When I look back, I can recognize that I’ve had symptoms of Sjogrens’s since I was a teenager. I always had a sore throat and dry eyes. I assumed it was allergies. I also had sinus surgery that didn’t help. I was always plugged up. I suppose my sinuses were just dry. Fast forward 25 years.. my lymph nodes started hurting everywhere but mostly my neck and my sore throats and dry eyes got worse. Doctors said I was probably fighting a virus. Then months later, my throat was so dry that I couldn’t talk without sounding hoarse and it stung so bad. The air from my nose gave me a cool burn in my throat. I developed an esophageal motility disorder. My eyes, ears, nose, lungs, esophagus, ears were so dry. I lost 40 pounds in a couple months. I thought I was dying and wrote down important stuff for my husband like life insurance info. My body was tired and so sore. My lymph node pain was worse and my salivary glands hurt so bad I cried. But I had no tears! Sjogrens even took away my right to grieve through tears. I had 3 endoscopies. I went from specialist to specialist. Finally, a rheumatologist put my on Plaquenil and Evoxac. I feel like it saved my life. My good days are a normal person’s worst days. And I don’t say that lightly and am not discounting how a normal person feels when they are sick with a cold. At least in 3 days they are back to normal. I’m saying I’m that sick EVERYDAY with no relief. This is 24×7. I’ve learned to live with it somehow and can barely make it through work. I break down a lot so I am so thankful for my awesome husband. My worst fear is my kids will get this and I already see signs in them. I still have swallowing issues and severe dry mouth and a feeling of being strangled 24×7. My eyes burn every second of the day and are so dry and get infections. Sometimes I go to bed early to put myself out of misery. I hope new treatments will give more relief, if not for us, then for our kids. I feel lonely and isolated. I can’t enjoy life like I used to because I am so busy trying to moisturizer myself. I feel so sick like I should be in the hospital. I hide behind my smile and just go on. I take it day by day, minute by minute. What other choice is there?

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