My Personal Struggle with Sjorgens
My entire lifestyle abruptly changed in September of 2019. I went into a dermatologist for some dark spots on my forehead that had not healed since giving birth to my son almost a year prior. We had originally thought it was melasma, a common skin condition triggered by pregnancy. Thankfully, my dermatologist followed her gut instinct and decided to biopsy the 'lesion'. She also ordered several labs for me to take as well.
At my one week follow up we reviewed the results. I had a positive ANA, and a definite diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome, a systemic autoimmune disease. In addition, my biopsy came back positive for discoid cutaneous lupus, an incurable skin disease, where my autoimmune system attacks my healthy skin cells. Suddenly, my world was flipped upside down. No more basking in the sunshine and getting a bronze tan in the summers. Now, I need sunscreen and sun protective clothing anytime I am exposed to sunlight. Even certain lights can trigger flare ups and lesions.
Months prior to my diagnosis of Sjogren’s, I noticed I was having really dry eyes and went to my optometrist who thought it was from travelling by plane and staying in hotels. My symptoms continued to progress and in addition I started to experience dry mouth and dry throat, especially at night. It was as if I had swallowed fire.
The first few weeks following my diagnosis was difficult. It was if I was mourning my life as I knew it prior to the diagnosis. Then, I experienced the acceptance stage and tried to find the good in all of this. Sjogren’s is much more than just dry eyes and mouth, it’s a systemic autoimmune disease with no cure. It’s often associated with other connective tissue diseases, and it causes inflammation of the lungs, and can lead to lymphoma cancer.
In addition to both of these diseases, I have recently been diagnosed officially with Systemic Lupus. I suffer from burning inflammation throughout my body, my joints in my hands have developed arthritis. Some mornings I am so stiff I can barely move. If I sit for too long, I cannot just stand straight up, I am usually hunched over a little, almost as if I am stuck. My eyes and mouth/throat will always be dry as a symptom of the Sjogren’s.
With that said, I am always looking for the positive in every situation, be it with work or my life, and I have decided to make it my mission to help raise awareness about Sjogren’s, and autoimmune diseases in general. So, please join me and help us find a cure for Sjogren’s disease! I would love for you to join us on the Denver Walk, May 30th. If you cannot join, please at least consider a small donation to help my personal team meet our fundraising goals.
Together, we can start making change and raising awareness. Just $20 can make a difference! Please spread the word and share with your family and friends so we can raise as much money as we can for this foundation’s continued research.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure and is the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts!
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