Sjogren’s Syndrome—Not Swedish Ice Cream

Today is World’s Sjogren’s Day. Ever heard of Sjogren’s? It’s not Swedish ice cream.

Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease with the hallmark of dryness.

The body’s moisture supplying glands are primarily affected. In addition to this, one can experience numbness or pain in the limbs, muscle aches, and thyroid problems.This year, Wan-Fai Ng reports “0.2% and 1.2% of the population are affected.” Women  exhibit the malady 9 out of 10 more than men.

Singer-actress Carrie Ann Inaba struggles with chronic hoarseness (dysphonia) associated with the disease.

Venus Willliams, the tennis star, has struggled with malady’s overwhelming fatigue for years.Work Defies Sjogren's

Shannon Boxx, a U.S. soccer player, suffers from this syndrome as well as lupus; Sjogren’s can occur as primary or secondary to another connective tissue disease.

I’m not famous, but I have the syndrome, too.

Why do I care?
Because I can empathize with my patients. Because I don’t take vision lightly.

For me, getting out of bed and saying, “Welcome to work!” is a battle cry.

The disease does not define my life.

Every time I am able to teach, I rejoiced because I was told years ago “Don’t speak in front of groups.”

Music Defies Sjogren'sAnd every time there is music, I want to sing because the very act shouts to God,”I am grateful.”(I love you, Bella Voce Mobile!)

Dancing is a joy even though those days are not as many.

So today is World Sjogren’s Day and tonight I plan on enjoying a meal with old friends and toe-tapping to music at a wedding reception.

Dance, sing, look around. Seize the day. For tomorrow may not provide the opportunity.

For more information, visit the Foundation at Sjogren’


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