it.

Every damn place I move, or wherever I move things to or from, they are there. It’s like I pick up a bag and boom – they are occupying that spot. Going to the bathroom? Boom. So are they. In that exact spot. Occupied. Clearing the kitchen counter to do a buttload of dishes – Boom! Its not cleared anymore! Occupied!

Yes, they are cute. But mainly they are just pains in my ass. As a matter of fact, they are literally pains in my ass because I do believe that I have sat on them because they were occupying the couch and, therefore, ended up occupying my ass.

Cats! There are eight other rooms in this house at any given moment that you are more than welcome to occupy while I am anywhere doing anything in whichever the ninth leftover room might be. I know I am *not* this interesting! I know this because when I want to give you attention you would rather lick your undersides.


The second worse thing they do, besides occupying everything, is scrounging like they haven’t eaten in a week. On the counters, on the floor, in the garbage, on the table – one cat trying to outdo the other, licking carpet fibers and sniffing around non-stop. GET OUT OF HERE!

And they are well fed! I promise! But, ever since we doubled the cat population in this house, it is like they try to outdo each other at the most annoying things. Who can jump on me more while I sleep, who can trip me more, who can be more demanding in the mornings, and, most obnoxiously, who can steal the most food.

What’s the big deal, you say? They’re just cats doing what cats do, you say? Well, I didn’t want to have to go here, but clearly you aren’t understanding me and what I’m up against here.

So last week I had just took the lid off the pot of chili on the stove when I thought I could run to the bathroom *really quick* without any worries about the cats getting into it.


I hear that familiar clink of the pot being moved on the stove and I bust outta the bathroom, eager to catch the offending cat in the act and squirt them good with the water sprayer and… suddenly… I don’t need to go to the bathroom anymore. But I do need a pair of dry pants. :/

I’m sorry you had to read about my cats occupying my ass and me pissing my pants. I am. I’m so sorry,in fact, that in order to make up for it I will share something special with you: I like to get back at my cats. And I think that shaming stuff is totally lame, so I do my own thing. Enjoy.

PS No cats were hurt during the making of these photos.

PPS All cats pictured totally deserve to be made fun of.

PPS I secretly love both of my cats.



Fibromyalgia, pain awareness art

What it takes


Getting through a day can be such a daunting thought. The ache in my bones, the crust covering my eyes, the numbness through my hips, the stinging in my back and feet, and the inability to turn my neck have all vetoed any plans and ideas for the entire day, and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

My alarm is abused, having been hit over ten times already. I was going to get up early and make coffee while throwing in a load of laundry. I don’t need to do the laundry now. I don’t even really need to make the coffee, but I do need to get up. My soul says “Maybe in ten more minutes I can do it,” and my body says “NO!”

I’m groggy. I wonder how long I’ve had this virus, this sickness – and then I suddenly remember, as if I could ever forget yet somehow I did, that it is not a virus. This has been going on for forever, and it will be here for forever.

The list in my brain is quickly whittled down to necessities only. No laundry, no coffee, no shower, no cooking. Truly, the only thing I need to do this morning is get my little boy up, dressed, fed, loved, and off to school. My body doesn’t want to but my heart and brain say it must happen, even though neither know how it will happen.

Someone is ahead of the game and has crept into my bedroom. He is giggling while moaning like a cartoon ghost. I playfully “Eeek!” as he jumps into my bed, but then my whole body cringes and spastically retreats when he places his elbow on my thigh and I release a pained grunt.

“Oh, sorry momma!”

“It’s ok, baby.”

It still hurts, right where he touched me. I could draw it on my skin with a marker, the outline of the deep, intense, burning. It continues as I crawl out of bed and begin laying out his clothes.

We manage well this morning. Even though we had to finish a last minute school project, we have time to spare. I find myself wishing I had gone ahead with signing him up to ride the bus. Yes I’m up and dressed, but my joints are popping in and out of place, my muscles are burning and heavy, and I am still unable to fully turn my neck. Driving does not sound like fun.

Our chatter distracts me from my body as I navigate us towards his school. The roads are fairly clear of traffic and for a moment I forget what street I am on, nearly missing our final turn. Once parked in our regular spot, which is as close as legally possible to the school, we start walking.

It is only about a half block’s walk from our car to his spot in line, but by the time I’ve made 20 steps there is a sharp burning radiating from my hips into the softness of my belly and the small of my back. In the middle of these pains, along their path, are tight barbed strings being pulled taunt with each movement. My son decides he’s going to hop and stop right in front of me, jarring me to a standstill and I don’t know if I will be able to start again.

Will. I will myself to move, and I do. But now my spine is cracking and popping, and with it comes the stabs of rib pain that threaten to reach completely around me. My hands, wrists, and forearms are tingling with a combination of burning, stinging, and weakness that I have come to call “gloves of pain”. We’ve reached his line on the playground, and all I can do is gently rock and sway back and forth, side to side, to ease my body.

I’m suddenly aware of everyone around me; parents who look fantastic. I wonder if they can tell that my hair hasn’t been washed in two weeks. I start scolding myself.

“Two weeks? Stacy! You can do better than this, you can. You should. How can you not wash your hair in two weeks?! They all must think you are nuts!”

But my son is happy to have me at his side and no one is truly staring at me. The babies hooked in the crook of their mother’s arms, scattered all around the playground, still pass by and they still like me, so, clearly I cannot be that hideous. And all of my son’s classmates have been talking to me since we arrived. So I reason that I have pulled it off for yet another day.

When the bell rings, all I think is how I can finally go back to bed. My mind is instantly pissed off as thanksgiving is being held at our house and there are a month’s worth of dishes to wash. I take a breath. I tell myself that I often get huge bursts of energy once my body has properly rested, and that if I feel this awful right now the best thing to do is rest. Everything will work out just fine. I don’t feel convinced.

I walk into my house and it seems that little bit of self assurance has paid off – I no longer see a huge disaster. I smile and find my spot on the couch. I tell myself I am resting and that as soon as the energy comes I will tackle the dishes bit by bit and that everything will be ok.

Before long, my fingers have found my sketch pad app and I have visually expressed how my body feels today. I’m proud. I sip my coffee and take many deep breaths. When I enter the kitchen to refill my cup, I am struck with enough energy to consolodate the dirty dishes and fill the sink with water, soap, and all of the glasses and silverware. Although “letting them soak” has been the demise of every good dishes plan ever, I still promise to come back soon.

What it takes to get through the day… it’s only noon. My left hand is nearly useless now as I finish typing this, despite my best efforts to massage the muscles and pull the joints into less painful positions. All of my morning pain is still here – neck, shoulders, chest, ribs, back, hips, feet.

I don’t feel sorry for myself, though. I’m not sad; this is just a pretty normal day and although I would rate my pain as an 8 out of 10, I know it could always be worse.

There is a very hot bath in my very near future – it wil ease some of the ache. I’ve started my back stretches but am really wishing I had a better, more in tune, physical therapist. I’ll continue taking my medicatons, but they are truly more preventative than reactive, meaning they won’t take away my current pain but they will continue to prevent other types of pain.

Mainly, though, I will listen to my body and try to resist “pushing through” just to get things done.

So… this is what it takes to get through a portion of my day.


Fibromyalgia, pain awareness art

Pain & Shame

I will be honest – I haven’t been doing well. I mean I’ve been in many good moods and have accomplished somethings, but physically I am down. Washed up. Broken. While I miss my blog and cting with all of you, I just don’t seem to have the ergy or inspiration any longer –  but I wanted it back.

So, baby steps.

Today I feel shameful for being in pain. Maybe it is because of the attitude from my doctors. Maybe it is because do to cancel my weekend plans due to pain and I was really looking forward to going. Maybe it is because I’m alone. And maybe it is because physical therapy seems to be making me worse instead of better. I don’t know. But I do know I feel shameful, and this is what it looks like:


Do you ever feel shameful about your pain?