The Autoimmune Disease Parade That Is My Life….


I just saw a new-to-me rheumatology nurse practitioner on Friday. woman-doctor1 During the appointment she took about an hour to ask questions, examine me and discuss my life with me.

I told her in a nutshell about all the diseases I have had over the course of my life. When I was in my 20’s I developed Graves hyperthyroidism. Then came endometriosis. Then fibromyalgia. Then osteoarthritis. Then diabetes.

Now we are looking at the very real probability of Sjogrens Disease. It is an autoimmune disease, as is Graves, endometriosis, and some say osteo and fibro, as well as diabetes. I have been reading up on Sjogrens, and from everything I’ve read, there is no doubt in my mind that I have it. All that is necessary now is for me to get the blood work done and get confirmation of the inevitable.

I have had worsening dry eye and dry mouth over the past few years. Always worse during the fall and winter months because of the dry furnace air blowing in the house. It’s like torture, like someone aiming a blowtorch into your face. My eyes are so dry I worry about corneal abrasion. eye-drops-224x256 I am using preservative free eye drops like crazy and it barely makes any difference. I got the humidifier out last night and have had it on full blast all day. I even ordered a new one for my bedroom, because I always wake up in the morning with a stuffy nose. I wake up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep, mouth so dry I must take a sip of water….really fun. My lips are dry, despite slathering on vaseline every night before bed. Fun Times.

I’ve read that Sjogrens usually hits women and usually between the ages of 40-60. I’m 58. I believe I’ve had it for the past 3 or 4 years at least.  I finally sought help because the symptoms are getting ridiculous. I can’t live like this anymore.

I have lived with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia for 31 years and osteoarthritis for about 15 years. I also have high blood pressure (30 years). I have carpal tunnel, diabetes, sleep apnea, a hemangioma tumor in my lumbar spine, chronic severe feet pain, insomnia, eye problems, and more. The fun just keeps on coming. I’m tired.

I had xrays done of my lumbar spine, hands and feet on Friday. I am waiting to get some red tape settled before I go for my blood work later this week. I see the nurse practitioner again in a month. I am hoping to get a definitive diagnosis then, and some treatment for this extremely annoying and very miserable “latest” thing in my body. help I am aware that some of the meds used to treat this thing have some not-so-great side effects. I imagine the side effects may be more aggravating than the disease but I have to try.

So I’ve always heard that autoimmune diseases usually come in groups, rarely just one. I think I’ve had quite enough. I’ve spent over half my life accumulating illness after illness after illness. I think I’ve had more than my share. I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired. Enough already.

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About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
This entry was posted in Aging, Arthritis, Bitterness, Central Nervous System, Challenges, Changes, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Dealing With Doctors, Depression, Diagnosis, Discouragement, Emotions, Endometriosis, Endurance, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, High Blood Pressure, Hyper-Sensitivity, Insomnia, Irritability, Isolation, Life Journey, Life Path, Medical Community, Medication, Menopause, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, Pain Scale, Past Experiences, Plantar Fasciitis, Poor Vision, Sadness, Seasons, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Sensory Overload, Side Effects, Temperature Changes, Tendinitis, Weather Changes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Autoimmune Disease Parade That Is My Life….

  1. dawnhosking says:

    I have similar dry eye and mouth symptoms and my Rheumatologist mentioned the possibility of it being Sjogrens Disease. I have ME and FM and Raynaurds; I’m being tested for Spondyloarthritis currently which he is sure I have. Lots of autoimmune stuff going on. Hope you get some treatment that helps.

    • teeks55 says:

      Sorry to hear that you may also have Sjogrens, Dawn. When it rains, it pours, right? It’s frustrating when there are so many things hitting you at once. I hope we can both find treatments for all this stuff so we can have some sort of semi-decent quality of life. HUGS xoxo

      • dawnhosking says:

        Yes, fingers crossed for the both of us — a semi decent quality of life would be fabulous.
        Hugs xxx

  2. Autoimmune disease are like potato chips….you can’t stop at just one. 😦

  3. 😦 I hope the new treatments go well. Keep us posted!

  4. tjgypsyhippie says:

    I too have fibro and recent diagnosis of Sjogrens . . . from what I’ve learned ~~read a great book and the Sjogren Syndrome Foundation is a great resource ~~ your tests may all come back without definitive SS markers but you could still meet the criteria for diagnosis. My latest was a lip biopsy — that was sooooo FUN!!! Again the specifc test they measure on wasn’t there BUT the ENT who did the biopsy said sometimes you have had it for so long your glands atrophy – BINGO!!

    These elusive, non-specific auto-immune disease keep life interesting!!!!!
    No, but in all sincerity, I know it sucks. Find a good rheumy who will treat the symptoms, which is what it is all about. Mine told me the first time he saw me what was probably ailing me. I told him no way!! He said didn’t matter what I believed or even what we call it — bottom line is about treating symptoms to improve my quality of life. Well, to that I said – HELL YEAH!!

    You’re not alone.

  5. Trisha says:

    I thought I had Sjogren’ s a couple of years ago so I did some reading about it. I sure hope it turns out you don’t have it. It sounds decidedly unpleasant. But then all these conditions are.

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