May - June 1999
An automated CFIDS
By John Herd
Persons with CFIDS (PWCs) often have significant memory problems and difficulty achieving
on their to-do lists. It has been proposed that the Department of Health and Human Services develop a
CFIDS telephone wake-up service. If budgets are tight, ask Dr. Brian Mahy over at the CDC where some funds
can be found.
People who meet the diagnostic criteria for CFIDS would be able to sign up for the
free service on-line at www.niaid.nih.gov/cfs/wakeme or by calling: 800/CFS-WAKE.
format of the wake-up calls is as follows:
"Good morning, afternoon or evening. This is your CFIDS automated services wake-up call.
You had requested
a wake-up call at this time. Disclaimer: This service can only wake up the body; it cannot wake up the
"Your name is: __________.
You live at: ___________.
The date and time
year is: __________.
Up is toward the ceiling.
"Today's relative CFIDS gravitational forces count is 45% above true gravity.
"Today's brain fog level of cognitive perception is +/- 2.5 thoughts (memory, forethought
attention) with intermittent lapses of complete cognition.
"Today's level of sustained inertia count is 10.5 minutes, so plan your activities carefully.
"The directions to find your bathroom are: __________.
Your meds are
in the: __________.
"If you can't find the coffee maker/tea pot, look in the refrigerator, microwave oven
"Today you wanted to do:
"Today you have to do: ________, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______ and
"Today you will be able to do: _______.
"To access your personal archive of unfinished items from previous to-do lists, press
the star key.
"Wisecrack of the day: If PWCs could build buildings out of unaccomplished tasks
wishes on to-do lists, our homes would be bigger than Bill Gates' home. But then we'd never be able to
find our way around.
"Reminder: You are currently wearing: __________.
"Before you go out, you'd better get dressed.
1. Remove your: __________.
Put on underwear.
(Labels go in the back.)
3. Put on pants or dress. (If pants, check that the zipper is closed.)
Put on shirt/blouse. (If there are buttons, there will always be an equal number of buttons and buttonholes.
Try, try again.)
5. Put on socks. (Toes go in first.)
6. Put on shoes. (Make sure they match. If
uncomfortable, try switching feet.)
"Since you are only going to be able to do __________, you do not need to get dressed,
"Now you can get undressed.
"Getting dressed and undressed has been your activity for today.
"Please hit the pound key if you wish to update your personal wake-up call for tomorrow."
Send PWC John Herd a wake-up call at email@example.com.