"Since I was diagnosed with Sjögren’s, I have learned..."
Since I was diagnosed, I've learned so much about myself and the medical community. When I was diagnosed, I was confused, scared, and essentially a yarn ball of negative emotions. I had absolutely no idea what Sjögren's was and when I tried to google it, all I came across was articles about old women. This made me feel very uncomfortable and like I was out of the ordinary because I was an 8-year-old girl trying to figure out what was going on with my body, and all I had to refer to were medical records of a 60-year-old woman.
This is when me and mom decided that we would change this for other kids going through the same thing as me. We started a support group for patients and parents who were just joining the Pediatric Sjögren's community. This is where things began to change for me. I gained more confidence in myself and was able to help a lot of people. At the end of the day, I was actually grateful I was diagnosed because it allowed me to discover another side of myself.
Even though sometimes the symptoms can be crippling, I have doctors, family, and a whole network me and my mom created behind me. And I hope that because of what we created, other kids feel that way too.