Author Topic: Hi, hello, and welcome - I'm AlienDog  (Read 2942 times)

AlienDog

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Hi, hello, and welcome - I'm AlienDog
« on: August 27, 2012, 06:00:51 PM »
Research Reporter, Chat Technical Director and Trainer, Host
I live in Midwest USA with a cat, Lizard. Because of a job injury, I am unable to work, so we are able to spend lots of time together. Lizard was born one hot August night, with the leaves turning brown and the grass on the ground smelling sweet. He moved up the road to the outside of town and the sound of that good gospel... oh wait ... that's a Neil Diamond song. Well, he WAS born on a hot August night, and he did have to move up the road to the outside of town, but it was the sound of other cats and dogs carrying on in the local used dog store, also known as an animal shelter. He was 4 months old when we adopted each other, so he didn't have to stay behind bars very long.

As for me, I am described as creative, funny, and energetic - well, that is when people are being kind. Others have quite different terms to describe me. I grew up in a home where humor was a part of life. Though my folks taught us kids to be responsible, honest, hardworking, and obedient, the thing I learned the best, and even excel at, is humor. When I was a therapist, humor was a large part of my treatment modality. My clients who could laugh and have fun were able to recover and move on with life much faster than those who resisted it. I also discovered that they were also able to handle future traumas and problems with minimal or no professional intervention. OK, yes, that was also bad because I did lose out on lots of continuing income since they didn't need me anymore. Oh well.

I use humor to deal with my own life and the problems I encounter with Sjogren's Syndrome. Like most of us with "strange" illnesses, it took a while for me to be diagnosed. In August of 2000, I started getting fevers every day. My temperature started out sub-normal in the morning, and increased throughout the day until, by evening, I was feverish. After a month of this, I went to my doctor who put me through a series of tests. Blood results came back indicating something was amiss, but he had no clue what it could be. He did diagnose me with Raynaud's Syndrome, but knew the fever was unrelated, and much more serious. After different antibiotics failed to make a difference, and I began getting more weird symptoms, he put me through a host of other tests and sent me to many specialists.

Eventually, I was sent to an infectious diseases specialist who diagnosed Systemic Scleroderma and, in August (after a full year of daily fevers), sent me to a rheumatologist who concurred with his diagnoses and added Sjogren's Syndrome, cranial neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, connective tissue disorder, and possibly something else. This guy was worthless though, and recounted his original dx after my blood tests came back with a negative Rheumatoid Factor. He said he couldn't treat me until I had something to treat and to contact him when I didn't feel good. I told them I didn't feel good now, but he ignored me.

So, in December 2001 I went to another rheumy who diagnosed all the same things the other guy had, and then ran even more blood tests. By this time, they were hard pressed to find enough to draw out of my body even using suction. He is treating me for the Sjogren's and wants to wait to see how the rest develops before doing anything else. I am taking Plaquenil and though the fever is still there, it is a bit lower. It has also helped with some of the Scleroderma symptoms and the fatigue.

The nearest doctor who knows anything about Sjogren's Syndrome is about four hours away. Because traveling is so difficult for me, I make due with local doctors, and enhance it with the Sjogren's World Chat room, and a humorous outlook on life. If you need a laugh, come join me in chat. I'm usually there on Tuesday nights, and sometimes pop-up at other times. We also get down to business and discuss the reality of Sjogren's Syndrome and its effect on our lives when that is needed.

If you would like to learn more about me, and my creative mind, check out my alternate "bio".

Go forth, have fun, laugh, and visit us in chat!
AlienDog
Sjogren's World Executive Board, Staff Trainer, Technical Director, & Chat Coordinator