The past couple of months I have been working on vagus nerve stimulation in order to increase my vagal tone. By that I mean that I have been practicing different ways to activate my parasympathetic nervous system side of my vagus nerve. I have been doing this in order to practice better mindfulness and calm my anxiety and inflammation. My anxiety isn’t at a high level daily, but I do get quite worried about the long-term costs associated with having Sjögrens Syndrome. And I worry about my ability to continue working long enough to pay for future major expenses. I hate that feeling. And of course, I always have a high level of inflammation. I hate that too.
As I began to investigate the different methods to stimulate my vagus nerve and activate my PSNS (parasympathetic nervous system), I became more and more fascinated. This post explains why.
Or you can just stop reading now and start singing, loud and proud, like your favorite rock star! Continue reading “Can Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduce Sjögrens Inflammation?”
Determining the best Sjögrens Syndrome products to use for dry eye, dry mouth, (and other challenges) is such a personal process. We all have varying degrees of challenges and different products work better for some people than others. But asking each other “What are your favorite products” is still one of the most common conversations I have with other patients. You never know when someone has tried something new that works for them and could also work for you!
This post is about the best products that work for me. I have focused mainly on some supplements and items for dryness. Addressing pain and fatigue will be a different post.
Take a look and see if some of these ideas might help you. And if you have tried products that you like even more, please do comment and let us all know about them!
Continue reading “Best Sjögrens Syndrome Products — My Daily Survival Kit!”
We’ve all heard it… You don’t look sick! When you live with an autoimmune disease, this comment is common. How do you react and then respond?
There are times when I’m happy to hear this comment and times when I’m displeased. I do have a prepared response for this statement, but it doesn’t always fit my emotional or intellectual needs at the time. I hear the comment often enough (and I know you do as well) that I thought it a worthy topic to explore. My hope is that this article gives you ideas to help you craft your best response for any situation.
I believe there are a number of factors to consider when determining the best response to You Don’t Look Sick. Consider your:
- Disease activity level.
- Emotional status.
- Time since diagnosis.
- Relationship to the person.
Each time someone tells you that you don’t look sick, you need to examine your answers to all of these questions and ask yourself the ultimate question:
Why do you care?
Continue reading “You Don’t Look Sick! How Do you Respond to this Comment?”
I am so proud to lend my story for this major US news article! The Sjogrens Foundation was able to attract the attention of the Health and Wellness Editor and get Sjogrens in US News & World Report!
The name of the article is Sjogren’s Syndrome: The Most Common Autoimmune Condition You’ve Never Heard Of by Anna Miller of US News & World Report.
Continue reading “Sjogrens in US News & World Report”
On November 7th my Rheumy called me to task and suggested I was in denial about the severity of my Sjogrens disease level. In fact, she challenged me with an email stating that the “long-term ostrich path is rocky” for the progression of the disease and further organ damage. If you read my last post on grief, you already know I was in a major relapse. Clearly, it was time to pull my head out of the sand and move to a more aggressive form of treatment. Last year we had discussed biologics as the next step, so I knew that it was time to begin my Rituxan and Sjogrens journey.
Before I agreed to move forward, I needed to have an in-depth drug conversation with my Rheumy and discuss the treatment experience with other patients. I had real anxiety about the treatment because once it’s in you, it is in you for months. To cut to the chase, I had my first Rituxan infusion on December 8th and my second on December 20th.
Continue reading “My Rituxan and Sjogrens Journey … Is it worth it?”