Faces of Sjogren's: Beverly's Journey

BeverlyWhen I was diagnosed with Sjögren's, my first thought was…

"I remember seeing that disease in nursing school a long time ago." I didn’t remember much about it other than the unusual spelling. The diagnosis came in the summer of 2008.

I had been experiencing dry eyes and dry mouth since approximately 2003. I attributed the eye and oral symptoms to the aging process. In November of 2006 I was seen in the emergency room for chest pain and dizziness. I was advised at the time of visit that lung nodules were found. The findings in the emergency room visit resulted in evaluations from a cardiologist, pulmonary specialist, chest surgeon and finally a rheumatologist.

I read everything I could find on Sjogren’s to educate myself. I participated in a study conducted by the NIH which I viewed as a way of broadening researchers’ knowledge.

I participate in the friends helping friends awareness campaign as well as the annual Walkabout and the family fun day held this past year, as well as the SSF Patient Conference in Reston, Va in 2011. Which was an awesome educational experience!

It helps knowing that I continue to work thanks to the support of my husband.  He takes care of household duties when fatigue sets in. I have intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which takes into account the times of flare-ups requiring that I take sick leave. FMLA also allows for regular medical follow-up necessary for management of this condition.


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