Faces of Sjogren's: Iris's Journey

Iris newWhen I was first diagnosed with Sjögren's, my first thought was...

"What the heck is that?" I had never heard of it. Then I started reading everything I could get my hands on. At the time of my diagnoses, I was going through many stressful events, a criminal trial against a stalker, building a new house, planning a wedding and working 6 days a week.
I was exhausted all the time and attributed it to all the stress. My eyes had been in horrendous shape for years, and though I went to a well known cornea specialist, Sjögren's was never, ever mentioned. The dryness was so bad, I had many torn corneas.
A wonderful neurologist put the pieces together, ran some tests, and diagnosed me. He connected me with a caring,smart rheumy who has been working with me for years. Am so blessed to have this man as my doctor.
I had to leave my job, which I loved. My vision is up and down. I have learned to pace myself. Ok, I have to pace myself. No choice. It has put life in perspective and what is important. Is it easy?  No. Total lifestyle change.

I have picked up a couple more AI (autoimmune) diseases along the way. Every good few hours is a gift, and even a good hour to do a workout is wonderful. Never give up! I've named it the Trick or Treat disease. You never know which it will be.

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