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Showing posts from July, 2016

Sjogren's Awareness Day

Today is Sjogren's Syndrome awareness day. Unlike other disease you will not see a lot of facebook profile pictures with a ribbon overlay or products in the grocery story with ribbons on their labels to announce a percentage of proceeds going to research. The majority of people diagnosed with the disease will probably stay silent. I however refuse to be one of them.

Sjogren's is one of the most common autoimmune disease, effecting an estimated 4 million Americans, yet most people have never heard of it and most of the people who have do not truly grasp the effects of the disease. I was one of these people until recently. All I knew was Sjogren's is an autoimmune disease that cause dry eyes and mouths and possible some minor joint pain. I did not know that is could cause enough joint damage to result in surgeries, I did not know if could cause autonomic neuropathy to the point of needing a feeding tube and central line.
When I was diagnosed with Sjogren's 6 weeks ago I …

A New Diagnosis Means a New Treatment Plan

A little over a week after Sjogren's was confirmed I had an appointment with my rheumatologist. My head was filled with questions and possibly a little too much online reading (however I have graduated from google and now use my college's online database to read medical textbooks). I had a list of questions on my phone I wanted to ask and did get to most of them. However the ones I missed was due to me already feeling overwhelmed and wanting to focus on specific things, not because the doctor rushed me which is a nice change.

The most important part of the appointment was figuring out a treatment plan. My rheumy asked what the most pressing symptom is and obviously it is the autonomic nervous system issues (autonomic neuropathy). He thought the best treatment option was a medication call azathioprine (Imuran), which is an immunosuppressant drug. However before I could start I need a blood test to see if I had the enzyme needed to properly metabolize the medication (10% of the …

Not Fitting in to my Disease Community

About a year ago I was at a rheumatologist appointment and we were discussing a new symptom, I don't even remember which one it was, my rheumatologist said Lupus could cause it but for what ever other reason I did not have Lupus. She said "Usually not having Lupus is a good thing, but at this point I am sure you just want a name." In that moment I finally felt like someone finally hit the nail on the head.

I never wanted to have a lifelong possibly life threatening autoimmune disease. Yet that was not a choice I had. As my symptoms progress and have had more and more of an impact on my life and caused me to grow up in a way that has made it hard to relate to people my own age sometime I earned for a group where I fit in. As the picture of what I had planned for my future changed I felt a need to talk to someone going through the same. Every time someone asks about my feeding tube, central line, and any other parts of my health I just wanted a simple answer.

If I had to l…