Faces of Sjogren's: Renee's Journey

describe the imageWhen I was diagnosed with Sjögren's, my first thought was…

"Thank God for the diagnosis!" I didn’t want to be sick, but it validated that I was "not going crazy." The doctors started looking at me as if I was imagining symptoms. I stopped going to the doctor and suffered in silence.

Then I got angry and decided to try one more time. I told one doctor that I felt like a big sponge was shoved up the center of my body and was sucking all the moister out of me. My white blood count was dangerously low. I was sent to several doctors for all types of tests including a bone marrow biopsy. They all came back negative.

I had skin problems, dry mouth/eyes, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog and female problems.  This also probably contributed to my heart slowing down and my having to get a pacemaker the year before. The rheumatoid doctor called me February 15, 2010, with my diagnosis.

My advice is to never give up.  I shed tears of frustration and fear that I would never get relief.  No one ever saw this side of me because I kept it hidden. No one saw the pain that I was in with my joints and muscles.

I dealt with it by researching and understanding the disease. I joined a support group and the YMCA and started eating better. Find out what benefits you such as water aerobics, dancing, and cardio exercises. What an ongoing journey!

- Renee


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