Approximately 50 million Americans have an Autoimmune Disease. In comparison, cancer affects up to 9 million and heart disease up to 22 million. There are approximately 100 Autoimmune Diseases with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes (Type 1), Lupus, and Sjögren’s Syndrome being among the more common diseases (an estimated 4 million people in the US have Sjögrens). Unfortunately, Sjogrens is a somewhat unknown, hard to pronounce, and under diagnosed disease. This is “Why SjögrensLife” — the more people that talk about it, the more visibility the disease receives.
Those of us that live with an autoimmune disease (I have Sjögrens) fight daily to have fulfilling and productive lives. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This blog is a place where I can share my experiences living with Sjögrens, and share what I learn by being part of the Sjögren’s Foundation. My goal is to help the readers live each day a little bit better.
The key thing we all must get good at is REINVENTION! Having an autoimmune disease means we are in a continual state of reinvention so that we can live happy, productive, and fulfilling lives. I have had to reinvent myself many times by creating businesses and work environments where I can manage my disease (and my life) more easily. And I’ve had to reinvent myself to happily live in “my new normal”, each time the disease changes course. I do not find this an easy process, and I am not always successful. But I am happy to share how I try to reinvent myself and adapt to living with Sjögrens.
Whether you have Sjögrens, Lupus, RA, or another chronic illness that alters how you need to manage your daily life, I hope this blog gives you some ideas to help you along your way…
Just a note: I intentionally have left off the possessive apostrophe on Sjögrens because it is an easier read and, frankly, I do not like the relationship it then presents to “Syndrome”. I have a disease….not a syndrome.