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Acknowledgments. Introduction. Why I have written this book and who it is for. My story. The different levels of CFS/ME: mild, moderate and severe. The whole person: CFS/ME, the body and the mind. 1. What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME? The Different Names for CFS/ME. The Symptoms. Stages of CFS/ME. What does it feel like to have CFS/ME? Why has my friend/relative not discussed this with me? How is it diagnosed? What causes CFS/ME? Treatment and management strategies. Conclusion. 2. CFS/ME and you (the friend of family member). Your reaction to the news. Changes in your relationship with the sufferer. Why it can be easy to say the wrong thing. Common misunderstandings. Support for you (the friend or family member). Conclusion. 3. Supporting your loved one to cope with the symptoms of CFS/ME. Helping with the physical symptoms. Helping with the cognitive symptoms. Helping with the emotional effects. Other factors that make coping with CFS/ME harder. Helping with making positive changes - treatment and management strategies. Preventing relapse and staying stable. Other things that can help. Conclusion. 4. Practical advice on how you can help with everyday life. Personal hygiene. Food and nutrition. Shopping. Mobility and travel. Domestic tasks, DIY and gardening. Money, employment and work. Caring responsibilities. Socialising and communication. Conclusion. 5. The top 10 tips on how you can help. Final note from the author. Resources/Directory of Support. References. Index.
An accessible introduction to caring and supporting a loved one or family member with CFS/ME
Elizabeth Turp is an integrative counsellor working in NHS primary care and private practice on Merseyside in the UK. She has worked as a counsellor for 15 years with various client groups including victims of crime, the homeless, students and GP patients. In 2005 she became ill with CFS/ME and at her worst was unable to work, walk, read or drive. Faced with losing everything, she put her research and health care skills into finding out all she could about the illness and recovered some of her health. She is now writing to pass on what she learned to other people affected by CFS/ME. She loves music, dancing, food, film and being outdoors.
Giving this book to your caregivers and associates - family, friends, colleagues - can be a lifesaver, not only helping to increase your quality of life as a sufferer but that of those around you... Turp is an integrative counsellor who works in NHS primary care and private practice in the UK... She became ill with CFS/ME in 2005... The resulting book, written specifically for friends and family of the sufferer, includes her own experiences and case studies of others, and most importantly, wonderfully descriptive word pictures of how CFS/ME can affect an individual along with excellent advice on how others can be the support you need. Chapters of the book assist the reader in understanding how having a friend or family member with CFS/ME will change their own life, what kind of support and caring the sufferer may require, how to help the individual cope with the illness, and practical advice on helping with the requirements of daily living... Turp's excellent book is easy to read, comprehensive, full of compassion and packed with practical advice... I highly recommend that you buy at least one copy if you have CFS/ME, or if you are a caregiver for someone who does. It will make the lives of both of you so much better. * PajamaDaze.com blog * Writing a book about CFS/ME after having gone through the wringer of this illness is an enormous task. Turp has met this challenge with success. Her book should be read by those with CFS/ME who are trying to find a way out. It should be read by people who care for sufferers of CFS/ME, who want to understand, and who want to help the people they care about... It shines through in every page that she has likely borne the brunt of most or all of theses scenarios herself, and is bent on doing what she can to protect others from the experience. If you've come up against the brick wall that is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, having the disease yourself or loving someone who does, Turp's book is worth the read. Turp is practical above all else. In dealing with an illness that leaves the victim stymied and unable to function, perhaps unable to sit up in bed, and often unable to think clearly for any length of time, coping with even the simple basics of life can be beyond them. Turp is clear. The person living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is in a dire position. If you know someone with CFS/ME, don't leave them to try to deal with it alone. And if you know someone with CFS/ME, read Turp's book, roll up your sleeves, and find a way to make their life more bearable. -- www.empowher.com the book is very strong on compassion, and the emotional aspects of being a friend/carer of someone with CFS/ME. There are sections for partners, parents, siblings, children and work colleagues. The author also tackles many practical issues relating to personal hygiene, food and nutrition, mobility, domestic tasks and money and employment. -- ME Essential As a long-term ME sufferer myself I can recommend this book- in particular its comprehensiveness and accessibility/readability, issues doubtless borne in mind by the author who is recovered ME sufferer. -- Ministry Today UK If you ever wished there was a book you could give to a family member or a friend that would explain in detail what it really is like having ME, then this is that book. It is a book written specifically for the family, friends and carers of people with ME. Its aim is to help them understand this often misunderstood condition better and provides practical advice and support for not just the person with the illness but also to those around them... where the author excels at is explaining what it really feels like to have CFS/ME. She covers many useful areas, such as why it might be hard for a person with ME to talk about the condition, thus helping friends and family appreciate the different experiences and emotions that a person with ME is likely to be going through. Elizabeth Turp is a counsellor, as well as someone who has had ME herself, and her deep understanding of the condition really shows in this book... She starts by discussing all those emotions that a person can go through when their loved one becomes seriously ill. She then moves on to social relationships, explaining how and why ME can change them, a particularly valuable section I thought. There is also a section on communication, again very useful as it is a common experience for many people that they do not quite know what to say to someone who is seriously ill, or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. For someone familiar with the illness this may all seem quite obvious, but I am sure for someone new to the condition it is good to be able see they are not alone in having these kinds of problems... I think this is a very valuable and worthwhile book. It offers support for those people who are often in a difficult situation, trying to support someone who suffers from a potentially very long term illness. In such a situation, the main focus is, naturally enough, on the person who is ill, but it is all too easy to forget the carers and the problems and emotions that they are going through. If this book makes their life any more easier - and as a result, helps the person who is ill too - then the book has achieved its aim. -- West London ME Support Group 'People with CFS/ME are very much affected by what 'other people' think, say or do. If things don't go well, it is usually because those others don't know or understand, or just don't 'get it', perhaps feeling frightened, threatened or useless. Here is a straightforward and practical resource to fill those knowledge gaps, drawn from both personal experiences and professional insights'. -- Professor Tony Pinching, Associate Dean, University of Plymouth, UK.