After I had attended the foundation seminars held at Southmead which covered a variety of issues including: Activity Management, CBT & GET (Link), Rest & Relaxation (Link), Sleep and Stress Management (Link); I then attended a follow up with my CFS specialist, this was very much a session lead by me where I could ask for help and guidance with the issues I was really struggling with.
Before this session I had a good think about what it was I needed the most help with from her. The two areas I found I wanted her advise on the most were: Returning to work/ Phased return (Link) and the best way to increase my physical fitness/ exercise. Continue reading
During my first appointment at the North Bristol ME/CFS clinic (based at Southmead Hospital) my OT explained that the way the clinic works was that once my diagnosis was confirmed which occurred during that appointment (Link), I would be invited to attend their CFS/ME Foundation Course. Following the completion of the course I would then have a second one to one with her.
The foundation course consisted of two 1.5 hour long seminars which covered very basically an array of management strategies:
- Seminar One covered: Activity management, CBT, GET (Link)
- Seminar Two- Pt 1- Rest and Relaxation (Link)
- Seminar Two- Pt-2- Sleep and Stress Management (Link)
Once I had attended these seminars and digested their content, I would then attend a follow up with her, which would be lead by me, I could get specific support on what I felt I needed the most. Continue reading
As part of the North Bristol Trusts program for CFS/ME they can send you on various courses, to begin I was sent on the foundation course, which consists of two 1 1/2 hour long sessions.
I wanted to document the whole process, as I really had no idea what to expect and I am aware that a lot of people do not have access to such services:
In the first session we talked about: Symptoms, CBT, GET, Activity Management (Link). The second session I have split into two posts, this being the second the first however was mainly on rest and relaxation (Link).
The main focus on this session however revolved around Sleep Management and then talked a little about Stress Management at the end.
Please click the link below if you wish to download the foundation course 2 hand out provided: Continue reading
So I have to admit I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic and with it at the second part of the NHS CFS Foundation course, as I had way over done it earlier in the week, we have all been there at some point.
Like parts 1 & 2 of my NHS experience with CFS, guiding from my experience with my GP and assessment (Link) and the first foundation seminar (Link), this post I will talk through what I got out of the second and final foundation seminar, through both what leader taught us and from comments from other service users, as well as providing you with the handouts that I received on the day. Continue reading
I have had a lot of involvement in CFS/ME Facebook groups and forums, and there is a lot of differing views of what CBT is for CFS. This I think is due to a one size fits all approach of CBT being used by a lot of medical professions, so for instance using the same methods of CBT to help depression and CFS just isn’t the best way forward. It really seems like what your told differs vastly on your postcode, and how much experience your doctor/ OT has with CFS or if their experience is in mental health.
My NHS experience with CFS – Part 2 (NHS CFS Foundation Course 1)
As I mentioned in a previous posts (link)I was diagnosed with CFS and was seen by specialist clinic within about 9 months of symptoms first appearing. Which is really fast compared to other peoples experiences, I attribute this to an amazing GP.
So I really wanted to document my experience with the specialist NHS clinic, because before I got seen I had no idea what to expect, and I know so many people struggle to get any treatment for CFS.
I had heard very mixed reviews from different people, which I think might be due to what different people expect to get from the clinic – there is no miracle cure to CFS/ME so don’t expect that.
I went in with an open mind and was very glad. In this post I will talk through what I got out of the first foundation seminar, through both what leader taught us and from comments from other service users, as well as providing you with the handouts that I received on the day.
My NHS experience with CFS – Part 1 (GP and referral to specialist clinic)
I know that a lot of people have had very bad experiences with doctors and the NHS, however this really hasn’t been the case for me.
First step for me was having a fab GP, she was supportive from the outset and explained that she thought I had CFS, but had to do a load of tests to rule everything else out.
It took from Nov13- Jan14 to get through that processes, as I needed to have a couple for re-tests done, after all came back within range ‘normal’, my GP gave me the CFS diagnosis and referred me to one of the 14 specialist centres in the UK for the development of services for people diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME. Continue reading