Coping Corner, Winter '97
By Jenn Waterman
Originally published in Youth Allied By
CFIDS, Winter 1997
Happy new year! I hope this edition of The Coping Corner
finds you fully recovered from holiday fun! I have resolved to make this column
increasingly informative and interactive in the new year. This time I have some
great tips from two special friends as well as more Dream Box ideas! You can
share your thoughts by writing to: 103 County Road, Reading MA 01867. I hope
that your new year is full of friendship and laughter. Until next time, keep on
Reach Out and Touch Someone
It can be all too easy for bed-bound young persons with CFIDS (YPWCs) to
feel cut off from the world and even the rest of their household. Bedrooms are
miles away from family rooms and kitchens where everyone else is having tons of
fun… or so it seems as the laughter drifts up the stairs and down the hall to
the flatbackers. All that you're missing out on becomes magnified and you can be
left feeling lonely and sad. CYA's Sharon Walk offers some wonderful ideas for
coping with these feelings of isolation… and for putting a stop to them without
having to resort to tying up your family and keeping them under your
Sharon recommends a number of communication
devices: "An intercom system can help you to talk with family in other parts of
the house without having to scream. Walkie talkies or a baby monitor can work,
The walkie talkies are my personal
favorite. With them you can not only keep in touch but you can also conduct
super-spy missions. However, I gave my younger brother walkie talkies for his
last birthday and because of my over-zealousness he never lets me use them. If
you get some, maybe I'll come over to play! Over and out.
People with CFIDS
spend a lot of time in the same surroundings. Staring at the same stretch of
ceiling or the same four walls day after day can get to be dull and tedious and
can cause you to go a little stir crazy. Twenty-year old YPWC Ginny Hedrich made
a quick and easy change in her environment by getting a bright new pillowcase.
This simple change added a freshness to her flatbacking time. Another idea is to
get new sheets, some colorful toss pillows or perhaps a reversible
It only takes a little bit of time
energy to rearrange your posters and it can give your room a whole new look. Why
not have your friends and family members help you in redecorating by making
drawings and personal, original posters for your walls? This will not only give
your bedroom a new look but their pictures and words can brighten up a dark
I like to rearrange my furniture once
twice a year. When my bed is in a new location (not in another house… just a
different spot in my room), it gives me a whole new perspective on my habitat.
Get creative and make some simple changes when you're feeling blue and cooped
up. You may be surprised what the new look can do for you!
Last time in "The
Coping Corner, "I talked about creating a Dream Box. If you slept through that
column, I'll review: A Dream Box is a box that you decorate with favorite
magazine clippings, stickers, pictures, wrapping paper, glitter, etc. This box
is filled with things for you to do when you have insomnia. You only open your
Dream Box in the dark of night or on a dismal day when you're in search of a
quiet activity to beat loneliness and boredom.
I hope that you've all been working
boxes and finding great things to fill them with! Drop me a line sometime with
your Dream Box ideas and we'll share them with everyone else! Here are a few
more thoughts on what to put in there:
- Legos! Legos are one of the
best Dream Box fillers. They are easy lap toys and are fun for everyone. There
are many varieties. I prefer the town Legos or island Legos, but you may be
more of a spaceman or a jungle girl. Any kind is perfectly acceptable. When
sleep cannot be found in the late night hours, you can curl up with your Legos
and build a dream castle, design a magical planet, or a cozy village.
- Flashlight A flashlight is
imperative for each and every Dream Box! Any size will do. You can have a
Sesame Street flashlight, a lantern or a pen light. There are a vast number of
things that can be done with this light. Fun things. Mundane things.
Mysterious things. When my older brother and I were younger we used to play
with our flashlights at night. We would have the circles of light chase one
another across the ceiling and walls. He had a world map at the end of his bed
and we would have them race from country to country. To make that game a
little more entertaining (hehe) my dad would have us look up facts about each
country. But that may be TOO much fun for your Dream Box. What do you think?
I hope that you all have a happy new
I'll see you next time with more tips from The Coping Corner.