Hon. Rob Merrifield:
Dear Sir, I am Hubert Rondeau of Edson Alberta, this letter has long been coming I hope it’s good with you if I use your name although my intent in no less honorable toward you, but just for ease of writing. Rob I am a long term victim, I say victim of Fibermyalgia, because it is a life sentence to all those who suffer with this disease. I seem to have contracted it in my youth close to the age of 7 or 8 and this has been the plague of my life. I am 53 now and have suffered the adverse affects of CFM for all of my adult life, but severely over the past 8 or so years. It is estimated that there are well over a million people in America who have this disease and the prognosis is – ’till death us do part’. I often wanted to write you or even meet you in person as we have met before back in the Promise keeper days. I was a leader of the mens fellowship here in Edson I think you attended one of our breakfast functions where I was speaking, although I’m not certain about my memory on that right now. Fibromyalgia affects 5% of men asopposed to 95% women. It is not a rare disease, but very,very much maligned, and miss-understood by the majority of the public, the doctors and the few who look at it in a glancing fashion then make up their minds more on the emotional criteria they have injested than the 1st person testimonies and science that is readily available for the serious investigator. Fiberomyalgia is a complete life altering disease, and many of us who suffer have lost all that we have had,owned,and hoped for not to mention the shame we suffer from having an invisible disease, most of us become invisible as a coping mechanism. I myself have lost my wife of 23 years, 8 years ago now, my home, children and church. This is in every way a disease and a life sentence, one man I heard speak said, “if there is a heaven ‘this is hell we’re living in hell.” You and I know that’s not quite right but I can tell you I fully understand what he is saying. Fibromyalgia strikes all ages, and is an extreme disease no matter the age of the victim. One of the things which isolates us is the way it works on our cognitive abilities, we often end up hiding and ashamed when we cannot communicate, or slurr, or lose the whole topic we might be involved in with in conversation, or at work, or where ever. I went from an avid preacher, and witness for the Gospel of Christ, to a house bound recluse who wouldn’t dare say a word to anyone, one reason for that is it is extremely tiring, frustrating, and shameful to try so hard to explain and relate only to end up with looks, sneers, and rejection. I could go on and on and chances are tomorrow I will faintly remember that I have written to you. But there are so many people who suffer so severly, It’s my prayer and hope even against all hope that you might dig into this subject on a fact finding mission, and allowing sufferers grace and dignity, interview several of them to actually see what we live with every day. When I first got bad with CFM my brotherin law got brain cancer, 6 months later he died, at that time I was very ill and completely ignored,was beginning to be shunned, I told my wife her brother was the lucky one he got to die, all these years later that opinion hasn’t changed and many sufferers do take their own lives, I have thought about it myself.
We shouldn’t have to live in Shame! We shouldn’t have to be rejected because of a disease which makes us look insane at times. We should be given a few breaks in this land of plenty, and we should be afforded compassion. I’m sorry i rattle on a lot at times and not knowing what’s happening but I can’t seem to crawl away and hide anymore. Rob we need real help, and we need our Government to pick up the sword and make Canada shine because she cares for her people. For myself, on my part I know that what ever becomes of me personally, God is my refuge, and strength; but Rob many, don’t know him and will suffer indignity, shame, in-justicse, poverty and lack without a champion.