I am a fighter – Bravelets

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I am a fighter

Posted on May 15 2015

I am a fighter
When I was diagnosed with Sjögren's, my first thought was...no way do I have that awful disease that I saw on Mystery Diagnosis. I wasn't feeling myself. My body was having all of these new, weird symptoms. It took about a year to be diagnosed and it was a long year.

It all started with severe stomach pains. M gallbladder was removed not long before, so I thought the pains were connected to my gallbladder being gone. I went to my family doctor and he did blood work that came back abnormal. He brushed off my symptoms and referred me to a Gastroenterologist. An MRI was done of my abdomen and I had an upper endoscopy. They found I was backed up. The Gastroenterologist had no answer, so he referred me to a Rheumatologist. I was told that I either had Lupus or Sjögren's and I was on pins and needles the two weeks I had to wait for the results of the blood work.

My eyes were also affected and were very sore/red. I had photosensitivity. Exhaustion just took over my free time. I am always be very active and outdoors. Also, I had abnormal heart palpitations and saw a Cardiologist.

Finally, I found out the results. Liver enzymes and white blood cells were high. Vitamin D, Calcium, & Potassium were low. Low Potassium was causing heart palpitations. When I found out that I had Sjögren's, it was a relief and a scare. I was confused as to why I had it at 25 years old, angry, sad, but glad it wasn't Lupus. I wondered how it would affect me moving forward, as I got older or when I would want children.

Today, I keep educating myself and have joined a support group. For the longest time I was embarrassed by my disease and in denial. It took me five years to tell my close friends and my family members what I had. Now, I'm telling everyone close to me that is in my life, so they are more aware of the disease and understanding when I'm not feeling well. They should know about it and be as educated on the disease as I am. Today, what helps me is the love and support from family and friends.

~Desiree
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