"Autoimmune disorders", Sjogren's Syndrome, Venus Williams, Women's health

As Venus Williams Bows Out of U.S. Open, Little-Known Disease Takes Center Court – Sjogren’s Syndrome

As Venus Williams Bows Out of U.S. Open, Little-Known Disease Takes Center Court – Yahoo! News.

I hate that Venus Williams has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. The illness has caused Venus to pull out of the US Open and I’m afraid it will end her tennis career.

I hope Venus will put a face of this terrible debilitating illness for us “normal” folks out here…the faceless 4 million or so that suffer daily with chronic, painful and disabling illness.

I was diagnosed in 1993. I have suffered daily since then. The tear film on my eyes is totally gone and as a result I have constant issues with my eyes. I’m at the point where I may have to have silicone plugs implanted into my tear ducts, but many Sjogren’s patients that have had this procedure have said it didn’t help them and some have said they even popped out.

Dental issues have been a big problem. I have a salivary gland on one side that stays swollen almost all of the time.

Unlike the “expert” in this article, I don’t know many Sjogren’s patients that have just the dry eyes and dry mouth. I have all the affected organs, the chronic painful and disabling joint pain, muscle weakness, debilitating fatigue and am a two time NON-smoking lung cancer survivor. Recently I began having spells of syncope and have been diagnosed with Atrial Septal Aneurysm. My cardiologist has me on a 30 day heart monitor to determine the cause of the syncope.

The frustrating thing is unlike Venus many of us do not have millions of dollars in the bank we are forced to “pull out” of our work. We are force to file for disability and go through the depressing round of inquisitions, digging and humiliation from people who aren’t even aware of the condition we have. I had a “processor” call the house the other day and my husband answered the phone and the guy had the gall the asked my husband why he wasn’t at work!

Venus, please…put a face on this terrible illness for the common person and help us out!

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