ME   ::  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  CFS  ::  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  FM   ::  Fibromyalgia
  MCS ::  Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

ME/CFS/FM Support Association Queensland Inc..

Tropical North Queensland Support Group
Newsletter. No 7 February 2005.
Greetings.

We hope everybody had a happy Christmas? We were able to cram in a short trip to Perth to catch up with family and friends, make new contacts, and gather information.

The last round of meetings in December were attended almost completely by first-time contacts. It is rewarding in that we are managing to reach new people, but challenges us in how we can keep our existing contacts interested and relevant. We are always open to your input and suggestions.

It was a pleasure for a few weeks to host my friend John Baker, the President of the West Australian CFS Society. He was able to attend our meetings in Innisfail and Atherton, and commented that things are "certainly different" up here!

There have been many new developments. The one item generating most interest is the production of a new set of Clinical Practice Guidelines in South Australia. This document is the result of a taskforce of South Australian clinicians and others with experience in ME/CFS, in collaboration with the Sth Aust Dept of Human Services, University of Adelaide, Division of General Practice, and the SA CFS Society. The recommendations do not have exclusive courses of action, but interestingly open treatment options to include variations for individual circumstances. This opening statement in these Guidelines is particularly welcome. Our travels around the ME/CFS/FMS/MCS community in Tropical Far North Queensland has revealed that our causes seem to be significantly different from the mainstream in southern Capital cities.

Copies of these Practitioner Guidelines are now available, and we encourage you to take one to your Medical Practitioner.

We continue to provide the Information Kits:
· Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME & CFS)
· Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS),
· Women, Childbirth and CFS

These are available to assist you and your treating doctor. Additional information is available from your area contact, or from Neil Reynolds.

The new Kit to cover Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is developing well. The first Draft copies seem to have been well received, but could benefit from additional information.

Consideration is being given to develop another Kit to cover general health needs to combat our environmental issues.

THANKS
Thanks again to the The Atherton Neighborhood Centre for ongoing support.
Thanks also to our local Politician for generous amounts of photo copying.
Thanks also to the many organisations who allow us to use their meeting rooms.
Thanks to Peter Cummins, for continued work our very own website.
And thanks to the media who help us with publicity for our meetings.

HAPPENINGS:
- The Qld CFS operations in Toowoomba seem to be going well.
- Gwen Hemmerton has finally arrived from Victoria, and is living in Mourilyan. She has experise with Fibromyalgia, and is already providing welcome input to our group.
- The Ravenshoe group has a new host (Arne). Les and Ros are doing well in their move out past Millstream. Unenviable task to build a new home!.
- Books: We have for sale some spare copies of the second edition of "How to survive on a toxic planet", by Dr Steve Nugent. This is recommended reading.
- We are trying source the latest version of "Toxic Chemicals:your exposure and your rights", By the NSW Total Environment Centre.

MEMBERSHIP

The original Qld CFS Association has transferred operations to the Toowoomba group. We apologise for the confusion that this has created. All the previous Memberships were temporarily transferred to the Victorian Society, as a result we received several issues of their "Emerge" magazine. Many of us in Far North Queensland who sent our Membership fees to Brisbane, had the fees returned to us. This was unfortunate, but under the circumstances of the demise of the Brisbane office, this was all they could do.

The Toowoomba support group now performs all the functions of the former Qld Association. They are managing well, but need our support. All the State Associations and Societies are connected to the Australian Society, who also need our support. They are our national voice, political lobbyists, and statistics gatherers. I am encouraging all our contacts and participants to please dig deep and sign up for Membership of the Qld Association. Included with this Newsletter is an Application Form.

ARTICLE

We enclose an article from the Qld Communicator entitled "The process of recovery from Chronic Illness - Detoxifying"

MEETINGS

In 2005 we propose to hold four rounds of public meetings: February, May, August, Nov/December. We also suggest that local contacts be available to host, arrange, and encourage informal gatherings or "coffee clubs", to support each other.

MEETING PUBLICITY:
The support group, and the CFS movement, needs your help!

Enclosed with this Newsletter, please find CFS Meeting Posters. Can everybody please find a suitable place near where you live, to display them? In most communities there are Notice Boards that can be used. Meeting Calendars are on the calendar page.

CONTACTS:
Please feel free to call local contacts:
Atherton: Neil Reynolds 4091 2970 email reynoldsn@dodo.com.au
Ravenshoe: Les Buglar 4097 0132
Smithfield: Peter Cummins 4057 5920 email pcum7668@netscape.net
Lake Eacham: John Cuff 4095 3063 email cufflink@tpg.com.au
Cairns: Neville Pedler 4053 6187 email bronev@austarnet.com.au
Mourilyan: Gwen Hammerton 4063 2334 email farnthqldfibromyalgia@westnet.com.au
Gordonvale: Irene Murgatroyd 4056 1148
Mossman: Sue Dennis 4098 1637
Helen Steley 4098 8143 email steley@austarnet.com.au
Cardwell: Joy Dickson 4066 0178 email rdickson@qldnet.com.au

WEBSITE :

Peter Cummins has put in a lot of work creating our new website, and continues to update as news breaks. http://au.geocities.com/me_not_cfs/ where you are now
Old web site still working at http://peter200015.tripod.com/ while new site being constructed.
Also visit sister site ME International at http://uk.geocities.com/me_not_cfs/

Hope to see you soon.
Neil R.

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