"Since I was diagnosed with Sjögren's, I have learned..."
When I was diagnosed with Sjögren's, my first thought was "am I going to die?"
I was first diagnosed with Sjögrens at eleven years old. I presented with bilateral Parotitis on and off for a few consecutive months before being diagnosed. I was absolutely terrified and in all candidness so was my mom. We had no clue what we were facing.
Taking medications and receiving injections were quite difficult, especially when giving them to a moody preteen. However, both my mom and I quickly came to learn that this is a manageable and liveable disorder. Over my eight, going on nine, years of living with Sjögren's, I have learned that nothing can truly stop you unless you let it.
A great doctor of mine once told me, “you are a zebra with white stripes and black fur, and everyone else is a zebra with black stripes and white fur. You can’t tell the difference or notice that something isn’t the same unless you ask.” Living with Sjögren's shouldn’t hold you back, it’s something you should wear on your sleeve. You are living with something that makes you stronger, and it makes you you.
Everyone has their own crosses to bear, and it just so happens that Sjögren's is mine! We all live with something that can bear down on us but it is our jobs to not let it take us down with it!