Hello to all. Shawn, you know me from other forums and chats, and some others may recognize me as well under a few different user names. I have had IBS for about 2 1/2 years. (probably low level PI, formerly pain predominant, sort of A/M, now not particularly anything predominant, but many GI and related non-GI symptoms daily no matter what I've done, which is almost everything reputable currently in existence.)
Anyway, I've browsed here occasionally but decided to register and post today to bump up this thread for more visibility and add to Shawn's comments. He is right, it really is very important for those of us with IBS and people without IBS who support us to speak out. As a person with many years of personal and professional experience pre-IBS in health and disability advocacy and related issues, I can say that IBS has a lot less in terms of almost everything compared to other common conditions, and some pretty obscure ones too: awareness, funding, reliably effective treatments without going through tons of trial and error, local medical professionals and facilities in every area that really understand them, community support services, research, support from the general public, etc. And I live in a major metropolitan area and know how to navigate the system. A lot of the time IBSers haven't been as organized as other groups in speaking out, and we don't get many really good opportunities often either. But this House Resolution is a major one that we shouldn't let slip away.
If you're a U.S. citizen, please write your Representative and ask him or her to support H. Res. 1309. Use your real name and contact information. Tell a bit of your experiences with IBS. It doesn't have to be a perfect letter, but it should show that you and the rest of us are many, many real people with real needs. Please also consider asking any relatives, friends, coworkers, classmates, Facebook friends, whoever has been supportive of you in your IBS struggles to write their Representatives as well, or at least pass the word. Some of them may do so. Some of them may not, but in any case, by asking, you will raise awareness among people without IBS.
If your Representative is already one of the sponsors (They're listed on the page Shawn linked), please consider writing to say thank you. If you've already written and your Representative doesn't sign on soon, consider writing again and telling a different part of your story to educate him/her on IBS, not as it is in the textbooks, but as we live it. Advocacy is how things get done in this country. The resolution is making progress, but there's a long way to go.
Thanks for reading.