Memory Coping Skills Tips & Support Groups

We say: "I can't go on", God says: "My grace is sufficient"
(II Cor. 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world"

All of us has poor memories in some area or another. Hashimoto's Disease apparently does cause a significant decline in memory and cognitive abilities. Hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism but apparently slows down the central nervous system enough that it effects memory, concentration and other cognitive abilities. There is a general slowing of all cognitive functions of the brain. This leads to being easily distracted, decrease concentration, poor memory, slowed speech, slowed thinking, problems processing information, easily over whelmed by information resulting in being easily confused, increased daytime sleepiness (frequent sleepy spells) and depressive symptoms. Researchers have recently reported there is a normal decline in memory with age apparently starting in the 30s rather than in the mid to late 60s as was once believed. There are obviously environmental or genetic factors influencing memory and memory decline. However medical science has not advanced to the point of resolving all the memory problems we may experience on a daily basis which we find frustrating at times. However God does give us the ability to learn & compensate for any learning disabilities we may have that is adversely effected by the Hashimoto's.

friend's & visitors' experiences with cognitive problems.

I'll share an example. When it comes to socializing in a crowd I do not remember names and little details of people's lives. This is a problem I have not figured out how to compensate for yet. However a memory tip I learned in remembering list of objects to match with another unrelated list of objects. Just picture the two objects in your mind together. This utilizes another part of the brain. (With me this worked quite well. This may help some of you who are in school. Otherwise I'm not sure what this stategy would be useful for unless you're taking a memory or IQ test.
Anyway I did find some good information on what effects memory and some good compensation strategies to improve memory.

Factors which interfere with memory

Multiple Tasks: Doing several projects at once. When we have several things going on it tends to clutter the mind and then we don't have a clear mind to focus on what we are trying to do. We can only process a certain amount of information effectively. Hypothyroidism and other conditions seem to limit this capacity so it is even more important to prioritize things and be able to deligate responsibilities and to set limits on what we can do. This decreases this problem and makes us more efficient with what we do handle.

Emotional Stress: Problems and emotions do greatly decrease anyone's mental capacity. With Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and some other conditions emotional stress does cause physical symptoms. Therefore it is even more important to develop the attitude "I can't worry about things I can't do a thing about." We need to keep our lives as stress free as possible. Slow down the pace and only handle what you feel comfortable with. If you have a problem resolve it. Don't hold onto negative emotions. Find humor in things. Talk about your feelings with family or close friends who understand. Don't tell the world about your problems because they don't want to hear it (but you can do a web site which may offer a release for you and encouragement for others). Take care of yourself. Remember to care for your body that God gave you.

Fatigue: When we are tired our brains just don't work as well. We need to get the proper amount of rest and sleep. Researchers are doing research on sleep deprivation which is showing a remarkable decrease in memory and concentration simply due to the need for sleep. Try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. If you get less or a poor night's sleep then expect and allow your brain to not work as well. It'll be better when you get your sleep. (Also don't forget to feed your brain good foods especially fruits and vegetables. The brain doesn't work well with junk foods such as chips & soda. Actually many chemicals in junk foods and sodas actually destroy brain cells.)

Medications: Some medications cause sleepiness or confusion as side effects. Check your medications if you are having increased memory problems which started after taking certain medications. Check with your doctor about taking another medication which does what the original medication was given for but doesn't have the adverse side effects.

Illness Some medical conditions do cause memory problems such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, etc. The list is long. Even colds and the flu causes memory problems. Whenever we don't feel good we don't think as well. Do allow yourself time to rest and recover when you are not feeling well. Even when we are "fighting a bug" there is some decline in cognitive functioning. Needless to say when we are feeling good are minds are sharper.

Tips on Improving Memory

Rehearsal: Repeat things in your mind or speaking them out loud. When you meet someone say their name often while speaking to them. People who naturally do this do learn and retain people's names better than those who are not in this habit.

Sequencing/Categorizing: This is actually a strategy I use since I have never been able to memorize too well even as a child. Basically if I have a bunch of things I have to learn I will look for a logical way to group them (according to similarities in appearence, function, spelling or someway the items can be linked). Ex. in a pharmocology class I took I had to learn a group of medications. I analized the groups of names and what each drug did. I finally put them in the category of what the medications did such as CNS stimulants or beta blockers. Then I reviewed my notes and searched the text book to understand what each classification of drugs did. This put a meaning behind each group which helped me understand and learn the drugs. This also helped me through out the course.

Visualization: This is really an easy one to do and helps with short term memory. Just picture in your mind what is being said and it seems the brain really picks up on it quicker. A good example of how effective this can be is when I was taking a memory test. The examiner was reading a pairs of words which after he completed the list he then would read one word of the pair and I had to say the word which went with it. One pair that still stands out is elephant, glass. I pictured the elephant standing on the glass. When I did this, needless to say I had a much higher score on this test. It's actually quite an effective memory technique.

Linking: Connecting a group of words in a list together such as a grocery list. Picturing in your mind images which help you remember the items. Ex. you need to get potatoes, cat food and butter at the grocery store. You picture in your mind your cat eating mashed potatoes with melted butter on it. Or your cat with mashed potatoes and butter all over it. You may end up getting cat shampoo in addition to the other items remembering your cat really should get a bath.

Association: This is a technique where you try to recall something you had learned by recalling something you already know and can remember. Students use this when taking a test and remembering the text on a certain page in their text book. However I would often remember exactly where the information was in the text book and what was around it but rarely would the words come to me. I think this technique is useful for those who have or had a good capacity to memorize. If they can recall part of the details the rest will come. If you can remember the content or events occuring around you when you learned a name or piece of information then you would ideally recall the piece of information. However I believe this is associated with the part of the brain which can memorize. I will often remember what someone told me but rarely remember who told me. I tend to be great at learning and understanding concepts and meanings (I'm a why person. I have to understand the why behind the way things are done.) but don't remember the specifics such as names of persons, places or things. However as far as the concept I'll remember that. Needless to say this technique I feel I have not mastered.

First Letter Association: This is a technique many people find useful and I think is widely use. If you have a bunch of words you need to learn, you make up a rhyme or story with the first letter of each word. Also often referred to an acronym. This technique is often taught in school. Many people find it very helpful. However when I tried it I then had 2 things to learn and the acronym did not help me recall the words any better than just trying to recall from memory. I think this strategy utilizes the same part of the brain as Association descibed above.

Creating a Story or Rhyme Here you make a story or rhyme using the words in the list of words you need to learn. This can even be used with learning someone's address or email. Ex you picture of Boston (boston) police officer (cop) calmly (com) putting a net (net)on the mailman (mail). This works if you then can remember which order the words go. However you can put the story or rhyme in order the words flow. Ex Boston cop at the mailroom throws a net on the commedian. That way the words or phases is in proper order.

Other Memory Tips From Friends

"The most helpful tool I have found to compensate for cognitive problems is Pam Young and Peggy Jones' 3X5 card system. Their first book, Sidetracked Home Executives - from Pigpen to Paradise, has been my guide since 1982. The updated version of this book reviews a computerized approach to the same system. Those more fluent than I am in use of software may find this helpful. Color coded 3X5 index cards arranged by day and month keep track of tasks that need to be done. The cards eliminate writing and rewriting tasks that are repeated every week. Depending upon one's own memory, the cards can be as detailed as is helpful. Things that I always remember to do are not on cards. No need to make unnecessary work. I find that many of us with FM are creative, highly distractible people. This system is designed with us in mind. Part of their approach also includes de-cluttering....getting rid of things that are not useful, don't have sentimental value, etc. I find that simplifying my life, at age 50, is wonderful. Less to think about, dust, and look at frees energy for other things. Saying "No" to the million and one requests that many of us get is great too. Many of us are people pleasers. Are afraid someone will not like us if we say, "No." When I was no longer working as an OTR, family and friends assumed that I was a lady of leisure. Saying "No." was difficult, but, in the long run, built much greater understanding of limits. I used to put on my "happy face" at gatherings, was actually the life of the party. I would be exhausted for days afterwards. Recently attended a birthday party for my best friend. I did not pretend. I was tired and showed it. Other guests were concerned about me, but I actually felt so much better when I got home. My friend, who had just put in her first day back at work after being on short term disability, was all bubbly at this party...which was a surprise party. I knew she was miserable....but realized how difficult it would be for others to know this based on her behavior. I realized how unfair it had been for me to be upset when people didn't understand how I really felt in the past. I often hadn't let them know!!"

You are welcome to use my hints on your website. One other area that is vital is humor and the support of at least one good friend. When you mentioned difficulty continuing a trend of thought...especially in a group conversation....oh! Can totally relate. Can't even keep a train of thought when I am the only one speaking. My friends, though, share in this problem, and we laugh about it. What else can we do. It spills over into daily activities also. One of my friends spent a lot of time retrieving left overs from her Thanksgiving turkey one year. She was so proud of herself for getting to this tedious task right away. The next day, she could not find the container filled with meat. She looked all over the refrigerator. Later, she found it in her lazy susan. Now....she could have felt horrible or she could have found some humor in it. Within our little group of friends, we found humor in it...shared goof ups. I agree that it is often not so funny...especially when it makes every day tasks almost impossible. But humor can lift the soul in the midst of it.
You take care, too."

If you want to learn more about memory strategies, click on the links below.
Memory memorization learning techniques, improving, memory skills Several links to articals on ideas for improving memory.

The Art of Drawing a Blank
"Interesting brain images. Made me think of a book that I own but have not totally read yet, Healing ADD The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD. I think during the next few years, we will learn a lot about brain imbalances. When I was an OT student, we worked with children to integrate their nervous systems through activities. The idea was that loading the nervous system with specific input...twirling, use of arms & legs together, various types of touch...that we could teach the brain, etc. to work more normally.......sensory integration. We produced life changing results. I think that is some of the basis for the article "The Art of Drawing A Blank". This article is interesting, but I was concerned about some of the recommendations under "Neurobics" when recommended for individuals with fibromyalgia. My opinion is that our nervous systems are already on overload and that the activities outlined would simply add to that overload. I have worked extensively with people who have closed head injuries also....due to various accidents. The introduction of information and experiences to "reprogram" the nervous system with these individuals has to be done very carefully and artfully...again to not overload and frustrate. It is all very interesting. It both increases our understanding and brings awareness of what we have yet to discover....all at the same time! Thank you for sharing this information. Hope you are having a good week.

BrainTrain "BrainTrain’s game-like, computerized mental gym offers an effective complementary intervention for your clients with attention problems. The benefits of computerized cognitive training are well documented through research and clinical experience and Brain Train’s cognitive training programs have been carefully developed over the past fifteen years.
We also offer IVA, a quick, accurate and easy to use test to help you better diagnose and differentiate ADHD and also to help you measure treatment and medication effectiveness."

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) "non-profit grassroots organization whose members are individuals with learning disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them. LDA strives to advance the education and general welfare of children and adults with learning disabilities.
LDA’s international membership of over 40,000 includes members from 27 countries around the world. LDA provides information, support, education and resources through its network of nearly 300 state and local affiliates in 50 states and Puerto Rico. LDA is a member of the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities, a coalition of the leading national learning disability organizations dedicated to improving public awareness, and the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.

Mission Statement:
LDA is a non-profit organization of volunteers including individuals with learning disabilities, their families and professionals. LDA is dedicated to identifying causes and promoting prevention of learning disabilities and to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families by encouraging effective identification and intervention, fostering research, and protecting their rights under the law.
LDA seeks to accomplish this through awareness, advocacy, empowerment, education, service and collaborative efforts."

Using vitamin B-12 for the management of CFS Vit B-12 deficiency or metabolism problems can contribute to cognitive problems. "In the late 1980s, Dr. Paul Cheney and I heard several anecdotal reports of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients who improved when their primary care physicians administered B-12. Given the scarcity of effective treatment options for CFS, we set out to try various doses and preparations in our own patients. This treatment was based on three articles that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine1-3 demonstrating that persons with CFS-like neurological symptoms and normal blood counts could benefit from the administration of vitamin B-12 injections.

In these patients, problems such as numbness or tingling in the extremities, abnormal gait, memory loss, weakness of the limbs, changes in mood and personality and even fatigue were improved, and even resolved, with B-12 therapy. In addition, during this period of time Dr. Les Simpson was describing how changes in the red blood cells in persons with CFS reversed when high doses of B-12 were administered."

Lifestyle Adjustment: Coping With Chronic Illness

Related Links

Brain.Com Many informative articals on memory & other aspects of the brain, IQ tests, products & more.

THINKfast It's a computer program that supposedly helps the brain to exercise so it can function better. I don't know if it will help anyone. It includes 6 games:
"Game 1 -- Physical Reflexes. Tests reaction time to a random stimulus.
Game 2 -- Perceptual Reflexes. Tests alertness and visual acuity.
Game 3 -- Cognitive Reflexes. Tests how quickly and accurately you can decide.
Game 4 -- Working Memory. Challenges your brain to compare information held in short-term memory with past experiences.
Game 5 -- Working Memory Capacity. Measures amount and accuracy of information you can process in working memory.
Game 6 -- Subliminal Awareness. Tests your ability to discern very brief, subtle stimuli."

Siber Imaging Myra Preston PhD found that CFIDS patients have an abnormal increase in slow wave activity consistent with a metabolic encephalopathy. This is seen when they are awake & engaged in cognitive activities. The CFIDS brain is functioning as if it is asleep eventhough the person is awake.

Cognitive Psychology on Memory Explains about memory & forgeting. "How do we forget? There are 4 factors involved in forgetting:

The dominant approach to forgetting during this century was based on interference theory. The assumption that our ability to learn is disrupted by what we have learnt before and what we will learn in the future.
Interference can be divided in two:
Proactive interference: later learning is disrupting.
Retroactive interference: earlier learning is disrupting.
Interference theory can be traced back to Hugo Munsterberg during the 19th century. He had for years kept his watch in one of his pocket, when he started to put the watch in another pocket, he realised that he was still looking for the watch in the pocket where he used to keep it. The stimulus: "What time is it? ", demanded a new response, i.e. a different pocket from the one where he used to keep it.

Interference does not seem to be a popular factor anymore thought as first of all, it is not very informative about the process of forgetting and secondly and secondly, it demands special situations (same stimulus for two different responses).

Physical damage
This can be done in two forms: Amnesia and brain damage. Amnesia are temporary damages to the brain, it affects long time as well as working memory. Regardless of lesion locations, seems to affect the storage of complex associations, this ability seems to come back to normal as the subject recovers.

Brain damage is a more serious case as it is permanent (one part of the brain stops functioning). In this case, the subject suffers from a loss of mental abilities. Alzheimer disease is a common form of dementia.

This can be categorised as repressionist: the subject who has been shocked so deeply, traumatised about an event, experience, refuses (unconsciously) to acquire any facts; although the subject stored the facts, they are at an unconscious level and he/she will not be able to access these facts something can be done towards the cause (trauma), which might enable the subject to recover (psychoanalysis ) .

Trace decay
The underlying assumption here is that learning leaves a "trace" in the brain, there is a sort of physical change after learning that was not there before, and forgetting is due to a spontaneous fading or weakening of the neural memory trace over time."

Mike Henderson Brain and Behavior He apparently had his exam online but it is no longer online. It had good info. "The frontal cortex of the brain has been divided into four distinct areas, each with their own responsibilities. The orbito-frontal cortex is the area which inhibits us from conducting impulsive and inappropriate actions. Researchers believe this is the case through the results of testing over the years, and a condition known as magnetic apraxia is a prime example. This disorder is often seen in patients with frontal lobe injuries and those who suffer from it are unable to control their urges and grab whatever items catch their attention. A second area of importance is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the site of the brain that controls our working memory. It is here that items are stored and manipulated as we develop a plan or chooses to do one thing and not another. Scanning images have also indicated that this region of the frontal cortex is highly active when we are attempting to use our metamemory, which is our ability ‘know what we know’. Damage to this part of the brain has been shown to hamper an individual’s ability to learn from their mistakes, cause them to become absent minded, and leave them unable to do several tasks successively. Another area that has been identified is the ventromedial cortex. This portion of the frontal cortex provides meaning to our perceptions and links them with the emotions we are experiencing, thus creating a feeling of cohesiveness and poignancy to our world. As the emotional link indicates, the ventromedial cortex also has very strong ties to the limbic system, which lies directly beneath it. Since the ventromedial cortex is the brain’s emotional control center, over activity in this area has been associated with mania and under activity with depression. Finally, the anterior cingulate cortex is known for its ability to focus attention and concentrate on our internal processes. Brain imaging studies have revealed that this area of the frontal cortex is highly underdeveloped in children who suffer from ADHD. This area is also highly active when we are conscious of emotion as well as when we detect pain.

As the activities above indicate, the prefrontal cortex is highly associated with the control of emotions. While the amygdala is believed to be the center for negative emotions, the left side of the prefrontal cortex has been shown to dampen the flow of this activity from the amygdala. Not only does the left side dampen negative emotions, but it also generates and maintains positive emotions. The right hemisphere of the frontal cortex, on the other hand, relates closely to the amygdala in that it is associated with the feeling of negative emotions. As the ventromedial cortex collects information from the limbic system the different hemispheres gather this input and attempt to regulate our emotional responses. When these systems fail problems arise. For instance, those who suffer from depression often have a malfunctioning left prefrontal cortex, meaning that their right hemisphere and amygdala run unchecked and create a wide range of negative emotions. Meanwhile, those who have right hemisphere damage often report nothing but positive feelings because their negative emotional center is damaged. Either way, inappropriate labeling and emotional reactions can create many daily living problems for those who lack the proper control of their emotions."

Central Auditory Processing Disorder "Kay Pittelkow provides details of the different variants of Central Auditory Processing Disorder, as part of her larger article "CAPD and the gifted child: The relevance of central auditory processing deficit to gifted education"."

Brain Imaging in Learning Disabilities and Developmental Disorders Kenneth A. Bonnet Research Committee "A dynamic pattern similar to reading mechanisms is evident between Broca's and Wernicke's areas in speech mechanisms. Dr. Paus and the Montreal team used PET studies with repeated scanning. They find that hearing a word goes to the primary auditory area in the temporal lobe cortex, then to a secondary auditory area, then to Wernicke's area (language processing area), and finally to Broca's area (the speech area). This occurs largely on the left side of the brain. Dr. Paus' team also found a reverse flow of information. Broca's speech area sends information back to Wernicke's area and the auditory cortex. Broca's area is letting the other areas know that it is me who is speaking, for example. This is delayed in people who stutter. The circuit maintaining awareness of speech sounds is the left auditory cortex, the left Wernicke's area, and the left Broca's area. These circuits maintain two-way activity and information flow for normal functioning."
Ok, my left side of my brain is out to lunch (or is asleep).


Types of Memory "Short-term memory refers to the amount or bits of information we can hold in our head at any given time and lasts between 1 second and 24 hours depending upon how much importance you put on the information. You would use this type of memory for phone numbers and zip codes. The portion of memory tends to be where your conscious thoughts are. When increasing digit span capacity we are actually working short term memory.

Intermediate memory occurs once the information has been processed. It can be viewed as the part of memory which holds and mixes information from the different parts of memory. This will determine how we feel and what we will do about a given situation. It defines our ability to express actions. When we do reverse digit spans we are working intermediate memory.

Long-term memory is divided into three parts: Episodic, Semantic and Procedural memory. It resides in the deep unconscious and can be viewed as the "repository" of all our knowledge.

Episodic memory is experience based. This would include memories of events and experiences. It is enhanced by sensory input such as sights, sounds, music, smells and touch. Many times episodic memories are triggered by emotion.

Semantic memory would include remembering specific information such as text books information, math, names, facts and figures.

Procedural Memory is hands on learning. When we learn a skill such as riding a bike or playing a sport motor memory is necessary. These skills can only be learned by physically doing them. It is automatic memory."

Young in Mind "On the whole, mental capacity is fairly stable during the adult years, though a slow drop in reaction time does occur. The first noticable decline happens when people reach their sixties. Still, there are things we can do to keep our minds agile and our memories alive. In this article, we'll look at the lifestyles and techniques used by an inspirational group of seniors dedicated to exercising their minds. Along the way, we'll also explore the science of memory and aging with Art Shimamura, a professor and memory expert at the University of California at Berkeley."

Retrain the Brain Short tips on steps to move towards retraining the brain off of "stinkin thinkin" to more positive thoughts.

Support EGroups
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
Walter Winchell

I have been looking for a support group for people with thyroid disease and after some trial and error did find some groups. I still welcome the emails but here are some additional resources and support groups you can join and hopefully feel apart of. I am glad I found them.

South_Carolina_ThyroidVery new support group started by Jan Nathan who emailed me the site.

American Thyroid Patients New thyroid support group.

Autoimmune Disease Support Organization "This page is for those of us who live with a chronic illness or disability. It's a place to find inspiration, information, encouragement, and ideas! Learn about me and my journey, research your illness through our many links, or leave an encouraging word for someone else in one of our many forums . I encourage you to record the positive things you have discovered, how you have dealt with an aspect of your illness, the very solution someone else may be searching desperately for!"

Thyroid News ""Sticking Out Our Necks," the Thyroid Disease News Report, is a free monthly email news report, published since 1997, that features the latest news and information on all facets of thyroid disease, including diagnosis, treatments, and related issues." I just subscribed to it also and hope it's as promising as it sounds.

Thyroid "An open forum for discussion of thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, weight loss with thyroid disease, alternative therapies and treatments, the alternative thyroid drugs, and more." This site is moderated by Mary Shomon, editor of "Sticking Out Our Necks" monthly email news report. I checked this site out and read some of the messages which this site appears to offer the forum of support for people with any type of thyroid disease.

Living With Hypothyroidism "A mail list for those who have been diagnosed or experience symptoms of with hypothyroidism." I did check out the messages on this site & it appears to offer the questions and answer formate I was looking for and appear to offer the positive support for people newly diagnosed.

NCThyroidSupport Online support group. It's a yahoo group for people with thyroid disease.

Hashimotos It's a very small group but it appears to be starting to grow. I included it because the creator of this group did the web page on "Reversing Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism".

Yahoo groups You can search yahoo groups to find a support group for any condition you may have.

Chronic Syndrome Support Association "founded in order to educate the general population and health-care professionals who lack current knowledge of the research being done, and potential research that needs to be done, on these serious, yet invisible, Chronic Immunological and Neurological Disorders (CIND)" includes online newsletter, research & information on various conditions.

The Wellness Train Support group offers a monthly online newsletter, egroups, informative articals contributed by members of the group. The group focuses on the positive and the road back to health.

FM/CFIDS Self Help Success stories includes stories of people who recovered from CFIDS, decreased FM symptoms & learned to live within their limits.

Fibromyalgia Community Online support, research information & news on FM.

Lynda's Fibromyalgia Ministry "My name is Lynda and I would like to welcome you to my Fibromyalgia,christian based family website. This site has fibro archive, thoughts and musings, pain charts, pets, webring pages,and other resources that will help us to continue on our life journeys."
site's forum

Welcome To Your Fibromyalgia Community It's a new site but has a lot of potential. "Our Goal is to unite all the people with Fibromyalgia in one common area on the Internet. This site will provide you with a free e-mail address and your own web site and you will have control of it without any annoying pop-up advertising windows invading your space. If you don't have a site developed, you can create one with our easy to use online editing tools. If you do have a site already, our site makes it easy to upload your html files and images. All you need to do is sign up and once your request is authorized, you can have your own site and e-mail address at Just as research is continually finding new answers for you, so will this web site grow and offer you more and better things in the future. We are a new service, but plan on being here as long as you need us."

CINDA (Chronic Immune and Neurological Diseases Association) "Internet-based advocacy organization supporting education and promoting the goals of all invisible disease groups. We offer the most complete listings on these illnesses. Among those listings are support groups, advocacy groups, medical information, and personal web sites."

Sleep Disorder Support Links "The following are links to various types of Sleep Disorder Sites all over the World. They will provide a you with a great resource for any Sleep Disorder."

MARYLAND THYROID SUPPORT GROUP "The mission of the Maryland Thyroid Group is to educate its members and interested parties about thyroid disease. We intend to do this through guest speakers, information, education, and support."

Gateway to Neurology Information & support groups from Massachusetts General Hospital web site. Includes forum on memory loss.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Support Group of DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) Dallas/Fort Worth Area Support Group's web site which does have a lot of good information for people with CFS & FM.

New York Support Network, Inc. Support group for people with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome in NY. Group encourages the preservation and development of support groups in New York State, coordinates advocacy efforts, conferences and helps to educate patients and the public about these and related illnesses.

Charlotte Area CFIDS/FMS Support Group "This is a support group for and "by" people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Our group meets the

2nd Thursday of each month at

7:00 P.M. in

Classroom 2, 2nd Floor, (go through the double doors to maternity off the sitting area after getting off the elevators on the cafeteria side of the hospital)

Matthews Presbyterian Hospital, 1500 Matthews Turnpike Highway (Rt. 51).

Our meetings vary from facilitated discussion meetings to speakers (healthcare providers, lawyers, social service workers, etc.) The meetings are very informal and generally run about 2 hours."

The Potter's Hand Prayer & Support Group

meets the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month

7:00pm-8:30pm in

Crosstracks, (located in the lower level of the Family Life Center building)

at Central Church of God corner of Sardis & Randolph Rds 5301 Sardis Rd Charlotte.

The group prays, discusses how to glorify God in difficult circumstances, and provides a networking opportunity to share useful information. The group is open to people with disabilities, family members, caregivers, teachers, and people with a heart to help.

Other Interesting Links

Brainteasers: Gifts that challenge the brain "It's a widely held belief that people who engage in ongoing cerebral stimulation lead longer, healthier lives. And although research hasn't proved that any particular type of stimulation is more effective than another, it has shown that staying mentally active is important for overall longevity.

"Many experts believe that moderate exercise of the brain, just like exercise for the cardiovascular system, is good for you," says Bradley Boeve, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn."

A Friend Like You A poem from Fun Pages, but it has pictures of 2 dogs & 3 cats. My daughter (a 8 year old toy poodle), April, is laying in my lap as I type this. Pets are God's gift to comfort us and demonstrate unconditional love.

Strength and Courage "May you find strength and courage in everything you do, And may your life be filled with Friendship and Love!" An inspiring poem on Strength & Courage.

Time & Energy-Saving Tips for the Holidays These tips are useful for the holidays & any time of the year. There were written by a chronic fatigue syndrome support group but is also good for those of us who are just tired from doing too much at work & those who have a tendency to burn the wrick at both ends.

UCI Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia Site still underconstruction but hopefully will be a useful site.

FIBRO FOG FOLLIES Humorous stories about what brains can cause a person to do when the brain takes the day off. (also known as fibrofog, dead brain, sleepy brains, out to lunch, ageing, senior moments, etc.) It seems to be common with a lot of autoimmune conditions as well as with dementias.

Exercise for Your Brain Info on computer games to help keep the mind sharper as it ages as well as links to other sites on aging.

A word of encouragement

The Blessings of No Poem which explains why some things just don't get any better but teaches us positive traits.