This week was fair week for the county where I live and I volunteer for a Creative Arts group with the fair where we exhibit mostly adult but some youth craft and fine art projects.  Normally I love fair week but this year the idea of working at the fair just sounded exhausting, and it was for the two days I’ve been there so far.  I managed to show up for what I committed to working but I knew I was dragging and the other ladies noticed as well.  One of them did come up to me at work and mentioned they were concerned about me and I told her I am fine, really, I’m dealing with everything and if things get too bad I plan on seeing my doctor.  Right now I just need to rest and have some alone time.

That was the plan but later that day I developed some blood in my stool and of course, I panicked and made a Friday appointment to see my general practitioner and set about making a laundry list of issues I wanted to discuss with him.  Since the people in Iowa City seemed to think that my dry eye and dry mouth, as well as my joint pain, was unusual I decided I was going to press the symptoms with my local doctor and see what he thought.

Now I do know how to Google so I had a condition in my mind that I wanted to be tested for but decided to see what he thought first.  Of course, it was a busy day at his office and after an hour wait, it was finally my time to see him.  He came in and asked me what was going on we discussed constipation I’ve been dealing with and the blood in my stool, he asked me if I’ve ever had a colonoscopy, I haven’t.   I then decided to bring up the other symptoms I’ve been having that I felt were alarming.  I told him about the severe dry eye and dry mouth that was so bad I was afraid to eat alone for fear of choking.  It also gets difficult to speak at times as my throat just seems to stop functioning.  I also can’t seem to drink enough water as my mouth is constantly dry.  I’m not thirsty it is just that the water doesn’t hydrate my mouth at all.  Then I mentioned my joint pain. In my arms, fingers, knee, and lower back and that I had some muscle weakness in my left arm and that I was struggling to open bottles and such.  He started asking me all kinds of questions about over-the-counter medicines I might be taking, none, looked in my mouth and started examining my joints.  Then he asked about my family history if anyone had any autoimmune diseases or rheumatoid arthritis.   I said Doctor that is a tough question I don’t know and everyone is dead.  I now realize I should have answered differently because I do know of a case, my father had type one diabetes which is an autoimmune disease.

Some of you might know where I’m going with this from the blog tags I used to bring you here but he then sat down and said he thinks I might have Sjogren’s Syndrom and wanted to run some blood tests.  This is what my research online had lead me to believe as well and let me clarify that I do not know if I have this disease or not but most of my symptoms listed above along with the brain fog and crippling fatigue are a good indicator that I might.   He said that he had one other patient with Sjogren’s Syndrom and that it might take quite a few test to prove conclusively one way or another but he was willing to order them.  I am so lucky that he is willing to look into this because from what I’ve been reading it can be difficult to get doctors to even look into this most of the time claiming it is in the patient’s head or thinking it is some other health concern.  So I’m extremely excited about this, not that I might have this life long disease for which there is no cure, but that we are looking into it and I might have answers along with a plan for treatment soon.

He also talked me into giving Estrogen a try for the menopause and depression issues.  We seemed to forget about the blood in the stool altogether…  So if that becomes a recurring issue I might ask him to schedule a colonoscopy.  Why the hell not I’ve met my deductible for the year.  I should get in as many tests as possible before the assholes in congress take away all of our insurance.

So right now, to my friends reading this.  Yeah, maybe I’m not fine. I’m tired all the time and my body aches and I’m dealing with severe dry eye and dry mouth constantly.  So I have good reason to be a little down right now.  I’m dealing with it.  Thank you for any concern but I am on top of it.  They took a lot of blood on Friday and I hope to hear the results next week and we will go from there.  If the blood work is inconclusive I have already expressed interest in pursuing more tests.  My doctor said he will send me to a ears, nose and throat doctor for a biopsy next.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take that because I’ve heard that can hurt.

So thanks for listening and that is all I’ve got for now as far as what I’ve been dealing with.  I’ll post again when I know more.


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