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Support Group

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Selections from our EMAILS and NEWSLETTERS

August 2002

Government Housing Assistance
Meetings/Upcoming Speakers
Group Leaders
About the Newsletter
Excerpts from... "Making a Not TO DO List"
What is CFS/CFIDS?


Welcome to CFSupport Group News! To receive all of our emails and newsletters, please join our email list and Yahoo! group at

As a member of our CFSupport Yahoo group, you would be able to browse and search our archives, use our Calendar of local and national groups, download files, use our rideshare database as well as receive current updates of interest regarding CFS/M.E., fibromyalgia, and related illnesses. We keep the number of emails to less than one per day on average.

Government Housing Assistance

If you are living on a reduced income, you could qualify for government housing assistance.  This can be a very important benefit.

Your local social services office is probably the best starting point for finding out what services are available in your area and state.  You can also check the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) web site ( for a list of links on fair housing and low-income housing: .

Those whose income is less than $18,000 may qualify for a live-in aid through Section 8 Housing assistance.  You can usually deduct your medical expenses  (including supplements, if you have a letter from your doctor) to help you qualify for Section 8. 

MeetingS/Upcoming Speakers

We meet the third Saturday of each month between 2 and 4 p.m. in Room 5 of the Education Conference Center Building of Fairfax Hospital.  Use the blue entrance from Gallows Road.  Look for the small building on the left behind the gazebo.  Park on the right in the employee parking lot.

  • August 17:  ELISA/ACT testing, Carrie Zipper & Tory Trocki, (410) 268-8085
  • September 21:  Vision therapy, optometrist Dr. Dennis Cantwell, (703) 941-3937
    (was canceled)
  • October 19:  Mind-body harmony, John Cox, Dr. of Hypnotherapy, (703) 435-6002
Update 05/06. Location now Mason Governmental Center in Anndale. See Meetings Page.


Elly Brosius:  (703) 968-9818

Toni Marshall: (410) 647-7578

Reach both at the same time via email:

ABOUT THE Newsletter

This is your newsletter! Call or send an email to suggest topics for the newsletter.  And please let us know of your address, name phone and/or email address changes.

All the best!
M, Margherita 

05/06: Margherita no longer does the newsletter. Please send submissions and contact info changes to Elly and Toni at This address is available on most pages on this site as "Email Us".

Excerpts From . . .
Making a NOT TO DO List

By Eunice Beck, RN

[Eunice Beck writes about living with CFIDS and fibromyalgia and is the Coping Corner columnist for Immunesupport.  The entire text of this article is available from the CFIDS & FM Selp Help website . Read more of her writing at .]

To do lists are a necessary part of our life. Still, we can't let them govern us. Recently, I heard a "life coach" on one of the talk shows. She talked about how she had been able to organize her busy life. However, one of the ways she managed to cope intrigued me. She said she made herself a NOT TO DO list.

Activities to Avoid

In the book Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain, by Starlanyl and Copeland, the authors list "Activities to Avoid: staying in the same position for long periods, traveling extensively without a break, performing repetitive movements, exercising too much, immersing yourself in water less than 88 degrees Fahrenheit, becoming overtired, going without food, wearing high-heeled shoes, wearing tight clothing, doing heavy work, exposing yourself to electro-magnetic fields for extended periods of time, smoking nicotine, or ingesting alcohol, salt, junk food or caffeine, spending time with people who make you feel badly."  I have made a "not to do" list for myself. For instance, I have never been very comfortable in pantyhose, so I rarely wear dresses. If I do, they are long so I don't have to wear hose.  

[Note from NOVA CFS/FMS Group Leaders:  Many of us use salt and wear support hose to counter the symptoms of orthostatic intolerance-so do what's best for you.  Toni Marshall also has a "not to do" list and adds, "Wearing a dress is even better if you don't care about proper dress shoes. Why ruin a perfectly comfortable outfit by wearing 'toe pinchers'.  I wear my running shoes."]

Expanding the List

A very important thing on my "not to do" list concerns putting the needs of others before the things I need to preserve my best functional level. Of course, there are situations such as family illness, and small children where this may not be possible. However, we must learn to rank our health at or near the top of our list of priorities.

Negative "self-talk" is another thing on my list. When I pay attention, I notice that the more tired and frustrated I become, the more negative names I am calling myself. My spouse frequently reminds me that calling myself these names is not good for my mental health.

Putting myself in the situation where I have to hurry is another no-no for me. Hurrying, such as to get ready for an appointment, really adds to my fatigue level. I guess it must be the extra adrenaline that pumps into my system when I rush that makes me feel so exhausted and stressed. Even the chores around the house are done when I feel like doing them. I don't "freak out" if the laundry goes unfolded for several days. The floor gets vacuumed when it needs it. If all of the day's dishes don't get washed until evening, I'm OK with that. I'm convinced that a layer of dust protects my furniture. My house is nowhere near filthy, but it's not spotless either. It's lived in!

Do you have a NOT TO LIST? If not, perhaps you should start one. It is yet another step toward health, both mental and physical. Take care and be well.

What is CFS/CFIDS?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)—also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)—is defined as a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue, pain and cognitive problems not improved by bed rest. These symptoms may be worsened by physical and mental activity. 

Persons with CFS function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of the illness. Recent studies estimate more than 800,000 Americans are suffering with CFS. 

For more information about CFS/CFIDS, contact the CFIDS Association of America at or call 1-704-365-2343 for a free packet. (Ph# updated 05/06).

See also our What's CFS and FM? page.


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Updated May 22, 2006