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A Determined Spirit: Dominique’s story of living with CFIDS

Posted Jun 03 2010 9:26pm

Today is CFS/ME Awareness Day!  Woo Hoo!

I agreed to help raise awareness by writing a post for my blog today about the impact of Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS/CFS) on my life, thanks to Rachael of Blogging for ME/CFS Awareness.

I am really excited to share that I was recently asked to do an interview with…

Life Skills Magazine, which we just completed last night.  Due to several obstacles like my ending up at the VA for a tooth extraction that didn’t go well and some blog problems for the magazine, a shorter version of the interview was done for the founder of the magazine’s blog, Discovering Purpose.

Ayo Olaniyan, who is the Founder and author of Discovering Purpose asked me to do the interview and write an article for his magazine a while ago.  When I asked Ayo if it would be possible to time the interview with May 12th as a tool to further awareness, he generously and excitedly agreed.

I am providing an excerpt of the interview here (with Ayo’s permission) and a link to the complete interview.  When you visit Ayo’s blog, please thank him for being so kind and willing to help us bring awareness to ‘living with CFS/ME.”

Also, Ayo has graciously asked that when you leave your comments on his blog, that you also leave a link to your CFS/ME blog as well.  That way, his readers can read your story as well!  Thank you, Ayo!  :-)

Here is the excerpt of the interview with a link to Discovering Purpose.

A few months ago, I stumbled on Dominique’s Blog (4 Walls And A View) and was drawn to her warmth, passion, courage and determination to live life each day with a clear purpose of inspiring people living with CFIDS & FMS.

Today is ME/CFS Awareness Day and it’s been a great privilege interviewing her.

Please Note: This is an edited version of the interview. The next edition of The Life Skills Magazine would contain the full transcript.

The Interview

Kindly tell us who you are

I am Dominique Small.

What are the things you love doing?

I’m someone who is creative, loves reading, writing, watching movies, seeing ballet performances, playing scrabble, dabbling into photography and cuddle with my pug, Dekker.

Have you got any favorite movies, songs or programs?

My all time favorite movie is “The Net” with Sandra Bullock. I love the way the movie is as pertinent today as it was when it came out.  Phantom of the Opera is another movie that I thoroughly enjoy watching over and over.

Worship music is my absolute favorite while R&B is a close second.  I also love jazz and instrumental music.

Any favorite food/meal?

I love French food, ‘real’ Indian food (the hotter, the better!)  J and a wild caught Alaskan Cod or Halibut!

My all time favorite restaurant is PF Chang.  When I want to eat out somewhere nice, that is where I go!

Tell us a bit more about your experience in the Air Force?

I entered in 1981 under ‘delayed enlistment’ and went into basic training in Texas in 1982.  My first assignment was in England at Bent waters AFB, I loved my tour there and the British people were amazing. England also holds a special place in my heart because my daughter was born at Lakenheath AFB in 1983.

My next assignment was Randolph AFB, in San Antonio, Texas. I was stationed with the 12 Student Squadron where we trained pilots to fly and my last assignment was at Hanscom AFB, in Bedford, Massachusetts.  I actually worked two different jobs while stationed here.  I worked as a para-legal in the Legal department and as an Administrative Assistance for the Fire Chief at the Fire Department.

Most of my family lived in New England, so I was able to see them while stationed here.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/CFIDS), Fibromyalgia (FMS) in simple terms?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is the body’s inability to recover from exertion, usually referred to as ‘post exertion malaise.”  The fatigue, which is a common symptom of the illness is a pervasive, penetrating type of exhaustion.  [Go here for full interview]

A huge thank you to Ayo for doing such an awesome job with the interview.  He was so much fun to work with despite the time difference with him being in England and me here in the United States.

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