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Keep Fighting Heroes

A grace period of would allow us to try the job and make sure we were able to do it without losing our benefits, so said Fibrofella on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Monday November 21st. He also acknowledged that while it would be  a short-term cost, it would provide long-term gain to the exchequer.

Not everybody who is disabled and/or on disability allowance is in a position to return to work. Neither does everyone in that position want to work. However so much more can be done to facilitate and support those that do to continue or re-enter the workforce. I’m in a fortunate position of going through the process of retraining while also being given a chance to share my story, and others, through various media.

I was invited by the Disability Federation of Ireland to not only tell my story but also to comment on some of the barriers and difficulties in attempting a return to work. Entering RTÉ to take part in the live interview on Morning Ireland was a great opportunity to share that story.

I was a little nervous before going on air but I’ve done some radio interviews before and it’s always easier telling your own story. A little bit of training goes a long way too. Learning about radio news broadcasting this shown me about the microphone and sitting comfortably but most importantly about time and the value of being succinct and not rushing.

I knew going in that I had around 3 1/2 minutes, which meant I knew it would go fast but was plenty of time to get what I wanted across if I used it wisely. Thankfully I seem to have done that. It did help that Senator Dolan was there beside me and Gavin Jennings wasn’t exactly looking to catch me out!

All the team were great in fairness and as a student to see the hive of activity that is a radio studio during a national broadcast like that was brilliant. When we finished with the radio we did a piece for camera too before finishing up. I can safely say it’s definitely like performing, do it once and you’re hooked.

It won’t take the the observant much to notice that I haven’t been using this blog for a while but I felt this was the more appropriate place to publish this post. When I started this blog, way back when, I only had fibromyalgia, hence the moniker, but since then plenty of other diagnoses have been added into the mix. I’ve never looked to change the name though.

One reason being all of us dealing with RMD’s are superheroes. It’s not just the children, adults can be superheroes too in managing everything that is thrown their way. Why can’t I have a name with a vaguely superhero like hint?

Another more sensible reason is that fibromyalgia doesn”t have one set of symptoms and characteristics, it is an umbrella term. RMD’s is an umbrella term. When I deliver self-management courses I always say at the beginning that “from now on, whenever I say arthritis, it is shorthand for all types of arthritis and RMD’s you are here with.”

I’ve always had an inclusive angle to this blog and I’ve advocated on behalf of lots of people. From the beginning, when I started writing this blog, to now, through to the future, I talk about and advocate on behalf of myself and others living and living well with fibromyalgia/juvenile arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis/disabilities etc etc.

Link to Day of Show:

Relighting my fire

Peter was struggling to get stuck into writing novel number 2 but the blue touch paper has been lit again. Read more here….

“Take that rage, put it on a page, take the page to the stage, blow the roof off the place.” The Script, Irish pop rock band If Danny O’Donoghue (lead singer of The Script) and his bandmates…

Source: Relighting my fire

Going Easy on Standing O’s

My alter ego was at the theatre earlier this week but was struck by the audience more than the show on stage;

“So Eamon, what did you think of his performance tonight?” “Well Bill, he’s a good player… not a great player… a good player and that’s what we got from him tonight.” I love my football…

Source: Going Easy on Standing O’s

Depression still intrudes on my day-to-day life but I’ll get there……

Apparently in the real world today is known as ‘Hump Day’. I’ve never worked in a Monday to Friday job or even a job closely related to a 9 to 5. All my jobs have involved shift w…

Source: Writing & Depression – Both Are All In My Head

The man behind Fibrofella is looking to start a conversation about Child Protection, maybe you’d take a look and give some feedback?

If you take the time to read this post, I’d really appreciate your feedback on the questions it poses. This post deals with child protection on a very basic level but I’d like to get an…

Source: ‘Don’t Touch The Child’

Trying To Write A Book

I haven’t much to say about Fibromyalgia at the moment but I’m still writing and blogging on my other page;

Plenty of people have asked me since I published ‘The Confessional’ if it was tough to write or if it took me long to write. I had a very rough idea nagging in my head for a while but f…

Source: Trying To Write A Book

The Lord Mayor

We said goodbye to one of life’s gentlemen last weekend and it was very difficult for everyone who knew and loved Dublin’s (unofficial) Lord Mayor. Obviously this was hardest for his First Lady and his two boys but there were lots of circles of friends, colleagues etc. whose lives had been touched and enriched by the gentleman barman.

I know whatever I write below will not be enough to pay tribute to the man I knew. I am also aware that no matter what I say, I haven’t the words to offer comfort or solace. Both of those things were accomplished however by the Lord Mayor’s eldest son on Monday. When he spoke, we listened, we laughed, we cried and we marvelled at this incredible young man speaking with poise, wit and pride about his father. And when he finished we stood to applaud him, how he had held his composure throughout and how he had evoked vividly the man we had come to remember and mourn.

The Lord Mayor knew everyone it seemed and was how he got the nickname. The other was the Pope, everyone wanting their audience with him wherever he was. He also liked to dish out a nickname or two and I was re-christened too. My own was ‘Wantapen’. As a younger fella behind the bar I did enjoy chatting to the customers and from time to time I did try chatting up a young lady or two. First off this led to questions being shouted about whether I wanted a pen to take a phone number down, until one night while chatting to one girl I had about 40 or 50 pens thrown on the bar floor behind me! When I rang him my ringtone on his phone included a computerised voice saying ‘Wantapen’ just to be sure it stuck.

We worked on the same shifts and that meant never on a Monday. About 8/9 years we decided we needed to do some Christmas shopping on a Monday about 4 days before the big day. Needless to say we bought very little and went on a little tour of decent pubs at the top of Grafton Street in Dublin. Our last stop at about 5pm.

It was my round and about to order two Guinness, Tony grabbed my arm, “There’s no one drinking pints in here Pete, we’ve gotta go with something else.”

“Two snipes of Champagne please!” came the order from Tony. We stood there sipping champagne, a round each, chatting to the staff and whoever came up to order the drink. Just as we did in any bar across the city, and believe me we visited some ‘interesting’ places too. People are people after all and everyone gets treated equally.

Tony helped me through some of the worst times too. He was there the night I had a seizure in Harry’s and scared the shite out of myself and everyone else. He also visited me in hospital and understood when I was struggling and needed a boost. He was also one of the first people to follow this blog and that is why I’m writing here.

When I started working in the Home Farm F.C. bar, the Monday Club would introduce each singer by saying “Your friend, my friend, everybody’s friend, it’s……”

When you got upstairs T, I hope that was how you were introduced.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam



Summer Project Part II

This week’s stories are from my niece Meghan. I hope you enjoy them.

There’s been some real interest in my idea to get young children’s stories published on my blog here and through my Facebook page. There hasn’t been too many sent in to me just ye…

Source: Summer Project Part II

Summer Project

If you know of any young storytellers out there (primary school age) who like to write and would like to have their story published then this might be the summer project for them……..

When I was in school I wrote lots of short stories and handed them up to teachers for correction and grading. I am relatively young but when I was in school, even when I was in college, computers, …

Source: Summer Project

The real fella behind Fibrofella launched his book last week, why not have a read about it here:

Thursday June 9th, Harry Byrnes 10.45 PM I’m standing at the bar sipping a pint, talking sociology and history to a lovely couple I’ve just met. They’ve bought a copy of ‘The Confessional’ from me …

Source: The Confessional – Book Launch