Looking well but feeling extremely unwell?
Do you suffer from…
Muscle or joint pain?
Impaired memory & concentration?
Disturbed sleep patterns?
Our support service may be able to help
Are you from the Wellington Region?
CCI Support is in the process of taking of the services provided by WellME. Please complete the form via the Wellington Registration button and we will be in touch ASAP.
As a community health agency that supports people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and other related illnesses. Complex Chronic Illness Support has a vision to “Empower People Towards Wellness” and our purpose is to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from a complex chronic illness, as well as that of their loved ones.
With our support, people with complex chronic illnesses can, in time, develop an increased ability to participate in family, social and community life, and lead a life that is fulfilling and meaningful for them.
We provide many resources to our members including our innovative award-winning “Towards Wellness” Programme. We work with our members, their families and their community providing practical tools and developing strategic plans on how to find their next steps towards wellness and educate, empower and give them the tools to manage their symptoms.
If you would like some help, please complete the self-referral form below and a Health and Wellness Facilitator will endeavour to get in touch with you within 10 working days.
We do ask for a nominal membership fee that will covers your support for 1 April till 31 March annually.
This will give you access to:
Health and Wellness Facilitator support and advocacy.
CCI Connect Newsletter
Group support meetings / coffee mornings (both educational and social in nature)
On-site library – books & other resources are available for you to borrow
Membership to our Closed Facebook community.
Free Counselling services in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Access to our Towards Wellness and other Programme/s
Illnesses We Support
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME)
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, has been described as an abnormal immune system response to any number of infectious or environmental triggers, causing a long term illness that can result in significant disability.
Main symptoms include:
- Persistent and overwhelming fatigue
- Post-exertional malaise (PEM)
- Muscle and/or joint pains
- Cognitive dysfunction - impaired memory & concentration
- Sleep disturbance
- Digestive problems
- Sensitivities to light and sound
- Sore throat and/or enlarged lymph nodes
- Dysregulated temperature control - fever/chills
- POTS / Orthostatic intolerance - erratic heart rate, feeling faint or dizzy upon standing
- Anxiety and/or irritability
Post Viral Fatigue/Syndrome (PVF/S)
In most straight-forward viral illnesses, recovery takes 2-4 weeks, with symptoms disappearing by six weeks. However, a small percentage of PVF's patients will take several months to recover.
If symptoms remain after 3-6 months, with the illness unchanged, a change of name/diagnosis to CFS/ME is appropriate.
This condition comes about after a person has experienced a viral illness like:
- Common cold
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Herpes Virus
- Other virial illnesses like Corona Virus, SARS etc
Most people will recover from a viral illness after a week or two, but if after many weeks or months you still feel unwell with these symptoms you maybe experiencing PVS:
- Confusion and trouble concentrating
- Body aches and pain in the muscles
- Stiff Joints
- Sore Throat
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- People who have compromised/weakened immunity or have pre-existing conditions maybe more prone to PVS.
There are no clear-cut answer as to what PVS is yet. It is possible it is caused by a delayed response from the immune system to the virus, inflammation in the brain, or an overload on the immune system from the virus. At present there is no clear treatment from GP’s for PVS.
It is important to act quickly if you think you may have PVS. Getting a diagnosis is important but responding to the symptoms is more important.
If left, PVS can develop into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), this is a long-term chronic illness with poor quality of life outcomes and few treatment options.
At Complex Chronic Illness Support we can provide you with the right information on how to manage your symptoms and how to live in a way that supports your body to heal itself. There are no quick fixes but CCIS are experts in symptom management information and providing the right support for conditions like PVS. We also support people with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, and Orthostatic Intolerance.
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".
Whilst this is a new 'condition', we at CCIS were all too aware of it's possible implication from SARS-CoV-2. What we are seeing is that 'long-covid', is essentially Post Viral Syndrome with organ damage complications. To date, the information we are getting is that many that are dealing with long-covid, may in fact have had 'mild' cases of covid-19, however may be unwell and have extreme fatigue weeks to months later. We may not be able to medically help with the issues related to long-covid, we can certainly give tools to help manage some of your symptoms. We can give support and walk this journey with you.
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- heart palpitations
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- depression and anxiety
- tinnitus, earaches
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, widespread pain, and tenderness throughout the body and often co-exists with CFS/ME and/or many of the symptoms of this condtion. People with Fibromyalgia generally experience pain in specific points around the body and these points are used as a gauge for diagnosis.
The points around the body are:
- Back of the head
- Area between the shoulders
- Front of the neck
- Top of the chest
- Outside of the elbows
- Top and sides of the hips
- Insides of the knees.
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
- Neurally Mediated Hypertension (NMH)
In these conditions the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is dysregulated which can lead to blood pressure problems, heart problems, trouble with breathing and swallowing, and erectile dysfunction in men.
Main symptoms include:
- Light headedness
- Altered vision
- Heart palpitations
- Exercise Intolerance
- Neuro-cognitive deficits
- Abdominal discomfort
- Syncope (fainting)
CCI Support is now a national service. We can work with people throughout New Zealand. Outside of the Bay of Plenty and Waikato this service is an online service only at this stage.
Self Referral Form
To self refer to Complex Chronic Illness Support, please complete this secure form:
Unfortunately, we do not have the expertise to support chronic pain conditions, rather we support illnesses which may have a pain component. If you have a condition that sits outside our scope of practice, please find below links for helpful information and support
There are many chronic pain groups on Facebook to choose from: FACEBOOK SEARCH
You may also be eligible for a referral with the Tauranga pain clinic which can be accessed through your GP
Our Blog has some wonderful stories and encouraging words from other members. It’s well worth checking out.
Bruce Campbell, PhD, founded the CFIDS and Fibromyalgia Self-Help Program (now known as the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Self-Help...
These are the personal ponderings from the CEO of CCI Support As CEO of Complex Chronic Illness Support, I am often asked about our tagline “Empowering People Towards Wellness”. Depending on who you are and how you’ve got to where you are, as well as your...
The Complex Chronic Illness Support AGM is coming up. You can find out more information here!!
If you’d like to learn more about any of our services, or get involved, we’d love to hear from you.