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Joined: 05/04/2011
My Story:
Hello Everyone,

Fibromyalgia was diagnosed for me in 2008, shortly after I fell on the ice and broke my elbow, but I think that it has been with me much longer, maybe most of my life.

I turned 66 and retired on the same day, May 1, 2011, after 31 years with the State of Wisconsin, most of those with the Department of Corrections as a Probation/Parole Agent, a Field Supervisor, a Unit Mgr. in a downtown prison, a Captain and finally, a Sergeant. As you can see, my career went up and down. I demoted to sergeant in 2006 because of fibro. The stress of management in a prison was affecting it and causing lots of flares. I ended up retiring a year before I planned, partly because of fibro and partly because of our new Governor.

I am married with a grown son. My husband (retired) and I own a duplex in Milwaukee. We live downstairs with my 89 year old MIL. My son, his wife and our 3 grandkids live upstairs. So we have 4 generations in our home and I feel very fortunate to have all of them here.

Gardening is one of my passions. Although our city lot is small, I finally convinced my DH that we do not need grass. 3 years ago, my son helped me dig it all out and replace it with flowers. It was and has continued to be a labor of love. I also have a 7 year old yellow lab named Sampson. He weighs 125 pounds and is a bit too much for me to handle when he spots someone he loves (and he loves almost everyone) coming down the block. I have a bad habit of pulling weeds with one hand and holding his leash with the other. Whoops!!! Because I landed on the rocks on both knees several times, I tore the cartiledge in those knees and can no longer kneel at all.

I found this site in May, after retiring. Before that, I was way too busy. You all make me feel very welcome and sheltered by the kind words, soft hugs and understanding you have offered me. I don't believe that any of my family or friends really gets it, but all of you, my wonderful new FMily (Thank you MiMi) truly understand and care.

It is now 2013. My sweet dog, Sampson died on 12/20/12. I still miss him terribly. Mom is still with us. She will be 91 in April.

Last year I managed to find a temporary job but it ended in June. We are scraping by on Social Security and retirement as we have no savings. I want another dog but I am afraid to get a lab. We have had 3 of them. Actually, Sampson was the only one who would pull me over. He was a giant of a Labrador, even though he was purebred. I scour the Human Society listings daily but really don't want a new dog in winter. Late spring is better (once most of the mud has gone). Any suggestions for a medium sized dog with a sweet disposition, who is easy to train (well, that might be asking too much) will be greatly appreciated.

In February, my sister and I adopted 9 week old labradoodle brothers. they both had hernias so we got them at a discount. Hers, Charlie, is cream colored with darker points. Mine, Tyler is black with a small white patch on his chest. The breeder said they did everything together. My sister lives 45 minutes away and we've managed to get together, but not our dogs. We'll have to do that soon.

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