Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

Traveling can be a challenge, but for the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) patients, it can be both a challenge and stressful. The key is to be as prepared as possible. Allow yourself extra time to plan and review your schedule several days prior to departure so it is as clear as possible. Plan rest periods into the schedule.

Use the schedule (on your person) as a reminder of upcoming activities since this will help reduce any stress of anticipation and anxiety. It helps to minimize any possibility that stress will bring on some health crisis that could prevent the trip altogether.

If traveling by air, purchase trip cancellation insurance and keep phone numbers of the hotel handy so you can quickly cancel if necessary. This will help reduce anxiety.

If you are traveling with family or friends that may not understand ME/CFS & FM, be clear that demanding, yelling or giving you orders will not quicken your response, but may actually slow you down.

Many patients don’t like to tell others they have an illness. Any attempt to keep up a front under a stressful situation is a fool’s folly. Make sure you can actually travel with your companions without doing harm to yourself.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.