Tips, strategies and helpful thoughts
often get donations of past issues of magazines like National Geographic. They are usually glad to give
them away, or will let you have them for a small donation.
Contact your local library to see if
you can expand your world in
this way. And while you're at it, see if your library offers special book delivery for people who cannot
travel to their local branch. Some libraries offer this service for free.
B Schroeder, Stamford, Conn.
Work with your doctors
To get the best medical care, you need to build a partnership
with your physicians. Here are some tips on creating a good relationship, from Dawn Hughes, a PWC and
author of "The Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Resource Book and Life Planner Workbook":
- Bring a notepad to write down information and instructions.
- Create a checklist of your symptoms, questions, concerns and other
issues you would like to discuss during your appointment.
- Bring a list of your medications and dosage levels.
- Discuss your most important concerns first.
- If you want to discuss something sensitive, ask your doctor not
to write it down in his patient notes.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or mention symptoms that
you may find embarrassing.Your doctor can't help if he doesn't know
For more information on Hughes' book,
please see the book
review this issue.
Be careful what you write
Several years ago, with a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearing pending, I
followed the advice
of a CFIDS Chronicle contributor and decided to write down all the information I could about my case in
the form of a letter. I explained that because I was not well, it would take me many days to complete
the letter. It took two weeks to finish and totaled 14 pages.
To my dismay and shock, the very existence
of that letter was held
against me in court. It was used as evidence of my ability to work!
In light of that disaster, I suggest
that disability applicants not
personally write such a letter. They should dictate it to someone else and submit it with an affidavit--preferably
notarized--that the applicant did not physically write the letter. Of course, it would be wrong to assert
that you can't pen the letter if you are actually able.
Raymond, Sun City, Calif.
Fight fatigue with yoga
offer the following tips to fatigued people who want to gain energy through yoga:
Find an experienced instructor.
Deeply fatigued people need to approach yoga practice more patiently
than those with normal energy levels, and an instructor who understands CFS or
similarly disabling conditions is an asset.
Consider having private lessons.
Individuals with CFS may have trouble keeping up, even in a beginners'
class. Private instruction can be tailored to your own
Practice daily but proceed slowly.
"Practicing every day for five minutes is more beneficial than one time
a week for one hour, which can cause flare-up of symptoms," says Charles Matkin,
codirector of Mind Body Therapies at Health, a complementary health center in
New York City.
From the March/April 2001 issue of Yoga Journal