Posted 21 July 2001 - 01:55 AM
Please allow me this opportunity to share my story with you.I am a 46 year old female who has suffered with chronic diarrhea for thelast 10+ years. Saying the words chronic diarrhea and experiencing it aretwo separate matters. Each morning of my life I would have to wake up atleast 1 hour before I normally would to "deal" with my situation.This is the best way to describe IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I beginswith awakening and feeling stabbing pains - the kind that make you doubleover like you're being kicked by a mule. In this crouched position, yourace to the bathroom hoping that by sitting on the toilet you will relievethese awful debilitating cramps. Then it begins--there you are a prisonerto the toilet as you experience uncontrollable release of your bowels. Withevery wave of expulsion, the pain intensifies. Not a pretty picture is it?Then you over dose on Imodium and pray to God you can get up and go to workthat day. Most days you can't. Somedays on your drive to work you have topull over quickly and try to find a public restroom. Sometimes you make it- sometimes you don't.Imodium may eventually stop the diarrhea, but the pain, oh my Lord the pain,doesn't leave you. So you try fasting. I've actually gone 3 days withoutsolid food to see if my symptoms would stop - they didn't. There is nothingknown to me that I haven't tried that helped my diarrhea and stomach pain.I used to be the editor of a small newspaper so you can relate to this as awriter. Imagine you are interviewing someone in their home for a story whenyour IBS decides it is time to start in again. You embarrassingly excuseyourself to the person's bathroom while once again, explosive diarrhea andstabbing pain become your companions. Imagine the humiliation after 15flushes and 30 minutes later with a tear streaked face that you exit theirbathroom.Are you starting to see what I mean about what it "feels" like to have IBS.It has been proved that stress also triggers episodes. My dear family hashad to go to many functions without me as I sit there crying with the painand explosive diarrhea in my bathroom. I have not pursued relationships oroutside activities and basically had to retreat to my home. No, I wasn'tgoing to die from IBS - but I certainly wasn't going to have a life either.As a sufferer with IBS, you no longer are a person, you are a slave to yourabdomen and colon. Sounds gross but it's true. You live every day only toexperience, pain, suffering and humiliation - not to mention a medicalprofession that likes to tell you that it's "in your head". Anatomicallyspeaking, chronic diarrhea is no where near my "head".I have had to turn down job opportunities, travel, speaking engagements, youname it. I have had to give up everything and turn my life over to thenearest bathroom. I have given up all thoughts, hopes and dreams ofenjoying my life with my family, pursuing a meaningful career and even arelationship. Once again, the medical community doesn't find this lifethreatening but would you call this a "life"?As if in a fairy tale, all of the above that I have sincerely told youabout, disappeared with the wave of a magic blue pill - the miracle iscalled Lotronex. From my very first dose to this morning, I am reborn, I amalive - I am pain free - I am well and I am diarrhea free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am living a life I thought was never possible. I got a new job, I enjoyoutings, I have traveled to Texas, Florida, Arizona and just returned fromthe Dominican Republic!! The world I knew was no longer made of porcelain!I returned to speaking engagements, teaching classes and falling in love andembracing life!!I have now taken a wonderful life for granted. I have NO PAIN, I have NOCRAMPS, I have NO DIARRHEA, I have LIFE!Now, can you tell me why someone who isn't experiencing this condition wouldpull this Miracle Drug off the market? Every single drug on the market hasa side effect. I am willing to take the chance and enjoy this new life thatsomeone has given to me - why not let me? I'm an adult, I'm over 18 -please, let me decide how I want to spend the rest of my life.To all those people who are trying to keep this wonderful drug from reachingour hands, and healing our pain, I challenge you to take a mega-dose oflaxatives on a regular basis and then YOU write ME and tell me how you'redealing with your life?IBS is like a daily life of an overdose of laxatives that you did notdeliberately take.Again, anyone who feels this drug should be taken off the market shouldsubject themselves to one week of our symptoms - by that time, Lotronex willbe available over the counter. I guarantee that - it's one of those thingsthat unless it affects "YOU" - then who cares. I care.Thank you for letting me put in my two cents about this topic. I dread theday I run out of pills (only 30 left) and pray constantly that it'll beavailable again before I run out.While it may be humiliating for me to discuss my bowel habits with you andother strangers - let's face it, it's a fact of life. Having IBS is a factthat takes away your life.