Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Thought I Was Alone and Then I Met Anne-Marie & Friends

Living with CFS is isolating. Living with CFS in Manitoba is particularly isolating. We simply do not have the population base to provide the extra resources and tests that this illness requires.   I am 57 and still have not made peace with this condition. I have navigated the Manitoba medical maze for over 25 years, often finding it very frustrating. I have found solace online. I receive tremendous comfort from the amazing international medical and scientific research now being conducted on our behalf.  The future looks promising.  Friends and family provide much needed financial and physical help and the help is always appreciated. I count my blessings every day. But remarks such as, “have you tried exercise”, “some of us have to work tomorrow,” “ continue to weigh me down. Participating in Taylor’s film is my official way of owning and accepting my limitations.

I met Anne-Marie when she attended my presentation to the Fibromyalgia Support Group, Spring 2013. I was reaching out to the Fibro group to find someone in Mb who may have shared my experience. For over 20 years FMSWinnipeg has provided much needed programs and services (highly recommend “Taking Charge”) but they have a bias towards physical activity. That is not going to work for us who have to keep our heart rates under 97.

So the universe provided. What a blessing to obtain CFS support at this point in my life. Anne-Marie coordinates Winnipeg’s first CFS support group. We meet every 6-8 weeks at a centrally located restaurant. No pressure, just emotional and educational support from a group of individuals who get it. Thank you Anne-Marie for your pioneering efforts in this area. You are a gift to all Manitobans suffering from this energy draining illness. Thank you Taylor for being our advocate. Thank you for starting this blog, because we don’t always have the energy.

-- Written by Bev Friesen in Winnipeg, MB

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