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Posted 21 July 2001 - 02:14 PM

I've been struggling with excruciating pain and explosive diarrhea in public places for 62 years! My first memory of this disease is fainting on the way to the bathroom from the awful pain. My mother was helping me because I couldn't stand erect the pain was so bad, she thought I had the flu and I came to with my aunt applying a cold cloth to my head and my mother a warm cloth to the other end cleaning me up. I was four years old.During the course of my nearly 66 years I�ve married (several times) had four children (boys) and now have three daughter-in-laws (who bless me for raising non-helpless men) and seven grandchildren. I started working at the age of 10 cleaning houses and mowing lawns. The remainder of my working life has consisted of waitress, retail, modeling, dental assistant, long distance operator (when they had cord boards and after), teaching, show dog breeder-trainer-exhibitor, and small business entrepreneur. Now I�m a Real Estate Agent in South Western Michigan. (whew)All these years I�ve struggled with establishing the location of the nearest toilet uppermost in my mind. During the 90's I was blessed with ownership of a 34 foot and a 28 foot completely self-contained motor home. Such joy you can�t imagine, and freedom! I carried my toilet with me yet, I STILL couldn�t make it sometimes and necessarily opted for the shower instead of the stool. I tried numerous �special IBS diets� along with walking 2 miles a day for years, and found only temporary relief for the diarrhea, but not the vague uneasiness in the gut that was my constant lifelong companion. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be discussing my bowel habits for all the world to see. I�ve left enough ruined and soiled underwear in public restrooms to supply the Dallas cheerleaders for life. The drivers seat in every automobile I ever owned has been the cleanest part of the car since it got shampooed so frequently. I went on a trip in �91 up the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle with friends in a van and took so much Lomotil I sounded like I had laryngitis every evening (very sexy). The driver had IBS also so we stopped frequently and usually at fast food restaurants where she insisted we buy something in exchange for using their restrooms. Gained weight on that trip.In addition to IBS I have FMS/MPS/CFS, Diabetes, Asthma and Hashimoto�s Disease. After 24 years my last husband traded me in on a healthier model, same age but anorexic. I�m 5'5" and weigh 200 pounds having gained at least ten pounds with each new medication. My normal weight used to be 125 with an hour glass figure (36-26-36 sigh) until they put me on Prednisone when I developed Acute Costrochondritus (now it�s just chronic). But then he�s a California native and very concerned with outward appearances (altho blind to his own expanding mid-section). I can�t complain too much after all, I picked him.In February 2000 I was approached to be a subject in a clinical study for Lotronex and I knew within the first 24 hours that I had not been given the placebo. That vague uneasiness in the gut disappeared along with the diarrhea. I realized I was actually becoming constipated! WOW! First time in my life! So all of a sudden I began to eat like a real person! I could even eat all the fruit I so dearly loved! And drink coffee again! And go on trips again (no motor homes anymore since the divorce)...and give up the DEPENDS!! Life was GOOD! Even at 200 pounds!Of course we all here at the IBS Group know what happened after that Black Day in November 2000...and I�ve been collecting and hoarding and using Lotronex along with the rest of you since then. I came to this BB and thus the IBS Group by accident and fervently bless the day. It has filled a need in my life just as it so obviously has for thousands of others. The LAG organization is awesome as evidenced by the Petition successfully filed on March 26, 2000 and the invitation to attend the UNC Seminar.Now to conclude this mini-novel...before I stumbled on this site I began doing my lonely part as a Lotronex Activist, too. As some of you know I privately wrote another Petition for the Return of Lotronex which is posted at www.http://petitiononline.com/LOTRONEX/petition.html There are those who disagree with the content, and that�s their privilege, but basically I feel it�s accurate as far as the information I was able to glean from a variety of sources on and off the �Net. The single most important message of this petition, after the appeal for the return of Lotronex is, PATIENT RESPONSIBILITY. In a society that gibbers hysterically at the thought of taking responsibility for ourselves, our choices, and our actions this is not a popular message. Nonetheless, it�s mine, and you who agree with me can stand up and be counted by signing this petition also. verna eileen in michigan (without laughter there is no future)


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