Friday, September 2, 2011
Not that having Sjogren's in the news is a bad thing by any means. I have to admit, one of the first reactions I had when hearing the news of Venus's diagnosis was relief. Relief that maybe finally this terrible illness will get the attention that it so desperately needs. Maybe then it will get more funding for research. And maybe, just maybe, new treatments will be developed that will help improve the quality of my life and the 4 million other lives in this country affected by the illness. I am not exactly proud
of the fact that I was thinking this but hey, I am human after all. A human who happens to be in a LOT of pain this week and would do just about anything to feel better!
I pray that in the days and weeks to come, the media does Sjogren's the justice that it deserves. If there is one topic in this world that I feel like I am an expert on, it is Sjogren's. That is what happens when you spend years on and off researching an illness. Because of that, I cringe when I see misinformation in the media such as that Sjogren's is a rare illness. It is the second most common autoimmune disease and it affects four million Americans. Hard to diagnose? Yes. Difficult to treat? Absolutely. But not rare. There was also an article put out by the New York Times this week stating that Sjogren's causes Rheumatoid Arthritis. Wrong. Sjogren's can result in arthritis (usually inflammatory), but Rheumatoid Arthritis is a whole illness in itself which can occur in combination with Sjogren's, but not as a result of it. I know this seems like splitting hairs on terminology and well, it is. However I also feel strongly that it is important for the unknown number of undiagnosed patients out there to have the most accurate medical information in the media that we have available. I know, I know, very high expectations!
Photos: Courtesy of Google Images