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P2P - Carson

Carson 21 (diagnosed at 19)
Patient-to-patient topic: Chronic Pain 
I’ve been dealing with the pain since I was 18. No doctors would listen because I was so young. My labs were positive for Sjögren’s. I still haven’t found any type of therapies or medications that truly help with the pain on a daily basis, but I have hope that there will be something at one point.

Most difficult symptoms: Chronic neck and back pain, constant muscle cramping

How has Sjögren's impacted my life: Physically - no longer able to run marathons, my job in healthcare has become increasingly challenging with pain flare ups. Emotionally - I'm no longer able to do the things most people my age can do, it’s hard to sit for over 30 minutes so it is hard on college.

What I wish I knew when first dealing with these symptoms and Sjögren’s: You’re not crazy, the pain is real and you need to find doctors that listen to you and advocate for you.

Go-to products/tools:  Aleve rubbing gel and hot rice packs.  

What’s your best Sjögren’s tip? Don’t let pain win. Don’t give up. Always keep moving.