Tag Archives: Fatherhood

I actually died IN the hospital this time…

So, here’s the story.

I wasn’t sleeping well the few days leading up to Easter Sunday. That’s not all that abnormal. Sometime I get busy at night and I have a strict 4am wake up policy (however depending on duration I may sleep an extra hour, or if I can’t squeeze more than an hour or two in I may skip it all together). I know, it’s not normal.

So, I was getting about 1.5-2 hrs of sleep Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday I was back up pressure washing the GRASS at dawn … because I fell asleep while I was pressure washing the patio.

Apparently I was acting a bit out of sorts, and when our Easter celebration was over I was encouraged (told) to go to the hospital. Apparently people could see things that I could not. I remember showering, leaving, arriving in the ER on Sunday Night…

then waking up with a tube in my throat on Tuesday morning…

I have not a clue how this happened or why. Apparently they had me on various types of breathing apparatuses and when I was alone in a room, I simply stopped breathing (Monday morning) and was emergency intubated which is worse than a planned one because I have some serious bleeding in my throat and lungs…. part of the deal I guess. The reason I stopped breathing was yet again my Co2 levels in my blood/brain were so high that my brain turned my lungs off.

Like the first (Feb 22) episode and unlike the second (April 4) episode, I actually have a touch of pneumonia in my left lung.

So what is going on?

Lots of theories, lots of questions, no concrete answers, and I’m afraid to die in front of my children.

Some theories are Chiari Malformation, which was found in an MRI. Apparently very common and usually asymptomatic. Repeated MRIs showed that this is most likely not the cause, and the Neurosurgeon and her team feel comfortable this is not the issue.

Another theory is Central Sleep Apnea, but evidence is lacking at this time. And another working theory is that I may have a it of daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy) which causes my sleep/wake cycle to be off and can cause central apnea among other things. This would explain alot since I do have a habit of falling asleep anywhere at anytime, even in the car. These two theories are from Team Pulmonology.

I’m not afraid to die at all, my Creator has that all worked out. I just don’t want my kids to see it happen. That’s not okay.

But I must put my trust in God because the alternative is unspeakable and truly nihilistic.

I ask for two things…share this far and wide so we can possibly find some workable theories, and comment below if you have any ideas…

Also, I ask for your prayers. Whether you pray or not, I ask that you suck it up, speak to my God in whom I place all trust, and ask him to proceed with his will, whatever that may be.

That’s pretty much what I have for now.

Please and thank you, share, share, share… pray, pray, pray… and pray for my dog also…

God Bless!!

-Andrew

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Simon Sinek on Millenials in the Workplace (~15 minutes; less time than it takes to scroll your feed(s)).

This brief video is better described as:

“Digital Dilemma,” “Digital Dementia,” or “Piss Poor Parenting/Preparation.”

As parents we need to be more engaged with our kids as they navigate through early life, adolescence, and young adulthood.

I see too many 12 year olds, 10 year olds (mine previously included), even as young as 6 years old having cell phones or iPads. Listen to this video, and identify yourself, your friends and family, and your kids in his talk.

How many of you are guilty of being on your phone when your kid is trying to get your attention, then getting angry because they are interrupting your game, or post, or mindless scrolling?

Me. I’m guilty. As a matter of fact, I’m guilty of everything that I wrote in this…advice piece…rant….whatever. I’ll call it an enlightening article.

We have to pull these phones back. They have watches that allow kids to call a set amount of pre-programmed numbers, and you can track your kids via GOS on them. No messages. No social media. No addictive dopamine kicks throughout the day, which then cause terrible crashed, withdrawal, and depression later.

I propose that kids have no digital device (social media, texts) until they are at least 16 years old, and even that may be too early.

And stop giving your kids everything they ask for. If they didn’t earn it, then they don’t give it.

And seriously, what kid needs a smartphone? It’s barely necessary for most adults to own.

Watch the video… on your device…then put your devices up because your kids probably want your TIME.

www.youtube.com/watch

Simon

Example from video’s implications of negative effects:

A ‘friend’s’ kid went to the doctor recently and was prescribed an antidepressant. From a 30 minute office visit, from a physician…and no diagnosis. I advised the ‘friend’ to disregard this hack’s prescription, find a new doctor, and maybe try to spend less time on their own devices and more time with the kid. Like Simon says in the video, when our phone is siting in close proximity when someone (in this case our kid) is trying to interact, we are sending a signal that they aren’t important, or at least as important as the strangers on our social media pages.

Either you control your day, or your day controls you…

What’s it going to be?

www.youtube.com/watch

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Goals

Well, after reviewing my self-proclaimed ‘epic’ advice blog post about goal setting…I realize there is very little actual information about how to actually set the goals rather than just the importance of having them.

I will write a shorter, more digestible blogpost later today with some practical steps/advice on how to set goals that will be productive rather than destructive. I’ll also explain the importance and difference between 1st level, 2nd level, and 3rd level goals (short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, respectively).

Prioritizing within these levels is also important, and developing and implementing an action plan is just as important as setting the goal(s). You can’t have one without the other. Well you can…but you won’t end up where you want to be.

More on this later….get your workout in!

As soon as I’m healed, I’ll be joining you. I had my workers (family/friends/spouse/kids) finish my workout space/office…and I can’t wait to use it.

And here it is!

Patiently (impatiently) waiting for my body to heal…meanwhile…Shakeology!!

Fitness….What is it? Health? Wellness?

*Re-posted from page to blog post (I’m still new here)

Fitness is usually synonymous with health and wellness. However, even though they are all important from a holistic point of reference, we need to clarify that they are all actually different. To be fit, in my experience, is to be able to function physically above and beyond life’s demands (within reason regarding any disabilities a person may have). Also, there needs to be a balanced body composition. This might aggravate many people. Bur research demonstrates quite universally that extra fat stored in the body will cause some adverse health effects, whether they are short term or long term.

TAKE A COLD SHOWER

Being healthy implies something similar but has less to do with actual body composition and physical abilities and more to do with how your organs and cells are performing. Much of this goes unnoticed. One benefit and sign of being in relatively good health is feeling ‘good,’ energetic, relaxed, peaceful, etc… Of course, that’s all subjective. Medical doctors can only measure so much.

And finally, Wellness… what is wellness exactly? Well…that too is subjective. My understanding from research and speaking with many different types of ‘paths’ (practitioners of medical sciences), is that wellness is all encompassing. Like healthy it would be peaceful, content, and joyful…or strong, healthy, and energetic. I think wellness is more of a lifestyle than a state…a journey rather than a destination.

That’s my two cents about it.

On another note….is it just my kids or do they get downright combative if they stay up even 30 minutes too late? I’ve been called many names today that I do not care for but having been a kid once I kept my patient (and stern) dad face on and calmly reinforced their duties and bedtime routines. I think kids should come with a manual….and maybe a full, money back, lifetime warranty!!  I’m totally joking…or am I…?I think I am going to wake them all up at 0400AM when I get up (oh, by the way I’m a psychotic- I wake up at 4am every morning, work on stuff, pray, workout, drink coffee, and take a COLD SHOWER) and have all three of them workout with me. I’m confident there will be no problems tomorrow night when it’s time for bed…if they make it that long. I don’t know….is that abuse? I don’t think so. Cruel? Maybe…but not abuse.

Comments please…tell me about your thoughts on Fitness, Health, and Wellness. And please share about your kids…Have a great evening!

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The Reality Behind Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

There is a strong position amongst therapists and educators promoting the importance of emotional intelligence. But is it an actual thing? There is one Psychologist who declares that it is a societal construct, coined by a journalist and not a social sciences academic. More on that as we go…

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as “(noun) the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” (Siri :)).

Parents are concerned about their child’s or children’s ability to develop intellectual skills they will need to succeed in school and life. But what level of intelligence is required for success? Surely it’s healthy to express emotions in a reasonable and socially acceptable manner. But should we really expect children to “master their emotions” (Dr. John Gottman)? Dr. Gottman writes that “once they master this important life skill, emotionally children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships” (Gottman, 1997).

Well, that all sounds fantastic….but how do we measure emotional intelligence? Everyone is drastically different in how they view and process their existential reality. Most adults I’ve met don’t have that level of emotionall intelligence that is described in Dr. Gottman’s book.

Communicating with our children is not easy, and it’s downright frustrating when emotions run hot. Some experts claim that when there is a heated exchange, the parent shoudl allow the child some space to decompress. However, Dr. Gottman suggests that you sit down with the child and encourage them to explore what they are feeling, identify the feelings and what caused them, and to walk them through positive coping skills. That sounds fantastic, but it isn’t practical. When my child is angry or upset, the last thing she wants is ‘Therapist Dad’ probing her brain and teaching her life skills. It’s best to leave that for when they have calmed down. Because when hormones and adrenaline increase, cognition and memory decrease. So obviously we can have a more meaningful discussion once they’ve calmed down.

Now, enter Dr. Jordan Peterson, a very intelligent and atypical Clinical Psychologist and Professor from the University of Toronto in Canada. He boldy claims that EQ does not exist. The idea was made up by a nobody journalist named Daniel Goleman, who is not a psychologist. Dr. Peterson claims “there’s no such thing as EQ” and that “you can’t just invent a trait, you have to define it, measure it, and distinguish it from other traits and use it to predict important ways that people vary” (Peterson, 2016). In a study by a couple of Australian psychologists, they discovered that there is little evidence of validity to support the claims that EQ is important for any meaningful gains in the pursuit of life, love, liberty, and happiness. That article can be read HERE. 

So….what’s my take on the issue? Well, as a father of three daughters, I want them to be emotionally intelligent…but I’m unclear exactly what that means or how to promote it. I speak with my children about feelings and expression of emotions in healthy ways. But as far as a life-changing ‘trait,’ I’m not convinced. But I’m not professional on the matter….at least not yet. But Dr. Peterson is….and you can read his full response to the EQ idea HERE.  

As always, I welcome and encourage comments, thoughts, complaints, etc… If you have some thoughts on this topic, please leave them in the comments below. If you have questions, leave those below also and I will seek out the best answerd that I can.

My Girls
Russell Brand and Dr. Jordan Peterson

Have a great Saturday!! And remember, don’t overthink life, just do the next right thing.

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2/13/2019 Quick Update

Some of the highlights…but deceitfully free of life’s lows…I’ll get around to sharing that.

I’m slowly building this site so bear with me a bit, it’s coming along. As I decide what it is exactly I want to write about in my blog, what kind of value I can provide for those that happen to stumble upon my page, I am discovering many things about myself…but more importantly I am realizing that I have so much that i want to tell the world, so much that I want to teach my kids, and so much that I want to give back to society. As this blog progresses, more of my life will become public and people will learn things about me that only a few people know.

As a veteran with PTSD, a father of three daughters, a graduate student, and a person in recovery from chemical dependence and mental illness….I have some skeletons; but I’ve never met anyone that has no skeletons in their closet. I have met many people that choose to project that they don’t have issues, baggage, or past trauma…and they want everyone to believe that their lives are perfect. You will not get that vibe from me. I’m an open book. I ask that you subscribe to my blog, share your experiences in comments or private message, call me out if you hate what I say, let me know if something resonates with you….but my goal here is to encourage people to look at themselves and others and realize that they aren’t alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I think you’ll be surprised at much of the personal stories and experiences that I share. I have nothing to hide.

Standby as I come up with a method to share that flows well and doesn’t get too jumbled. Stick with me, and you’ll not regret it. Have a fantastic day!!

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