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What is CFIDS?
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) is a serious, complex, and debilitating
multi systemic disorder with no known cause and no known cure. It is characterized
by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor
stamina) and can last for years and decades. The Centers for Disease Control defines it
as follows:
Clinically evaluated, unexplained persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue that is of new or
de•nite onset (i.e., not lifelong), is not the result of ongoing exertion, is not substantially
alleviated by rest, and results in substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational,
educational, social, or personal activities.
The concurrent occurrence of four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment
in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle
pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity;
unrefreshing sleep; and post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours. These
symptoms must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months of illness
and must not have predated the fatigue.

What would the bill accomplish?
CFIDS is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Research is woefully incomplete. That
physicians are reluctant to assume care of such challenging, distraught patients is understandable,
yet, we know that competent management of these patients can be productive
and rewarding for patient and physician alike. The Consensus Manual for Primary Care
Physicians will facilitate and enhance the care of patients with CFIDS. The stigma associated
with having CFIDS and also with caring for patients with CFIDS de• es explanation.
This manual starts to de stigmatize the primary care and outlines the range of therapies
across medical disciplines that can improve the lives of these patients. The 13 chapters
are intended so that the physician can appreciate the pathophysiology, differential diagnosis,
and therapeutic opportunities. The extensive bibliography will also allow caregivers to
further research CFIDS.

How would it help people?
Because of the repeated mis-diagnoses, educating primary care physicians is imperative
and this manual will give us/them a comprehensive starting point. Furthermore, patients
will be able to bring this manual to their caregiver and by focusing on the chapters that are
relevant to their condition, experience a degree of empowerment which has been previously
unimaginable. That has happened in New Jersey. It is my unof•cial
estimate from 10 years with the VT CFIDS Association that we can make a positive difference for up to
two thousand Vermonters and their families.

What would it cost?
I’ll need some help here. We want the manual sent to every primary care physician in
the state (number unknown) and we would like it to be made available to Vermonters
and their caregivers with CFIDS. This would require some form of promotion, maybe a
poster, and availability at clinics, and through the Department of Health. I brought a copy
to Queen City Printers and to print 2,000 would cost $4,995.00 and 5,000 would cost
$8,350.00. Postage is to me unknown.

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