What a great thread! There are posts from young to not-so-young giving their take on this. It's hard to believe, but I'm in the "not-so-young" category. Time just goes fast. When some of us were young, you could catch polio. Polio could mean instant paralysis, death, living in an iron lung. You couldn't go swimming in certain places "or you'd catch polio." The fear of this kept me out of swimming where I wasn't supposed to. (Not even sure if you "caught" polio that way.)
My anger is/was directed at my (surgeon) lasik surgery almost 9 years ago. My life hasn't been the same since. My doctor did not test me for dry eyes, and I was put through the paces of "you're an excellent candidate." Well, I wasn't a good candidate. I paid large $$$ for my doc to make sure I was. My eyes never healed. My vision never settled and I've had painful eyes every day since. I had to stop working after 5 years because I could no longer see well enough to do my job. I was making mistakes. So, it was disability for me. I began to have numbness in my face and lips, weak leg muscles and dry mouth. I began to put two and two together. It kept coming back to the eyes. Finally, I was tested and had positive antibodies in my blood. I gave my diagnosing Oral Surgeon a "high 5" when he told me this. I WAS ELATED TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS, WHY IT WAS. I began taking meds and feeling better about 6 months after my diagnosis.
Just after my diagnosis, I told my GP I wanted the lump in my breast removed, instead of watching it like we were for the past couple of years. It's a good thing because it was cancer. A quick diagnosis, surgery and radiation which has knocked me on my butt for almost a year and I'm still kicking. Not very much, or very fast. Having cancer is scary, much more scary than Sjogrens. Even though Sjogrens has done much more damage to my body, cancer is a tougher thing to face. I always thought if I didn't have cancer, I was "good to go." Well, I had cancer and "I'm still good to go."
My personal situation is that my eye surgery mangled my eyes. If I'd not gone there, I'd still have Sjogrens today and dry eyes, but my vision and my life would not be devastated as they have. Lest anyone think it was a vanity operation, it was not. I was in my 50's, married and wore -10 glasses. I like to put that in there in case anyone is thinking "well, what does she expect when she has cosmetic surgery." This isn't cosmetic surgery. You don't look any different after. I'd sure as heck not have any cosmetic surgery, though, now.......knowing how things can go wrong. Lucy