Author Topic: Greetings from the Midwest and Bucky!  (Read 8423 times)


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Greetings from the Midwest and Bucky!
« on: September 02, 2012, 08:12:35 PM »
Greetings from the Midwest - I'm Bucky.  I was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, OH and moved to Central IL in 1992 when I married my knight in shining armor. Sigh.

What about me and Sjogren's?  Well, I know the exact day and what I was doing when the dry mouth symptoms hit me like a brick.  It was Saturday, November 3, 2007.  I was doing a skit at a conference when I started having difficulty talking as my lips were sticking to my teeth and it felt like someone had stuffed a wad of cotton in my mouth.  Dry as the dessert. I laughed it off and said, "boy, my mouth is really dry!"

December rolls around and I come down with pink eye in my right eye. Then I got it in both eyes.  Since I worked at a school at the time, I figured I had picked it up from a student.  I was off work four days with eyes that hurt, looked like road maps and had eyelashes sticking together with lovely gunk.  I never went to the doctor for this.  I called his office and told them that what was going on. (I have had pink eye before and this was just like the other time.)  I was prescribed some medicine for the eyes.  It cleared up.

The end of January I have my semi-annual dental check-up.  While the assistant is cleaning my teeth she asks me if I have dry mouth (as her instruments are sticking to my cheek, tongue and teeth) . . . I say, "YES!" (I had forgotten to mention this to them, so I was glad she mentioned it.) The Dentist recommended I have my PCP check me for Sjogren's.  Not having the saliva to help wash bacteria away was quickly doing a number on my teeth.

In February, I saw my PCP again and told him that the dentist thought I should be tested for Sjogren's.  This was a special test and they couldn't do it in my PCP's office so I had to go to the hospital to get it done.  I never had the blood work drawn until the end of May when school was out. The blood work came back and my PCP referred me to a Rheumatologist.  The Rheumy confirmed that my blood work showed I DID have Sjogren's (Primary) and I was put on Plaquenil.

Long story short, the new school year started and working in the kitchen, it seemed like my arms, shoulders, and back hurt all the time. My mouth and eyes were really dry (working in a hot/humid environment wasn't helping either) and I came home exhausted. (I have had an underactive thyroid for 15 plus years, so I have my thyroid tested regularly.)  After talking it over with hubby, we decided that I would resign from my job to help with the stress factor (very stressful and fast paced working in the kitchen) and to hopefully, ease the symptoms.  In December '08, I resigned.

I was able to return to my first love, being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) for almost two years. Being in a less stressful environment was helping. Due to the economy tanking, in 2010, I had to return to work part-time to help with family expenses.  I still have the really dry mouth and eyes, but with pills and drops, it is tolerable.  I now see the Rheumy once a year.

I've found that trying to figure out Sjogren's is like putting a puzzle together.  Individual pieces don't mean a whole lot . . . then you start putting individual pieces with other pieces and it starts to make sense. Did I really have pinkeye, dental problems I've blamed on genes from my parents all these years, aches and pains from my previous job, or are they part of Sjogren's?  Does going thru menopause trigger Sjogren's? Are my blood pressure and gall bladder issue/surgery related to Sjogren's? Were the pains in joints and muscles Sjogren's or just "life"?   I don't know the answers to any of these questions for sure . . . lots of times, I don't think the doctors know for sure either. The symptoms of Sjogren's mimic symptoms of other diseases and overlap on some . . . hence the long road to diagnosis for some.

I found this website in July '08.  The staff and members here at Sjogren's World were so welcoming, knowledgeable, kind and funny . . . I knew I wanted to be a part of this group.  We come from all walks of life . . . yet, we are all here on this road together.  We're a network of strangers (who turn into friends) who share a common bond . . . Sjogren's.  I encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of information you will find here in the forums, and in the weekly live chat.

I am honored to have been asked to be on staff as a chat co-host for seven years, and in 2016, I will now be focusing on our social board with various group challenges and other things for our membership to join in if they wish to participate.  As a reminder, we do have a weekly 2-hour chat each Thursday 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Central Time - stop in for the whole time, or just for a spell - all are welcome.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 05:31:11 PM by Bucky »
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