April 10, 2006
Dear Members of Congress,
My name is Dominie Soo Bush. I live in Green Cove Springs, Florida--near Jacksonville. I am writing to call your attention to a painful and debilitating condition called Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. FMS/CFIDS sufferers are often misunderstood by family, friends, doctors and employers because they don’t LOOK sick, and there are presently no definitive tests for diagnosing this illness. We are often seen as malingerers and hypochondriacs, despite past illustrious careers and remarkable achievements in various fields. This misunderstanding adds tremendous emotional pain to those already dealing with a devastating health problem. The severity is so great that some have even sought the “help” of Dr. Kervorkian to end their suffering.
My own FMS/CFIDS condition began suddenly at the age of 30 when I was working as a legal secretary in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. This illness has robbed me of my ability to make a living with full-time work and destroyed my first marriage of 18 years. My symptoms were: severe insomnia, unrelenting fatigue, depression, inability to concentrate, muscle stiffness and soreness, frequent viral illness and pain throughout the body.
FMS/CFIDS is not just in the U.S. but is a worldwide epidemic. I have had an FMS/CFIDS website at http://www.fms-help.com since 1996, and I have heard from thousands of people around the world who have identical symptoms, despite differences in lifestyle, diet, culture, race, genetics and climate. (I myself am of Chinese-Ukrainian descent.) Presently there is no cure for FMS/CFIDS. In fact, researchers don’t even know what causes this illness, although it appears to be a breakdown in immune function. This illness seems to afflict the hardest working and brightest of our population. It knows no racial or economic boundaries, and men as well as women develop this illness--even teenagers are being diagnosed now.
I hope you will use your influence to increase medical research funding and create favorable health policies for people with FMS/CFIDS. We greatly need the understanding of family, friends, employers, doctors, lawyers, disability courts, etc. Many sufferers are not able to get health insurance. (This is strange, since many doctors say Fibromyalgia does not exist--except in our heads. My husband says that if it is not a medical condition, then insurance companies should not be able to exclude sufferers from coverage!) Many with FMS/CFIDS have been denied Social Security disability. Many have lost everything—the respect of family, the stability of their marriage, their homes, careers, friends and their ability to earn a living, PLUS the loss of their health, well-being and enjoyment of life.
Those who mock FMS/CFIDS sufferers today may find themselves victims tomorrow. Millions are afflicted and more are diagnosed every day! It is truly an epidemic! We need to find out what has caused this illness and then how to cure it!
Thank you for reading this letter and for anything you can do to help us. May 12th is the designated International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day each year.
Dominie Soo Bush
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SEARCH Dominie’s FMS/CFIDS site and newsletters:
DOMINIE'S FIBROMYALGIA & CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME HOMEPAGE
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought. This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.