Autoimmune Disease Support Group

Our  Mascots are Marlie and Wilson!  

Meeting Minutes - August 2013

August 17, 2013

1.  We had one new member in attendance.  Welcome new friend!

2.  We opted to move the Art Therapy Game to the September 7th meeting

3.  Any member wishing to contribute to the upcoming "Testimonials" page which will be added to the website, please submit your comments in writing either by e-mail or to be handed in at the Sept 7th meeting.

NEXT MEETING DATE:  Saturday September 7th

TOPIC:  Finding Joy as a person living with the challenge of chronic illness

GROUP ART therapy project will be part of the experience.


August 3, 2013

1.  Some members discuss having "white coat syndrome" where their blood pressure rises in response to the stress of having their blood pressure taken by a health care professional. 

  • If you feel that you may be experiencing "white coat syndrome", let your healthcare provider know.
  • Take your blood pressure weekly at home after sitting peacefully for five full minutes.  Make sure your forearm is supported on a table or arm of the couch (but avoid leaning on the blood pressure cuff). Sit relaxed, both feet on the floor.  Do not talk while the machine is taking it's reading.
  • Jot down the reading in a small notebook that you will take with you to your Dr's. appointments.
  • It may be a good idea to bring your machine with you to one appointment so that the doctor or nurse can do a blood pressure reading and then do a second reading using your machine.  This will give you both assurance that the machine is calibrated and will give you proper readings.
  • most doctors are happy to take these home readings into consideration when deciding what medication and/or dosing to use.

2.  Several members express the need for support and are grateful for the support the group offers. 

3.  Some members discuss having too many doctors appointments and physical therapy/chiropractor appointments each week.  They find it very taxing to have a different appointment each day.

4.  One member is in the process of trying Rolfing as a treatment option for the severely knotted muscles caused by fibromyalgia.  The muscles are so knotted that they are affecting the members' posture.

  • Rolfing is extremely deep tissue massage and is used to realign the body
  • It can be very uncomfortable
  • You have to really trust your therapist because you are wearing very little clothing and must relax into the position that the therapist needs to put you in to get the best effect
  • The treatment will not be effective if you miss appointments. 
  • Insurance may be an issue so inquire ahead of time.  One member states that they may get reimbursed if their doctor writes a prescription.  You may need to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed (which we all know is never 100%)!
  • REMEMBER Physical therapy, chiropractic and especially Rolfing can cause you to feel quite crummy post treatment (either that evening or the next day) due to all of the toxins being released from your body.  It helps to drink plenty of extra water to flush your system.
  • For more info visit

5. Discussion was had over "complaining vs. whining".   How do you know how to balance being verbal about how you feel without sounding like a whiner?  And how do you decide when to not mention how bad you feel? 

6. Some members struggle with not doing all that they know they can do to feel better (i.e., diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, etc.)

7.  Anti-inflammatory Diet was brought up and members were wondering what exactly that is.  Here is a link to help you decide if it is something you would like to try 

8. One member has brought her passion for art back into her life and another member has begun on-line singing lessons.  Members discuss how important it is for the "soul" and overall well being to be able to do something that really brings you joy.  So important!!!

What a great meeting friends!  Really awesome sharing this week!  Thank you all who attended.

NEXT GROUP MEETING:  Saturday, August 17th, 2013

TOPIC:  Bringing more JOY into our lives.  We will be doing a Group Activity of Art Therapy!  Come and contribute to our Work of Art!

The topic will ease into Open Forum so take a minute now to think of what you would like to discuss that would help you live a better life with your illness.

until then, be well my friends!