From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 09-17-08

Calgary ME/CFS Patient Lecture, November 9
Can you post something about the upcoming conference at the University of Calgary (Alberta) on Sunday, Nov 9th – Public Lecture on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It's a session for patients. For details, see
You have a reference on the website to the Nov 8th conference being held there for the medical community – the International Disabling Fatigue Research Symposium – but we couldn't find any reference to the session for patients.
Note: Thank you for the update. We are revising the Calgary conference information, posted months ago, to include this second-day session for patients. Featured speakers for this session are Drs. Nancy Klimas and Alison Bested.
Support Group Finder
Please please please share with people the wonderful site called ( This is how I found a very, very good support group here in Manhattan. This site lists meetups for every subject under the sun including CFS/FMS – and in every place you can imagine all over the world and in the US. – Denise
Good-Pillow Talk
To sleep I have a body pillow beside me to rest my top knee and arm on. It helps prevent waking up with painful joints. I have a normal pillow on the other side for the same reason. I can lean back on the body pillow from my side and be quite supported, or sometimes if I can't sleep I like to lie on my front. Then I put the body pillow under half of my body so I'm lifted up a bit and it's easier on my neck to lie there (no pillow under my head then). – S
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
I met a couple who had both had ME/CFS. They said the single thing that helped them the most (and they were both doing well) was to start going to bed by 10 p.m. Apparently it's really true that the hours before midnight are worth two after! I'm a night owl and always have been, but I'm methodically trying to work my way to earlier bedtimes.
Once when my circadian rhythm really got out of whack (I was going to bed around 4 a.m.) I deliberately went to bed later and later until I was getting up in the early morning and going to bed early at night. I really liked it. But it just takes one or two sleepless nights and I'm out of whack again, so now I think a slow and steady change will help me reset my internal clock if that's possible… – S
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
I tried all the natural and herbal remedies for sleep and some worked for a short while, 4 to 5 hours max. My doctor prescribed Trazodone 100mg and this worked like a charm; 7 to 8 hours without the heavy morning feeling. [Trazodone is a drug designed to increase serotonin levels.] Best news is it is $4 at Wal-Mart and since I do not have insurance this is a blessing. All the best to all those who suffer, hope this helps! – Robert
Tips That Help Me
• Using a cushion behind the middle of my back when I'm sitting in a chair. It props me up so my muscles don't have to work as hard to stay upright, so they're less likely to go into spasm. This works well when you need to sit up but are feeling especially tired.
• Doing the yoga pose called 'Legs up the Wall' once or twice a day. You lie on the floor with your legs going straight up the wall. It helps blood go to your brain and organs, and is deeply relaxing. I also find it rejuvenating. I put a night-mask or eye pillow over my eyes, and sometimes even fall asleep for a few minutes.
• Keeping warm saves my energy and makes me more comfortable and happier. In winter I wear silk long underwear, which isn't bulky but makes a big difference in comfort.
• Circulation socks for diabetics can help improve circulation and warm up cold feet.
• I take ear plugs with my in my purse wherever I go. One pair is cut in half so it only blocks some of the noise. It really helps my nerves when I'm in a noisy environment to be able to insert one or two earplugs and enjoy the peace…
• Most mornings I inhale some warm saline water to cleanse my sinuses. It helps decrease my allergy reactions and cleans out the mucous and bacteria so I'm less likely to get sinus infections, and it's soothing to the sinuses. Use about 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup of warm (not too hot or cold) water. You can snuff it from the palm of your hand or the edge of the cup and keep inhaling till it's starting to come into your mouth, but spit it out rather than swallowing it. (Don't force it if your sinuses are blocked, though.)
• If my sinuses are blocked at night I use plain saline nose drops (you can buy them at the pharmacy) rather than decongestant nose drops, which are addictive. Saline nose drops moisten dry, swollen sinus tissues so they can still work.
• Palming eyes is deeply relaxing for the whole body, and very beneficial for the eyes, especially if you can do it for at least 15 or 20 minutes. Cup the palms over the eyes, resting the heels of the hands on the bones under the eyes. Try to block out all the light, and imagine you're looking at black velvet or black fur. It's easiest to do it either sitting at a desk or table with your elbows propped on the table and face resting on hands, or lying in bed on your side with the upper arm resting on a pillow or body pillow beside you. (I think it helps me to really relax and go to sleep…) – S
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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